Some of society’s trends can be funny, encouraging or even downright odd. One trend amongst teens that is no laughing matter is when they go to their social media channels and start posting about drunk driving.
MADD says that, “a disturbing trend [is emerging] in which young people brag about drunk driving and even post about deadly crashes via social media.”
The organization is sending a message to social media companies to stop promoting drunken driving via social media with the hashtag, #DrunkDrivingGoesViral.
Drinking, Driving and Social Media
Just last month, a teen in California livestreamed a crash that killed her sister via Instagram. She was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and vehicular manslaughter at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10. The nationwide legal limit is .08.
Two days later, a Pennsylvania woman used Snapchat to capture moments of her evening with a drunk driver. She and two other people were killed, and another passenger seriously injured.
National President of MADD, Colleen-Sheehey Couch, asks in a news article, “if we are raising the next generation of Ethan Couches.”
Why do young drivers normalize drunk driving?
With multiple commercials, mock presentations at schools, campaigns and more showing the tragedy and senselessness of drunk driving, some have to ask …
Why do young drivers still think it’s OK to post and tweet and share about drunk driving?
Sheehey-Church says that some recent TV shows promote drinking and driving. With other movies and TV shows bearing the same message, “our cultural complacency is translating to more needless deaths and injuries.”
Social Media and Technology
The major technological advancements over the past decade is another factor to consider. With smartphones and tablets, plus the ever-evolving world of social media, teens have an immediate access to all sorts of content from their friends.
MADD suggests a stronger commitment from Hollywood to address drunk driving as a serious issue, not a punchline. They also urge the judicial system to enforce tougher penalties on young drivers. For example, many think that Ethan Couch’s probation sentence was way too light for his crimes.
Lastly, MADD is asking all social media companies, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, to build a better process in removing all posts that promote and brag about drunken driving.
Smart Start is an alcohol monitoring company that helps with MADD’s mission to prevent drunken driving, and protect everyone against an unnecessary tragedy. Parents, there is an option to keep your teen safe on his or her nights out with friends. An Ignition Interlock that is in a vehicle will not allow someone to drive if they are over a set breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) limit.
Smart Start Will Get You Back on the Road Safely
Do you, or a loved one, need an Ignition Interlock? Interlocks are the only devices that can physically prevent someone from driving drunk in their vehicle. Voluntary, or optional, installations are available with Smart Start.