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"NO EXCUSE" Becomes KDOT's New Alcohol Awareness Umbrella


Kansas Department of Transportation Bureau of Traffic Safety

News Release
May 8, 2002

For more information, contact:
Rosalie Thornburgh, KDOT Bureau of Traffic Safety, (785) 296-3756
Steve Hale, Corporate Communications Group Inc. (800) 726-2990
steve_hale@ccgcorp.com -or- rosalie@ksdot.org

"NO EXCUSE"
Becomes KDOT's New Alcohol Awareness Umbrella

TOPEKA, Kan. - Alcohol awareness and drunk driving prevention programs are nothing new to the Kansas Department of Transportation. A variety of alcohol programs are currently directed and supervised by KDOT's Bureau of Traffic Safety in on-going efforts to make Kansas' roadways safer for everyone. Those programs typically dovetail with related efforts by various state agencies, law enforcement organizations, non-for-profit organizations and, to some extent, the private sector.

To unify its efforts, KDOT has adopted an all-encompassing alcohol awareness theme to serve as an umbrella for all its alcohol awareness programs. The umbrella theme: There's No Excuse for Driving Drunk.

This assertive concept relays an unmistakable message: there is simply no excuse for any kind of irresponsible behavior involving alcohol. At the same time, the unsaid message behind No Excuse is "just don't do it."

  • There's no excuse for drinking and driving.
  • There's no excuse for not having a designated driver.
  • There's no excuse for providing/selling alcohol to minors.
  • There's no excuse for hosting a teen drinking party.
  • There's no excuse for not taking the keys from a friend who's had too much to drink.

NO EXCUSE theme based on Kansans attitudes

KDOT research in recent years has shown Kansans don't take favorably to messages that "preach." That is especially the case where alcohol use is concerned. Focus group participants of various ages - but particularly younger groups - take offense to messages that make demands or place labels on drinkers.

However, Kansans connect with themes focusing on the consequences of drinking and driving.

Where younger drivers - typically those under age 30 - are concerned, the consequences of "getting caught" drinking and driving are often looked upon as personal inconveniences rather than the tragedies they might unwittingly inflict on innocent victims or even themselves. Losing one's drivers license for drinking and driving is of considerable concern to young drivers, as is the monetary cost, the stigma among peers and having to face friends and family.

Older drivers are more cognizant of the serious nature of drunk driving. Perhaps it's from the vantage point of having families of their own. Older drivers interviewed by KDOT researchers seemed more understanding of the role law enforcement officials perform in keeping drunk drivers off the road.

The There's No Excuse for Driving Drunk theme is designed to resonate with drivers of all ages.

Putting the concept to work

There's No Excuse for Driving Drunk now serves as the umbrella for an array of KDOT alcohol awareness programs. It was officially introduced at a news conference held May 6, 2002, at Sandstone Amphitheatre in Bonner Springs. Programs that fall under the NO EXCUSE umbrella include alcohol awareness initiatives that provide a state-wide approach, are community-based, media-targeted, or that take a peer-to-peer approach in addressing the issues of under-age drinking or drinking and driving.

KDOT's singular purpose behind its alcohol awareness initiatives is to reduce alcohol-related traffic crashes, save lives, prevent injuries, reduce traffic-related health care and economic costs and the tragedies related to drunk driving. Kansas streets and highways become all the more safe by elevating public awareness of drunk driving issues.