Social media has given people the power to share, and that includes the power to share stories that may get the point across that impaired driving is dangerous and can have tragic consequences. That’s what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in New Brunswick are using social media for, and they’re hoping other people will jump on and do the same.
Under the hashtag #dontdrinkanddrive, the RCMP are sharing their stories via photos on placards. If you click on the hashtag on Twitter, you’ll come up with hundreds of photos, tweets, and stories about how drunk driving has affected someone’s life or simple messages asking people to think twice before they get behind the wheel intoxicated.
New Brunswick has a higher than national average for drinking drivers, so trying an out-of-the-box type of campaign like this one is a good idea in a province that’s struggled with controlling impaired drivers. In 2011 the province toughened up their impaired driving laws by requiring warn range drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) from .05 to .08 to lose their drivers license for a week, and if you blow over .08 you’ll receive an immediate 90 day suspension.
The penalties don’t stop there: a first offense in New Brunswick will require the offender to be prohibited from driving for one year, pay a minimum of $1,150, and he or she must enroll in an alcohol education program. A first offender isn’t required to install an ignition interlock, but he or she may want to given that it will shorten their drivers license suspension.
Given the penalties and social media campaigns like #dontdrinkanddrive, it’s surprising that anyone would want to drive impaired in the province. You can see the photos and read the stories or share your own story by clicking on Twitter or searching online for the hashtag #dontdrinkanddrive.
Photo from New Brunswick RCMP Facebook page