Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety along with Director Peter Alviti Jr, Rhode Island Department of Transportation are excited to announce the launch of a new media initiative entitled “Beyond the Crash”, a video series examining the personal toll of bad choices made by impaired drivers.

As the holiday season begins, The Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s Office of Highway Safety will launch the new media initiative designed to curb impaired driving on Rhode Island roadways. Beyond the Crash is an edgy, dramatic and sobering social media driven campaign that examines the toll wrought by impaired driving crashes, as told in raw personal terms by the troopers who are often the first responders to these incidents. The unforeseen swell of destruction is the story. The hope, by all involved, is to change behavior by leaving a lasting impression of the impact.

Impaired driving can be deadly. A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair judgment and reaction times enough to make driving unsafe. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 10,265 people – 29 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States that year – were killed in crashes that involved an impaired driver.

Rhode Island State Police Colonel Ann C. Assumpico said, “the ripple of destruction beyond a crash that often involves a fatality is unexpected and vast. From the troopers who respond and often see very terrible things to all of the people whose lives intersect with the victim or offender, the ramifications are far-reaching, devastating and life-altering. With the videos and TV spots we’ve developed, we hope that we can at least get a conversation started, change some bad behavior and reach those who might otherwise continue to make bad choices.”

“Behind each fatal statistic is a real person with family and others who loved them and they are gone forever. This campaign is about raising awareness in a way that the public hasn’t seen before. To think about what happens to those who love you. Hopefully, what you see from the troopers who participated, is their honest and personal effort to create a moment of awareness that might change a moment of bad choices,” added Lieutenant Colonel Kevin M. Barry, one of the troopers featured in the series.

Funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and produced by RDW Group, Phantasm Pictures and Millcove Productions, the 7- part series includes first person narratives from seven troopers who recount their work including on-scene memories, death notifications and crash reconstruction. Each of the seven episodes is about 3-minutes in length.

Gabrielle Abbate, Chief of Highway Safety for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation added that she was moved by the honest depiction of the part of the story rarely told. “I won’t kid you; some of it is hard to watch. It’s riveting and sad and awful and human all at once. Our first responders, in this case our troopers, are human beings. They have a job to do and they do it,’ she said. “But they are still human beings and the toll of these senseless impaired driving tragedies stay with them.”

Director Peter Alviti, Jr, Rhode Island Department of Transportation added, “each member of the coalition that has come together today to kick off this awareness campaign for impaired driving is deeply committed to one goal – the goal of zero – zero deaths from impaired driving in Rhode Island. Today we launch a renewed effort to reach that goal and I am proud to tell you that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is completely on board and ready to go.”

The series will begin on the social media platforms hosted by the Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, including sponsored content, on Monday, November 14, 2016 and continuing through New Year’s Day. In addition, 30 and 60 second TV spots will air in the Thanksgiving time period – plus a 30-second spot will air on over 80 movie screens in Rhode Island from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.