DUI Ads Hit Home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/29/04

DUI Ads Hit Home

The seven Project Roadblock messages show young people in the prime of their lives, all killed by drunk drivers.

We asked Ann Lee and State Trooper Joe Gazzo to watch them. It's the last ad, the one that shows three smiling youngsters who died in the same crash, that really gets to Lee. 

"Oh my God," she says. "Oh, gosh, three and that's not an isolated incident. There are so many people that's lost whole families or ya know more than one child."

Lee lives with that pain every day. A 17-year old drunk driver killed her four year old daughter, Whitney, on Super Bowl Sunday, 1995.

Lee says public service ads like these always remind her of the loss and grief that families everywhere share. 

"I think these are a lot more effective than just throwing numbers at people. You have to put that human face on all of these tragedies. You have to have a human face. And as short as these clips are it still lets you see a glimpse of their life and see a little bit of what they're like."

State Trooper Joe Gazzo says the images are powerful but hit home only to some people. 

"To a hard core drunk it's not gonna affect 'em, one that goes out there and gets two or three DUI's. They've got a problem and the film's not gonna help 'em."  

But Gazzo and Lee say the messages are needed because the consequences are so high.

by Marcia Hill

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