State Highway Safety Showcase
2012 Summer DWI and Traffic Safety Campaign
For nearly 10 years, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) had branded its DWI campaigns "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose." And, until 2010 – while the majority of DWI fatalities in New Mexico were attributed to first time offenders – this approach resonated.
However, by 2010 data revealed a significant change in DWI fatality statistics. Per the Santa Fe New Mexican (June, 2012), “Nearly 60 percent of alcohol-related traffic deaths last year (2011) involved a driver with more than one arrest or conviction for drunken driving according to a new analysis by the Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Bureau. That’s up from 35 percent in 2009 and 47 per cent in 2010....” This reversal made it incumbent to seek a new message platform. Continued use of the historic “You drink. You drive. You Lose.” could no longer be justified. How could anyone (certainly DWI victims and victim's families) believe that DWI offenders "lost" if they were repeat offenders?
The new campaign is expressed in contemporary, short hand vernacular. ENDWI is a graphically compelling campaign that calls on all New Mexicans to help end DWI. Campaign tactics included television, radio, various out-of-home advertising methods, innovative check point and event giveaways, and an ENDWI campaign website that helped keep the campaign message in front of the public.
NMDOT also launched a free ENDWI smartphone app, designed to put the power to prevent DWI "in the palm of your hand." It is a tool kit full of great information and useful educational tools to help folks stay safe. These tools include a "Blood Alcohol Guide" based on entering gender, weight, alcohol consumption and time elapsed from consuming alcohol to determine estimated BAC levels, a "Test Your Skills" section where app users can engage in games to test their reaction times and memory, DWI facts regarding New Mexico laws and programs. In addition, the app gives users a quick and easy way to call a local cab or to call or text a designated driver from their personal contacts. Plus, app users can press the #DWI button to call and report drunk drivers. The free ENDWI app is available to both Android and iPhone users and can be downloaded by scanning a QR code or going to endwi.com.
Preliminary data indicate that the campaign is working. Unofficially, from July through December, 2012, there were 58 alcohol involved fatalities, compared to 95 alcohol related fatalities for the same period in 2011. According to the NM Traffic Safety Bureau Fatality Summary Report (preliminary numbers which may change), from January through May 19, 2013 there have been 38 Alcohol Involved fatalities, compared to 74 in 2012 -- a decrease of 48.6%.
The department further solidified the shorthand ENDWI "brand" message by launching two similarly catchy outdoor campaign messages: DNTXT and BLKUP. NMDOT continues to flesh out the campaign "brand" this year and motivate New Mexicans to all do their part to help ENDWI, encourage them to BKLUP, and urge that they DNTXT.
- Michael Sandoval, Director
NMDOT/Transportation Planning and Safety Division