- Associated Press - Thursday, January 25, 2018

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Omaha police and Hispanic community leaders are spreading the message in two languages: It’s wrong to drink and drive.

The Latino Police Officers Association, Hispanic community group La Casa del Pueblo and Lamar Outdoor Advertising are working together to create 11 bilingual billboards warning of the dangers of drunk driving, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

The digital displays feature a picture of a person in handcuffs. A message warning against drunk driving is displayed alternately in English and Spanish.

“We need to educate people that drinking and driving is not OK,” said Capt. Kathy Gonzalez of the Omaha Police Department. “We’re always looking for more effective ways to tell the public that those driving while impaired will be caught. It’s another opportunity to get the message out.”

The area has long been in need of a Spanish language anti-drunken-driving campaign, said Ben Salazar, a community organizer with La Casa del Pueblo.

“Not enough attention has been drawn to this problem in the Spanish-speaking community,” Salazar said. “It’s been bothering me for several years and causes me great pain every time a Hispanic driver causes mayhem in the streets.”

The billboards are just the first portion of a larger campaign, which will spread to TV, radio magazines and newspapers.

Alcohol impairment is involved in nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. There were nearly 10,500 people killed in crashes involving a drunken driver in 2016.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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