Springfield, MO December 21, 2009 -- For the coming two weeks, Aaron Sachs & Associates will saturate the Southwest Missouri television market with TV spots to combat the anticipated seasonal surge in drunk driving. The campaign starts Monday 21st, and will run until the first days of January. Areas served by stations KOLR-10 Ozarks First and Ozarks FOX Channel 27 in Springfield, and KSNF-TV and KODE-12 in Joplin, will feature together over 500 cause-and-effect public service announcements. The FOX station in Cape Girardeau will also feature primetime spots of a similar nature. Sachs' firm already has banner advertising with the theme "buzzed driving is drunk driving" running on the Ozarks First home page, at http://ozarksfirst.com.
The spots will emphasize the consequences of drinking and driving, rather than just a "don't do it" message. "Many otherwise sensible people," says Aaron Sachs, "see the consequences of getting in the car after drinking as risking being stopped by the police, getting a ticket and having to go to court. That's actually the best of possible outcomes for an impaired driver. As personal injury attorneys, we all too often have to deal with worst-case scenarios."
Two of the spots feature examples of real tragedies. One recounts the case of John Elliott, an Ensign at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. On July 22, 2000, John and his girlfriend were on their way from Annapolis to his home. He had just graduated from the Academy and the couple were on their way to celebrate John's mother's birthday. An SUV crossed the median into Elliott's lane and struck his car head-on, killing the driver and Elliott, and seriously injuring his girlfriend. It was afterwards established that the driver had been stopped on a DWI just hours before. He had been charged and released, only to get behind the wheel again.
The other is the case of Jeff Pickler, a high-schooler, who was killed in a similarly tragic and avoidable accident, by a drunk driver. "This is the ugly side of holiday celebrations," Sachs states. "As attorneys, we have to deal with the deadly results of drinking and driving."
The campaign comes at a time when both law enforcement and civic organizations are concentrating on the problem. Earlier this year, representatives of MADD assisted police at sobriety checkpoints in Missouri, and as recently as December 10 of this year, local TV news stations including those above featured Governor Nixon's desire to reform and intensify Missouri's DUI laws, a move Aaron Sachs applauds. "Enforcement and attention to the problem produce results," is Sachs' opinion. "Twenty years ago, in 1989, out of 890 fatalities in Missouri traffic accidents, alcohol was a factor in 54% of them. By 2000, fatalities had increased, but alcohol-involvement dropped to 45%. Last year, fatalities were back below 1,000 again, and the figure for alcohol-involvement was down to 38%. Since a combination of enforcement and awareness is shown to work, we need to maintain and increase our efforts on behalf of the community."
Aaron Sachs and Associates' personal injury law offices are located in Springfield, Joplin, Columbia and, most recently, Cape Girardeau. Their community-service outreach program is covered in much greater detail on their website: www.autoinjury.com under the "community service" header.