People drink to escape the weight of their problems, and yet drinking and driving can impose a grave burden on a person’s life; the festive, upbeat environment of a bar or club doesn’t jive with the idea of a life constrained by a serious DUI conviction or the idea of hurting or killing an innocent person after deciding to drink and drive.
An unidentified Los Angeles bar recently featured a brilliant public-awareness campaign to prevent drunk driving — in its men’s bathroom.
The man in the mirror
Looking in the mirror of the bar’s restroom, patrons of the bar were confronted with the image of a man whose decision to drink and drive landed him behind bars with a felony conviction.
From a screen attached to the bathroom mirror, Kris Caudilla, 32, told bargoers his story in a what looks like a livestream video. Caudilla was speaking from the RMC Correctional Facility in Lake Butler, Fla., where he is serving a 15-year sentence.
After casually greeting the stunned bar patrons, Caudilla explained that he was in prison because in January of 2010 he drunk and drove and as a result killed James Anderson, Jr., a 44-year-old police deputy and father of four.
A shocking revelation
A video shows the interactions between Caudilla and several different bar patrons. NBC News reports that, though the video appears to show a livestream, Caudilla’s statements had to be prepared in advance and played on cue — prison officials would not allow him to have live interactions with the patrons.
The video starts out innocuously enough.
“How’s it goin’?” Caudilla asks.
“Um… I’m doin’ good,” a happy patron answers, a little uncertainly.
“You havin’ a good time?” Caudilla asks.
“Uh… yeah?” a patron responds.
“How’d you get in the mirror?” someone asks.
Caudilla responds, “I don’t know if you can tell right now, but — I’m talking to you from prison.”
“I made the choice to drink… and get in a car. You don’t have to make that choice,” Caudilla says. “So take a good look in the mirror, man.”
Though their senses seem dulled from the drinks they’ve had so far, the patrons are obviously unnerved and affected by the encounter.
The PSA was created by an ad firm for We Save Lives, an organization for highway safety headed by Candace Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Candace Lightner is one of thousands who have been affected by drunk driving. According to NBC, Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter Cari was killed by a drunk driver in 1980.
Speaking with NBC, Lightner expressed frustration that despite abundant PSAs, the stats on drunk-driving have remained flat since 2010.
According to the CDC, in 2014 nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. were killed in drunk-driving crashes, which accounted for almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths in this country.
The best decision is always to NOT get behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking. If you make that mistake and find yourself in need of reliable and experienced representation, contact the Maryland DUI attorneys of Alpert Schreyer, LLC for a free consultation today. We will work to get you the best possible outcome for your case.