drunk driving

CDOT has released a Spanish-language PSA warning against drinking and driving.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is introducing a new Spanish-language public service television announcement about impaired driving.

The PSA, created and produced by the Denver, Colorado, marketing agency Hispanidad, is based on the widely-known toast “la última y nos vamos,” which roughly translates to “one for the road.”

CDOT Communications Manager Sam Cole says:

Safety is a top priority for CDOT and this PSA continues our efforts to reach Colorado residents with culturally and linguistically relevant safety messaging. The loss and suffering that comes with drinking and driving is entirely preventable and it is critical that we work together to make everyone aware of the dangers involved when they drink and drive — hefty fines, jail time, serious injuries or worse, the loss of a life.

Large Hispanic Population

Colorado is home to 1.1 million Hispanic people, or 21 percent of the state’s population, according to the PewResearchCenter, based on the 2011 American Community Survey. The state has the eighth largest Hispanic population in the United States. And according to the Pew Hispanic Center, 39% of Colorado’s Hispanics speak Spanish when they are at home.

In an article on KOAA5, the Associated Press writes that the message in this public service announcement is the same one CDOT puts out in its English-language campaigns, namely:

  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Designate a sober driver
  • Let your friends intervene if you’re trying to drive while impaired.

CDOT urges those who are planning to drink to line up a sober driver ahead of time and not to wait until the end of the night to choose the “most” sober driver. A designated driver should be licensed to drive in Colorado and should have had nothing alcoholic to drink. In place of lining up a sober driver, a drinker should call a taxi or ride-share, or use public transportation.

Supreme Court Decision

In a related news item, Peter E. Bortner writes for the Republican Herald that a June 27 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court would make it easier for some people charged with driving under the influence to challenge blood evidence against them.

The Court ruled that if blood samples are taken without search warrants and under threat of increased penalties if refused, they can not be used as evidence.

Rich Cholodofsky writes for TribLive (Tribune-Review) that defendants could also be given shorter jail sentences because of the ruling. However, one district attorney, John Peck of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, said he does not expect many “outright dismissals” because in their drunk-driving cases, prosecutors usually include counts that rely on evidence such as field sobriety tests, and not just blood alcohol tests.

The decision put new limits on state laws that make it a crime for drivers pulled over for drunken driving to refuse alcohol tests, Sam Hananel wrote for Claims Journal.

Image by Leonard Zhukovsky/123RF.

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