DRUNK DRIVING IN BRAZIL: National A Epidemic
RECORD DEATHS, BLITZ CONTROVERSY, POLICE CHECKPOINTS, PROVOCATIVE AD CAMPAIGNS, RANDOM BREATHALIZING, & A DRUNK VALET
“a famosa lei seca, que esta apavorando muitos”
If you’ve been to Brazil, you have probably seen ads like these, meant to make people think twice about driving drunk (although since they are billboards on the road, wouldn’t people already be reading them, as they are driving drunk):
In fact, drunk driving has historically been a HUGE problem in Brazil, it is completely commonplace and used to be rarely monitored or policed. After drunk driving accidents came to a critical peak, Brazil passed the “Lei Seca,” “dry law” and now people seem more scared to drive drunk at night. Now under the dry law, brazil has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving, so you cannot drive with even trace amounts of alcohol in yur system. Since the lei seca was passed I have noticed a great increase in the number of blitz, which is the Portuguese word for when cops create a roadblock and test everyone’s blood alcohol level with a breathalyzer, called a bafômetro in Portuguese, (“bafo” means “breath”). (The word blitz comes from German.) Here are some pics of what a typical blitz may look like, yes they are intimidating:
The prevalence of the blitz has pissed a lot of Brazilians off, but all in all it seems to be working. Despite the controversy (“controversy” in Portuguese is “polêmica“), ads and billboards against drunk driving have also become more common throughout Brazil, as the government continues to heavily campaign against this dangerous aspect of Brazilian culture.
Two bars in São Paulo, Bar Aurora and Boteco Ferraz, have innovated an incredibly clever marketing strategy, and they’ve created several commercials that have even won awards at Cannes. The concept is to campaign against drunk driving, by promoting the idea “se beber, não dirija” - “if you drink, don’t drive.”
Here is one short and funny film “the drunk valet,” one such brazilian advertisement against drunk driving. Would you let a valet who was clearly drunk drive your car?….