"NO EXCUSE" Becomes KDOT's New Alcohol Awareness Umbrella
Kansas Department of Transportation
Bureau of Traffic Safety
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
email@example.com -or- firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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
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.