There wasn't a counter-terrorist agent powerful enough or a White House
operative with enough strings to pull Kiefer Sutherland out of jail
after he was recently sentenced to serve 48 days in jail for his
second drunken-driving arrest in three years.
Kiefer immediately reported to a lockup in Glendale City Jail, saying "I'm very disappointed in myself for the poor judgment I exhibited recently, and I'm deeply sorry for the disappointment and distress this has caused my family, friends and co-workers."
With that, Kiefer becomes the unofficial poster child of an unprecedented holiday outreach campaign meant to educate the managers, publicists, and agents who handle celebrities, athletes, business executives and other public figures, about considering a chauffeured transportation service as an alternative to allowing their clients drive under the influence.
As part of the campaign, Jeff Greene, president of the NLA, is contacting the "gatekeepers" of the leading and most visible personalities in sports, business, and entertainment industries and reminding them that they hold much of the responsibility in making sure that their client arrives home safely. The timing of this campaign is essential because, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there is a significant increase in the number of alcohol-related crashes as the holiday season draws near.
Recent incidences involving such celebrities as Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan leave many of us wondering why they don't just hire a driver? It seems like such a no-brainer.
"Most high-profile individuals don't make driving arrangements
themselves, and instead look to their managers, assistants, and agents
to do that for them," says Greene. "For this reason, we are targeting
our campaign towards those individuals as a wake-up call that
chauffeured transportation is the right solution for their clients." By
arranging chauffeured transportation, these gatekeepers can help ensure
that their clients will avoid adverse publicity, law suits, and the
additional financial consequences that accompany driving under the
influence. After all, it's way cheaper to hire a private driver than it
is to pay the fines and attorney's fees resulting from a DUI. Forget
about the legal fees, what about the cost of the negative press, or
(even worse!) damages to property or human life?
I want to state a pretty obvious point. It's the holiday season, one of the biggest times of the year for drinking and driving. Even though Kiefer et al are easy targets, it doesn't matter whether you are a famous celebrity, or just wish you were: Regardless of your background, if you're going to be imbibing at holiday gatherings, hire a professional driver.
With more than 2300 members, the National Limousine Association makes it easy to find chauffeured transportation, in vehicles ranging from a stretch limousine to an anonymous luxury sedan. They can transport you, your friends, and family safely and discreetly in the the vehicle of your choice at rates significantly below what it costs to pay DUI fees.
As part of its awareness campaign, the NLA is encouraging entertainment and business organizations to plan ahead this season by visiting www.nlaride.com to find a local NLA member owner/operator. As a blogger interested in safety and family, I am encouraging EVERYONE to follow this example. Each NLA member adheres to a voluntary, but rigorous, set of standards including discretion and protocol, vehicle inspections, chauffeur training, background checks, and suggested guidelines for owners/operators.
For additional information please call 800-652-7007 or visit www.limo.org or www.nlaride.com. Travel safe during the holidays.
Kiefer Sutherland Photo Credit: REUTERS/Glendale California Police Department/Handout
By Brandy Schaffels