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South Dakota’s ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ Campaign. Need I Say More?

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Jan 06, 2015 | 0 Comments


There is a Mad Men-related joke in here somewhere. Perhaps it would reference Don Draper's extramarital proclivities. Or, perhaps it is the brainchild of a client's subordinate that Pete Campbell becomes too enthusiastic about, which leads Pete into making the most inopportune of comments at the most inopportune of times.

Regardless of the situation, it is easy to imagine Matthew Weiner's award-winning show featuring a joke or two about a driving safety campaign whose message was poorly crafted, even if well-intentioned.

This is not a work of fiction.

A few weeks ago, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety debuted a new ad campaign aimed at reducing the amount of accidents during inclement weather. One of the leading causes of accidents during inclement weather is turning the steering wheel quickly, which can cause the vehicle to lose grip and act unpredictably.

As much poor weather as South Dakota gets, a public safety campaign intended to remind drivers to operate their vehicles smoothly when the roads are covered with snow or ice makes complete sense.

The ad campaign, the brainchild of a Sioux Falls ad agency, was aggressive to say the least. It appeared quickly over the airwaves and on billboards statewide. The message? Don't jerk and drive.

Billboards featuring the message also included helpful tips on how to recover after losing control. The key? Let off the gas to get control back, and then re-enter traffic.

The campaign, which was hugely popular on social media, lasted about a week. It was pulled from the state early last week. An ad remains on YouTube.

Lines about hormone-fueled teenagers or busy working fathers with long commutes aside, there is an important lesson underneath the poor execution of the campaign. Sudden movements of your steering wheel can cause accidents on the highway and can also lead to unwanted attention for the police.

I often have clients who are accused of a DUI because they made a sudden movement on the roadway that lead a police officer to think that they were intoxicated behind the wheel. Such jerking movements are something that officers often look for when patrolling for those driving under the influence.

Roadway safety and poorly conceived ad campaigns aside, maintaining a straight course on the roadway is a good way to avoid being pulled over for suspicion of DUI.

If you have been charged with a DUI in or around Seattle in King, Pierce, or Snohomish counties, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney, regardless of whether you jerked while driving or not.

An experienced attorney can help you get your license back more quickly and will ensure that your rights are protected. If you have been accused of driving under the influence, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold for a free consultation. 206-971-0067

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.


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