President Clinton, Hollywood Studios and TV Networks Join Harvard in Holiday
For immediate release: December 15, 2000
Boston, MA. -- In anticipation of an increase in alcohol-related traffic fatalities during the holiday season, President Bill Clinton and the TV industry have joined forces with the Harvard School of Public Health this month in a "designated driver" media campaign. An estimated 500 people may lose their lives in alcohol-related crashes over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
For the tenth year in a row, at Harvard's request, the President of the United States has videotaped a public service announcement (PSA) encouraging the use of designated drivers for broadcast on network television and local stations between now and New Year’s.
President Clinton’s message will air on all the major broadcast networks and on 45 national and regional cable networks. In addition, the National Association of Broadcasters is distributing the President’s message by satellite to all local television stations. Some networks also plan to broadcast "designated driver" PSAs featuring their own stars.
Here is the text of President Clinton's message:
"We’ve made tremendous progress in our fight against drunk driving. Just this year, I signed a law that sets a national standard at .08 blood alcohol content. But alcohol-related fatalities still claim the lives of too many Americans. So if you drink, drink in moderation, and choose a designated driver who doesn’t drink at all. Remember, this holiday season, the designated driver is the life of the party. Don’t drink and drive."
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For the past 12 years, the Center for Health Communication of the Harvard School of Public Health has spearheaded the National Designated Driver Campaign in collaboration with the television industry and Hollywood studios. Launched in late 1988, the Campaign soon became transformed into a national movement. A broad range of prominent individuals, government agencies, national organizations and advocacy groups, professional sports leagues, major corporations, police departments, and brewers and distillers have endorsed and promoted the designated driver concept. According to a 1998 Roper Poll, 53% of all U.S. adults who drink, and 64% of young adults aged 18-29, have served as a designated driver or been driven home by one. Among frequent drinkers who consumed five or more drinks in the past seven days, 62% had served as a designated driver and/or been driven home by one.
When the National Designated Driver Campaign was launched in late 1988, annual alcohol-related traffic fatalities stood at 23,626. In 1999, fatalities reached a record low of 15,786. Since 1988, more than 61,000 lives have been saved due to a combination of tough laws, strict enforcement and the widespread use of designated drivers.
For further information, please contact:
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115