The Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving kicked-off a new anti-drunk-driving ad campaign this week, featuring print, radio and television ads that tell the story of the eight University of Wyoming Cross-country runners who were killed by a drunk driver south of Laramie in 2001.
Their deaths marked the single most fatal drunk driving accident in state history.
Council Co-chair and Natrona County District Attorney, Mike Blonigen says that the campaign can be summed up by the final line of its print ad: “Drunk driving kills; Stop driving drunk.”
Even when unharmed physically, according to Blonigen, drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents are often overwhelmed by the harm they’ve caused.
“I see these people in court and 98% of the folks involved in serious injury or death DUI’s, those people are devastated too,” says Blonigen “because they didn’t mean to hurt anybody. They really didn’t. And that remorse is genuine. The problem is, it’s too late.”
50 people per year have died in Wyoming due to alcohol related car crashes over the past 12 years. However officials say those numbers have declined over the last two years. Blonigen says that while public awareness of impaired driving has increased in recent years, the average drunk driver in the state still has a blood alcohol content that is twice the legal driving limit.