Drunk-driving Campaign Targets Hispanic Immigrants

Hispanic leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina have begun a campaign to stop drunk driving after a pair of fatal accidents caused by Hispanic immigrants who had been drinking. Businesses and Hispanic media are targeting immigrants where they worship, shop and drink to encourage the use of designated drivers. Hispanic leaders fear that unless they make their point, hard-working and law-abiding immigrants will experience a backlash of discrimination.

The campaign is intended to reach immigrants through T-shirt and bumper-sticker giveaways at nightclubs, public-service announcements on radio, articles and ads in Spanish-language newspapers, and posters at businesses frequented by Hispanics.

Backers include the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, La Noticia newspaper and radio stations WBZK and WNOW-AM.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is not participating in the campaign, and is instead focusing their Hispanic efforts this year on a campaign to reduce underage drinking. In August, MADD and the Ad Council launched a national, multimedia PSA campaign to increase awareness among Hispanic parents about the consequences of underage drinking. The new TV and radio PSAs and Internet information aim to educate and encourage Hispanic parents and caregivers to talk to their children about underage drinking. The PSAs, which are available in English and Spanish, inform parents that the earlier their kids start drinking, the more likely they are to abuse it.