Public Awareness Recommendations Public Awareness 2004 recommendation: Legislative measures alone are not the answer. A priority needs to be placed on educating the general public regarding the life- altering dilemmas faced by children who have no choice in riding with an impaired driver. Additionally, there needs to be an emphasis on reporting incidences to law enforcement and appropriate child protective service agencies. 2017 update: The 2017 panel agrees with the recommendations above and offers some specific suggestions on ways to promote public awareness: • Incorporate child endangerment messaging into other MADD campaigns and initiatives, including the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and underage drinking programs. • Create tip sheets that can be downloaded and disseminated to target audiences and that cover topics such as how to handle a drunk driving child endangerment situation and how to report it. Potential target audiences include kids, medical professionals, child care staff and restaurant personnel. • Develop a public service announcement that can be used on social media. • Partner with the auto and safety industries to place child endangerment messaging on auto visors and child safety seats. • Educate the media on the importance of using the word crash as opposed to accident when referring to drunk driving crashes. The use of the word accident ignores the fact that a drunk or drugged driver knowingly and willingly chose to turn their vehicle into a weapon. “Not a Drop” The 2017 panel also recommends using language such as “Not a Drop,” which discourages drivers from getting into a car with a child after even a single drop of alcohol. When people drink alcohol, it diminishes their judgment and they often underestimate their level of intoxication. Educating the public that a child’s life is worth avoiding the consumption of alcohol before driving with a child, reinforces the mortal dangers of drunk driving. Victim Services Recommendations The 2017 panel recommends increased training for MADD staff and volunteers who respond to victims calling about potential child endangerment. This includes a specific webinar on how to handle child endangerment calls, potential resources and interventions that callers may pursue, and a talking points tip sheet that every staff person and volunteer can refer to when responding to such calls.
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