A Souvenir From Back When Drunk Driving Was Funny

Your Hump-day Recess: What a Card!

Generally, drunk driving is seen as nothing to laugh about. It was not always so. In from the time cars went mainstream to the 1960s drunk driving was something of an underground sport. Illegal to be sure, but many motorists thought having a few drinks and weaving home to be a venial sin at worst. Police would very often send a drunk driver home with a warning, not bothering with an arrest unless property or people were damaged. Despite scare films and public service warnings, driving under the influence was the stuff of eye rolls, and the subject of jokes and comedy routines.

The result was a true American carnage, with the per capita road deaths reaching a peak in 1969. Hard to say how many of those would have been caused by alcohol, but half would be a conservative estimate. Still, it was a humorous subject as long as you didn’t get hit.

drunk driving post card

This post card dates from the late 1950s, one of several that Petley Studios, an Arizona post card company, did on the same theme. Things have changed a lot since then. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) started a movement that led to greater awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, and more important, the fact that it was preventable.

Just as drunk driving has become less popular in the last four decades, so has it become less a topic for humor. That’s fine with us. Let’s work to eliminate drunk driving altogether, so people will one day wonder just what was so funny.

Your Hump Day Recess: Every Wednesday LifeSafer brings you something a little different, related to the worlds of road safety, to ease your progress over Hump Day and through the week.
Previous Hump Days: a German Ignition Interlock spoof from 1960, our Top 10 Worst Crash Tests, a different kind of Anti-DUI message, Budweiser’s dogged anti-DUI campaign, How Not to Dodge a Parking Ticket, the world’s worst traffic jams, a dramatic buzzed driving PSA , an offbeat ad from New ZealandVince and Larry, our favorite crash test dummies, some excellent Soviet anti-drunk-driving posters, a lesson on how buzzed driving can ruin your love life, South Australia to Drunk Drivers: Grow Up!, a woman calls 911 to report herself for DUI, Felix the Cat and Drunk Driving,  DUIs who crash vintage cars – (ouch!), Woman Unwittingly Creates Self-Driving Car, A Brilliant PSA from Australia, a Road Safety Message in a Vodka Bottle, a PSA about binge drinking that is decidedly “meh,” Drunk Driver Crashes $4 Million Car, Drunk Driving in 1910, a Superb New Think! PSA from the UK,Drunk Driving in 1955: New Breath Test Technology Will Save the Day!, the Best Animated Gifs About Drunk Driving, Angle Parking: A Surreal DUI Stop Photo, a Hertz Advertisement that Could Have Used Another Set of Eyes, a Laugh Out Loud Anti-Drunk Driving Ad, How to Beat a Breathalyzer with Peanut Butter … Not!Who Knew? GM Invented the DUI Ignition Interlock in 1970 and a Colorado drunk driving prank reveals a shocking truth.