Thursday, November 4, 2010

Female Drunk Drivers on the Rise

The Quincy (Mass.) Patriot Ledger has spent years investigating the impact of drunk driving.

In its longterm series, Driving to Endanger, the newspaper takes an in-depth look at the arrests of dozens of repeat drunken drivers, and the legal system that lackadaisically processes them, and concludes: "In Massachusetts, drunken driving is still considered a petty crime."

More recently the Ledger has looked at the significant rise in the number of female drunk drivers. "Nationwide, the FBI found that while male drunken driving arrests fell 8.8 percent from 1999 to 2009, the number of women similarly caught soared 41.8 percent."

Award-winning staff photographer Amelia Kunhardt explored the issue of women and drunken driving while on a six-month Kiplinger Fellowship on multimedia storytelling earlier this year at Ohio State University. Her efforts resulted in a series of seven videos that took first place in the NPPA monthly contest in the multimedia category for October 2010.

Kunhardt interviews a number of women who have been arrested for drunk driving. She focuses especially on the case of Marybeth Frisoli, who was sentenced to six months in jail for a drunk-driving accident that cost motorcyclist Mark Cronin his leg. The video follows the courtroom proceedings, introduces us to the victim, and shows the impact of Frisoli's misdeeds.

Watch the seven videos produced for this special report here. Introductory overview below:

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