LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -St. Patrick's Day is the third deadliest holiday on Oklahoma's roads, so the state's ENDUI program is taking to social media in hopes of changing that.
The program increases routine traffic enforcement during times of high travel, such as holidays. The initiative has had a social media presence since it started on the streets in November 2014, but now ENDUI is upping its social media push through targeted ads and attention-grabbing videos online.
They're trying to appeal to young 21- to 35-year-old drivers who are more apt to use alcohol or drugs and choose to drive.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol safety communications manager Katie Mueller says based on Oklahoma crash statistics, millennials are the most vulnerable to drink and drive.
"The age group that is most affected by drug and alcohol crashes in Oklahoma is the, you know, 18 to 35 age group and, coincidentally, those are the largest consumers of digital and social media," Mueller said.
Mueller says this current marketing campaign is the initial big push online. She says only time will tell about its impact.
"We evaluate the campaign based on clicks back to our website. As well as we also evaluate it based on impressions and where the traffic is coming from. You know, is it coming from mobile, is it coming from desktop," Mueller said.
Recent additions to the ENDUI website include an interactive map to look at DUI checkpoint statistics in your area.
Out on the streets, Trooper John Hoover says he has seen a change in the number of alcohol related crashes because of the ENDUI program.
"The numbers for St. Patrick's Day last year was down from the year before. So, with the program being in effect the last couple of years, I think it is starting to make an impact and people have become more aware of the issues with drinking and driving," Trooper Hoover said.
Trooper Hoover says on average, a DUI can cost a person about $5,000 in court costs and at a minimum that person would lose their license for six months.
"Program a couple of cell phone numbers for taxi cabs in your cell phone with you. Make sure you have some type of transportation to get home if you decide to drink. It's a whole lot cheaper to get a cab than it is to get picked up for a DUI," Trooper Hoover said.
Trooper Hoover says last year, about 28 percent of all the collisions around St. Patrick's Day were alcohol-related.
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