DUI public service announcements
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1127) 5 years ago
These "ads" could be a little more realistic and be directed at the general public instead of addressing a minor segment of the population. "I had to pay so much in lawyer fees that I lost my car and my girlfriend left me because I didn't have any money or a car".

These ads sound like they were developed in some national office and probably run in a generic fashion all over the country. Some ads do list the fines and other costs associated with DUI and some, like the above, don't affect most of the population who can't afford a lawyer and don't have a girlfriend. Might be better to find someone who ruined his marriage and lost his job to a DUI because he went to jail for a month, and leave out the "I had to sell my car because the lawyer took all my money".
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Posted by MCPD (+73) 5 years ago
Mr. Birkholz,

It is understandable that you may be having trouble relating to the current ads that you have been hearing in regards to driving under the influence.

However, I can assure you that there is very good reasoning behind what you are hearing. When it comes to traffic safety, traffic laws, and driving under the influence-generally the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is involved in one way or another. That is exactly what we find here.

A study that was partially funded by NHTSA was conducted from 2001-2003 and was Montana specific. The target audience was 21-34 year olds. This demographic was chosen because this age group has been "over-represented in alcohol-related crashes statewide". A social Norms Campaign Strategy was then applied.

There is an extensive document available online at:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Impaired

Once at this cite, you must scroll down to the "Youth and Young Adults" link and click on "A Social Norms Strategy to Reduce Impaired Driving Among 21-34-Year-Olds".

You will then have access to a 44 page PDF document that details the entire study and application of the campaign strategy.

If you are further interested in how Montana ranks against other states with alcohol/non-alcohol accidents then check out some interesting and highly informative charts at:

http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot...cohol.aspx

These charts will help to put into perspective just how prevalent alcohol involved accidents are in Montana. Keep in mind that if you do check out these charts-it only pertains to "alcohol". These charts do not involve prescription drugs or dangerous drugs which make up a fair amount on their own of driving under the influence arrests and/or accidents.

While on duty, I personally have nearly been struck by two DUI drivers. At the jail, there is a Montana DUI Task Force banner hanging above one of the booking benches that pays tribute to two Montana Highway Patrolmen who were killed by drunk drivers while on duty. MHP Mike Haynes Age 28 died March 27, 2009 and MHP Evan Shneider Age 29 Died August 26, 2008. Let’s not forget the most recent being Cascade County Deputy Joe Dunn Age 33 died August 14, 2014. That banner serves as a constant reminder for why we do what we do. Additionally, one does not have to look too far to find a member of the general population whose life has been affected by driving under the influence.

I hope that you find this information useful and informative. If you have further questions or concerns, I will do my best to answer them.

Stay Safe!

Denise
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1127) 5 years ago
Dear MCPD:
I tried your link, but I have dialup and it would take 30 minutes to download. I am fully aware of the problems of DUI and Montana's rank at the top of the problem. I tried to turn in a drunk driver once, but the response was "Sorry, no one is working today".

My complaint is that those trying to improve the DUI problem are going at it wrong. Answer the following: In the radio ad that goes something like this "I lost my car and don't have any money because I had to pay for a DUI lawyer, and now my girlfriend has left because I lost my car and don't have any money." It sounds to me as if the makers of the ad just grabbed somebody and had him read a fake script, and the individual did not lose his car and all his money, and is in fact lying. Question number 1) What was the name of the individual in the ad who had to sell his car, to pay for attorney fees? I don't think it helps the situation to run a DUI public service announcement of someone lying.

Question number two: Does the DUI school really work? I asked this of an official in the Montana Justice Department and he said yes, the number of repeat DUIs is down. I then asked him, "well, maybe it is the jail that is bringing the number of second DUI convictions down and not the DUI school", there was nothing but silence. So, do we know if the DUI schools are working or do we not know? Please verify.

