Advocating for legislative change related to drinking and driving in Mexico
Víctimas de Violencia Vial (VIVIAC) operates in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Since its establishment as a nongovernmental organization in 2009, the organization has used a combination of tactics to influence revision of the state's legislation on drinking and driving. As an association of victims, a key strategy has been to facilitate opportunities for victims and their families to share their personal stories with influential groups in society.
VIVIAC has led a drive to take the road safety cause to state and local legislatures. Under the banner “Legislando para la Vida” or “Legislating for Life” VIVIAC has used these for a as occasions not only to describe the nature and consequences of road traffic injuries for individuals, but also to promote stronger road safety legislation, including legislation on drinking and driving.
VIVIAC has regularly organized interviews with victims and their families and representatives of the state's broadcast and print media. Through television and radio talk-shows, the public hears at first hand from victims themselves about the devastation caused by road traffic crashes and the long-term impact this has had on their lives. Again, this also provides an opportunity to educate the public about the need for stricter laws and more stringent law enforcement.
VIVIAC also invites representatives of other nongovernmental organisations, concerned citizens and the media to join "citizen observatories", in which victims of road traffic crashes and their families join the police as they conduct random breath-tests on drivers. This is one component of a broader campaign to end drinking and driving.
In September 2010, with the backing of the three main political parties, the state of Jalisco revised its drinking and driving legislation, which now sets a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05 g/dl as an upper limit for the general driving population and a BAC level of 0.00 g/dl for drivers of public transport vehicles. Also as part of this new legislation, penalties have been made more severe for those who break the law. Owing in part to the advocacy efforts of VIVIAC and other nongovernmental organisations which comprise the “Collectivo Ciudadano” or “Citizen’s Collective," the state has seen a decline in drinking and driving fatalities since the law was enacted. With support from some key government ministries, VIVIAC and its partners are currently considering advocacy campaigns about other issues such as seat-belts, child restraints and helmets for motorcyclists