ALBUQUERQUE, (KRQE) - The New Mexico Department of Transportation is exploring a new way to communicate the dangers of drunk driving, using comedy and a new character to capture attention.
Crash scenes, emergency room visits and grave sites. Those are just a few of the images New Mexicans are used to seeing in public service announcements broadcast statewide courtesy of NMDOT.
The spots are meant to showcase the consequences of drinking and driving.
NMDOT Spokesperson Melissa Dosher said those messages have been successful over the years, so she said it's time for a change.
"We want to rotate our messages so the public doesn't become de-sensitized or stops paying attention to them," Dosher said.
To that end, they have created a comedic character named Dwight Goodman to star in new spots.
You can see the PSA here.
"They wanted to model him after John Candy in the movie 'Uncle Buck,' ya know, the jolly guy sitting next to you in the car," said Dosher.
The PSA's are a shift not only in message from consequence to prevention, but also in tone from dramatic to comedic.
"These ads are specifically targeting the 15 to 34-year-old audience and these drivers are the most likely to engage in risky or even deadly driving behavior," Dosher said.
The new spots hit the air and radio waves in June as part of Albuquerque's 100 Days and Nights of Summer.
Dwight is played by an actor out of Los Angeles, but all the spots are filmed here and have a lot of New Mexico flavor.
So far, the DOT said the feedback on the new campaign and Dwight has been mostly positive.
In addition to the DWI spot, there is also a distracted driving and a seat belt spot the department shot with Dwight.
In all, those PSA's cost $300,000 to make.
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