Deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08+ dropped in 2010, but despite this decrease, there were still 10,228 lives lost – that’s one person every 51 minutes. That makes it everyone's problem.
For many years, it seemed that people were doing their part to put a stop to this completely preventable epidemic. Alcohol-related traffic fatalities reached a low point in the late 1990s. Research also indicated that 62% of Americans exposed to the now-iconic Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk campaign had personally intervened to stop someone from driving drunk, no doubt saving countless lives.
However, since the late 90s, alcohol-related driving deaths have been steadily increasing. It seems that though the campaign was very successful, it did not change the behavior of many potential drunk drivers. Many thought the messages to be targeted at overtly drunk drivers, and not them. When decision time came, they would consider themselves merely "buzzed" and get behind the wheel.
PSAs created to address this gap were released in 2005 with the objective to inspire dialogue and recognition of the dangers of "buzzed" driving and subsequently, to motivate people to stop driving buzzed. The next installment expanded on this message, equating buzzed driving and drunk driving and demonstrating the devastating consequences that can occur as a result of driving buzzed. The most recent work, including Monkey in the Middle, focuses on the financial consequences specifically. The overall campaign hopes to educate people that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.