Creepy anti-drunk driving commercials


The NHTSA has been running some anti-drunk driving ads over the past few years.  And while it’s not a bad idea to get the message out that drunk driving isn’t a good thing, I really question some of the tactics they use.

In a typical “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” commercial, It features a few people coming out of a bar or restaurant, presumably after a night of drinking as they are visibly intoxicated.  They get into the car and drive off, while you can see police officers hidden in the background watching them.  Eventually they either get pulled over or they drive through a sobriety checkpoint and they get arrested.  I’ll focus on one commercial in particular, titled by the NHTSA, “Drunk Couple Caught.”

As I mentioned in the above paragraph, each commercial has camouflaged cops in the backgrounds of several shots as shown below.

Hidden Cop

Hidden Cop 2

Hidden Cop CarIt’s a little bit creepy.  It looks like it’s the whole “someone’s watching you” bit going on there.  But I get the point they’re trying to make—cops are out there looking for drunk drivers.  Okay, I get it.  But the real issue I took with the commercial is the final scene: the breathalyzer.

Breathalyzer GunThat looks like the cop is holding a gun.  Obviously for the drama of the commercial, he’s supposed to look intimidating, but they make it look as though he’s got a gun in the guy’s mouth?

I don’t think this is message is being sent by accident.  Maybe it’s just me, but what do you think?

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It’s the usual submit to everything or your a criminal kind of thing. Really, if you wanted to put out PSA’s (nevermind the issue of doing it on the tax dollar) it should be about the potential consequences. Like what they do with the texting and driving commercials. People can die. That’s the issue, not whether you’re doing something wrong in the eyes of a guy in uniform.


I think that it is illegal for them to use public money and only depict guys as the drunk drivers or not wearing seatbelts. This has been going on for years and frankly I am sick of it. Hey NHTSA intelligent people are done with the man = bad woman = good routine. Again using public monies means you HAVE to depict everyone equally.