|TEXAS LAUNCHES UNPRECEDENTED, HARD-HITTING
Texas Department of Transportation
AUSTIN - Starting next week, 23-year-old
Jacqueline Saburido will be appearing in the hardest-hitting anti-DWI
television PSA ever aired in Texas.
Formerly a self-described "average college
kid" who enjoyed swimming, flamenco dancing and spending time
with family and friends, Jacqueline survived a fiery drunk driving
crash in Austin three years ago which left her badly burned and
disfigured. Because she passionately wants to make a contribution
to reducing drunk driving crashes, she agreed to appear in new television
commercials sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation
(TxDOT) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) that will
begin airing statewide on Monday.
"Texas still leads the nation in alcohol-related
traffic fatalities," explained TxDOT Deputy Executive Director
Steve Simmons. "And that's why, even though some may find these
images disturbing, we are grateful to Jacqui for her willingness
to help grab the attention of Texas drivers, especially teens and
younger adults, and get them to focus on the frightening consequences
of drinking and driving."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, more than 1,800 people were killed on Texas streets
and highways in 2000 in crashes involving alcohol. The DPS reports
that on average, one person is hurt every 21 minutes in an alcohol-related
crash, resulting in more than 25,000 injuries every year. Arrests
in Texas for driving while intoxicated top 90,000 annually.
"Teens and young adults are the most likely
to be involved in drunk driving crashes," said John Posey,
president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving-Heart of Texas Chapter.
"Underage drinking is also a serious problem, and that's why
we support this new campaign and applaud the courage and conviction
of Ms. Saburido."
The new TV PSA is chilling in its power and simplicity.
Jacqui is sitting in a chair holding up, in front of her face, a
framed photo of herself prior to the crash. By any standard, this
is the picture of a beautiful young woman. Continuing to hold the
photo in front of her face, she says: "My name is Jacqueline
Saburido. This is a picture of me before I was hit by a drunk driver,
before the car caught fire, before two of my friends died, before
I needed more than forty operations. This was me when my life was
just like anyone else in college." Then she lowers the photo,
revealing her now badly burned and disfigured face -- nose and ears
missing. She then says, "This is me after being hit by a drunk
driver." The commercial finishes with the announcer saying,
"Don't drink and drive...ever."
NOW, SEE THE ATTACHMENT! (Note: Graphic
If this doesn't drive the point home, nothing will.