Question number three: Montana has one of the toughest DUI schools in the nation. If you are pregnant and homeless, you still have to pay the 250$ school (in Miles City). In North Dakota, Kansas, Washington, and Oregon, for example, indigents are required to go to the school, but they are exempted from the costs. I would think that a pregnant, homeless female in Miles City, probably is not going to attend the school if she has to pay, but might attend the school if she is exempted from the costs (as is done in the above four states (Kansas has a DUI assessment that exempts indigents). So, don't you think a pregnant, homeless female in Miles City would be more likely to attend the school if she were required to go to the school, but exempted from the costs?

I am in favor of doing anything prudent to eliminate the DUI problem, I don't think having someone lie in a public service announcement, and making it extremely difficult for a pregnant homeless female to attend a DUI school are the way to go. I talked to former Justice of the Peace Don Schott once and he said every time there is a law passed, someone should follow up and study the ramifications, and I fully agree.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6167) 5 years ago
Denise,

Thank you for explaining the current DUI prevention efforts Montana is making. As a former county prosecutor I know how important prevention is to lowering the DUI rate. Despite what Mr. Birkholz thinks, consequences and personal responsibility are vital to reducing recidivist rates. A pregnant, homeless woman charged with DUI is sad on many levels but eventually she has to deal with reality. Perhaps her drinking buddies could pony up the money for the classes and maybe even give her a ride there. Perhaps her drinking buddies could even put together a fund for the baby who will need extensive care due to fetal alcohol syndrome.

Montana's DUI school may be tough but it is effective.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1127) 5 years ago
If the DUI school is effective, let's keep it.

If it is ineffective, let's not. Would you please give my your verification that it is effective? Or is this just something that makes one feel good to say. Jail and continuous drug tests are probably much more effective than false ads (and up to now) no verification that DUI schools are effective.

What study are you referring to?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6167) 5 years ago
Montana's alcohol abuse education is based on the programs of Primeforlife.org. I suggest you go to their website and review their research.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1127) 5 years ago
Let's assume the DUI school is effective. I am sure the state knows what percentage of DUI convictions fail to attend the court-ordered school. Why not exempt the indigents from the cost for one month and see if the attendance percentage goes up? After all, it is probably the cost of the school that is the roadblock. If the state is serious about getting full compliance, it should try this.

But then again, maybe the state hasn't bothered to ask those who fail to attend, why they do not attend, (I would like to know) and isn't really serious about trying to get 100% compliance, (I would like to see if exempting indigents from the cost works),and isn't aware that other states exempt indigents from the cost of the DUI schools. This idea of requiring people to pay for something when they don't have the money, doesn't seem smart to me, and is not followed in North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Kansas, etc.

North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Kansas, think it is smart to pay the costs for the indigents which probably results in more alcohol school attendance, less drunk driving, and less law officials getting run over. I think this would work better and result in less law officials getting run over. I don't think the idea of getting money from friends works better, and neither does North Dakota, Kansas, Oregon, and Washington.

Yeah, I know, if they can afford to drink, they can afford anything.

[This message has been edited by Don Birkholz (12/29/2014)]
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Posted by Bridgier (+8278) 5 years ago
We seem to have gotten off the topic here - Is it the announcements that are the problem, or the the DUI school?
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1127) 5 years ago
The topic is the total DUI problem, and part of the problem is a public service announcement that, to me is fake, in which a man indicates he lost his girlfriend and car because he had to pay a lot of money for a DUI attorney. (His girlfriend left him because no one wants a boyfriend with no car and no money.) Apparently his girlfriend does not have a car either, and no mention as to if the man lost his job or doesn't have a job. The ad would be 100% better if it would address the entire population, and would be better with some verification "Hi, I am John Smith, I had a DUI in Custer County in May of 2012, the attorney fees cost 5,100$." I don't know why an honest ad could not be written to address the entire population..."Cops will be out in force this holiday season looking for DUIs, and everyone with a cell phone is likely to report you if you are out drunk driving, and the fines are 800$, you will have a court ordered DUI school, a night in jail, etc."

