The Social Norm: Maryland’s DUI Losers

DUI is for losersWe are all kids at heart, and hate to be told what to do, especially when it seems like such drag to stop doing what we love. Researchers have taken notice of our tendencies to thumb our noses at the “Don’t Drink and Drive” messages of years past, and have turned to more “social norming” campaigns that establish the benefits of NOT doing something risky.

That’s why we know it’s cool to stay in school, how our eggy brains look on drugs, and that friends don’t let friends drive drunk. Maryland took the social norming of anti-drunk driving to an attention-grabbing level with their “DUI is for Losers” campaign – showing the state that there were “free” rooms for drunk drivers at a prison, and providing coasters that reminded bar patrons of their “loser” status.

Just as a refresher, here’s what a “DUI loser” will lose in Maryland:

  • Your driver’s license. The only way to get it back is by installing an ignition interlock device (IID).
  • Money. A DUI in Maryland comes with plenty of court costs and fines, your insurance premiums will rise and there are your IID fees to pay, as well.
  • Your reputation. Unfortunately, drunk driving isn’t a status symbol, even if it was just a bad choice that was made one time only.
  • Your freedom. You could face jail time, you’ll probably have an ignition interlock device, you’re spending money on your DUI and you could even have some community service to fulfill.

Since the “DUI is for Losers” campaign, Maryland has taken big steps in the fight against drunk driving. There is now an emphasis on installing an ignition interlock device even before a person gets into court for their DUI charge, and the MVA can impose its own penalties outside of a DUI courtroom. It is obvious that nobody wants to be a loser, and when we don’t drink and drive, we all end up winners.

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