Republic of Palau: DeWill2Live – Reducing Drunk Driving To Save Lives
Alcohol abuse is one of Palau’s top eight health concerns, and driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious problem there. More than 90 DUI cases were reported by Palau authorities in 2014. Surveys revealed that half of all high school students rode with drivers who were drinking alcohol, and nearly one in five students drove a car while consuming alcohol. Motor vehicle safety laws in Palau had not sufficiently addressed the drinking and driving problem. In 2008, Palau launched an anti-drunk driving campaign called “DeWill2Live,” named after DeWill Reklai, a young man who had been killed by a drunk driver. The Republic of Palau’s Bureau of Public Health used Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant funds to continue and expand DeWill2Live to reach more youth about the dangers of drunk driving.
DeWill2Live began as a collaboration between Reklai’s family and the Ministry of Health. The campaign promotes awareness of drunk driving prevention among preteens and teens. The campaign involves partners and stakeholders from community groups, businesses, and schools who share the mission to prevent drunk driving through awareness and public education. Every year, Palau holds a candlelight vigil, promotes anti-drunk driving messages through a billboard roadside campaign, and sponsors school-based presentations featuring anti-DUI messages. More than 500 people throughout Palau support the campaign and participate in its activities.
As a result of funding provided by the PHHS Block Grant, Palau was able to launch its first ongoing anti-drunk driving campaign.
Story year: 2015