I don't like lying, deception being used anywhere, and I think it is being used here and does not need to be used here. I do not object to comments on this post that are used to discuss the entire DUI problem.
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Posted by cubby (+2465) 5 years ago
My personal opinion on the DUI classes are as follows. Yes I've have had a DUI and attended these classes. Everything about them are out dated, the people there instructing the class didn't want to be there and I really didn't gain anything out of attending the classes, but hey that's just me. Only thing that really taught me not to do it again is my insurance got cancelled and was told that I couldn't get the rates that I had before because of the DUI that hurt the worse, cause I had everything bundled and that saved me a lot of money.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8278) 5 years ago
So your 'gut' tells you that the DUI messaging is wrong, even though Denise responded with the factual basis for said messaging? Is there anything here to discuss then?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14084) 5 years ago
Personally, I think there should be education to teach people kids how to drink and not get drunk. Can't tell you the number of tmies I've seen the 20-somethings come in the bar a order a crown and coke and a shot of fireball or patron or a chuck Norris and get stupid drunk in a short period of time. It's possible to drink a lot of alcohol and be sober when the bar closes. Pick a flavor and stick with that. Don't drink shots. Don't do the "we're cashing out and can you put a shot of Patron on the tab before we go". Guess where that is going to kick in. Yup, about 10 minutes down the road. We need to teach people how to drink.
And we need a law against bar straws in drinks.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1127) 5 years ago
I could not find much on the internet on the effectiveness of the various drug/alcohol programs. In reference to the high school alcohol awareness programs "There is insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of these programs for reducing drinking and driving"

The only major drug program that seems to have been studied for effectiveness, was the DARE program. In 2001, the Surgeon General declared DARE an "Ineffective Primary Program", and they found out that there was an increase in drug use of 30% in Houston among students who participated in DARE (DARE program backfired).http://www.alcoholfacts.org/DARE.html

I think the lesson in all this is to monitor the graduates and see if these programs are effective or are we just throwing money at the problem, or maybe increasing the problem.(That is not being done here). I suppose the students of Montana's court-ordered school might become angry at the requirement and do more drinking just to get even.

Rather interesting that the USDA ordered that none of its funds be used to support DARE because it was an ineffective program. Montana had a food stamp skyrocket October of 1983, which was linked to the start of the DUI school law.(People going on food stamps due to the costs of the DUI school.) If the USDA finds out the DUI school is ineffective, history might repeat itself and the USDA might say that Montana should repeal the alcohol school as it does not want an increase in food stamps to be used for an ineffective drug/alcohol program.

[This message has been edited by Don Birkholz (1/1/2015)]
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Posted by Mathew Schmitz (+286) 5 years ago
As an over the road truck driver.....I can confirm that same exact ad is running in every state I have been in for the last month. At least 20 states.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1127) 5 years ago
The ad is so unrealistic, one is so distracted at the highly unusual circumstances in the ad that is probably useless. The individual seems to be lying about getting a DUI, lying about getting an attorney, lying about not having any money, and lying about selling his car to pay attorney fees, and lying about his girlfriend leaving him because he had no money.

How old was his girlfriend, did she have a car, why would she leave him if she had her own car? The individual must have had a job to hire an attorney. When he got the attorney bill, wouldn't the attorney have let him pay in monthly payments? Why would he sell his car to pay the attorney and not have a way to get to his job? How did he get to his job if he did not have a car? Why would his girlfriend leave him if he had no money at the moment, but still money coming in from his job?

There was an ad in the past "If you go out and drive drunk, YOU WILL BE ARRESTED". ( The facts are you might be arrested.) How does the author know how many are out drunk driving and that all will be arrested? I hear that ad and am immediately distracted by the dishonesty. All this dishonesty and unrealism are highly distractive. If they had done an honest ad with a real DUI, we wouldn't be here in this discussion.

"If you go out and drive drunk you might lose your girlfriend." I would imagine most reactions would be (" That won't affect me, I don't have a girlfriend", Good, I don't want her anyway, or I'll just get another one." I don't think we should produce a dishonest, unrealistic DUI ad that people joke about.

[This message has been edited by Don Birkholz (1/4/2015)]
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Posted by Bridgier (+8278) 5 years ago
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