New Website Puts a Face On Drunk Driving Tragedies in Virginia
Alarmed by the state’s first rise in drunk driving fatalities in six years, Governor Terry McAuliffe has unveiled a website with a mission: to make people feel the pain that drunk drivers cause to Virginia’s families.
The site, called Virginia Faces of Drunk Driving, is a simple collection of photos, some with commentary. The photos show victims of drunk driving as their families would like them to be remembered: as young, exuberant, living beings, sons and daughters, friends and spouses, whose lives were cut short because someone thought he or she could handle a few drinks and a car at the same time.
In addition, there are some stories by convicted drunk drivers, submitted anonymously, which are meant to “educate the public on the profoundly negative impacts of being arrested and convicted of DUI.”
The battle against drunk driving in Virginia has been going on for a long time. In 2002 they joined Checkpoint Strikeforce, a multi-state initiative focusing on males aged 21 to 35, the demographic that is responsible for about one –third of all alcohol-related traffic deaths. The campaign concentrates on both enforcement – roadside sobriety checkpoints in particular – and education.
Research shows that young drivers who avoid impaired driving do so out of fear of killing or injuring someone else, more than arrest or jail. So it apparently pays to appeal to drivers’ consciences. Perhaps a young Virginia driver or two will look on the faces of the innocent victims on the Faces of Drunk Driving site and decide to take a taxi home that evening.