Bar-goers visiting a restroom of a Los Angeles bar were in for a horrifying surprise one day, when a prisoner showed up in the mirror to tell them the dangers of drunk driving.
What the bar patrons saw in the mirror was not a hallucination though, but a recorded video to deliver a serious message.
Kris Caudilla, 32, a prisoner from the RMC Correctional Facility in Lake Butler, Florida, exchanged pleasantries with the patrons before he shared his tragic story.
“One night, I was drinking out with friends. I got in the car and killed somebody,” Caudilla told the patrons. “The man I killed was a police officer, he had four children, a wife and I took him away from them.”
Caudilla was handed a 15-year sentence for causing the death of St. Johns County, Florida sheriff’s deputy, James Anderson Jr., on Jan. 14, 2010.
Upon hearing Caudilla’s story, the patrons were stunned.
“Is this a joke?” one confused patron queried.
“No, I wish it was,” Caudilla replied.
Caudilla looked as if he were interacting live with the patrons. But, according to NBC News, his answers were actually recorded beforehand, and played via the monitor behind the mirror in accordance with the patrons’ response.
“So, take a good look at the mirror man. Should you be driving tonight?” Caudilla asked.
The question hit the unsuspecting patrons hard.
“I made the choice to drink, I made the choice to get in the car, you don’t have to make that choice….I thought I was invincible,” Caudilla said. “Be safe out there.”
Hopefully, this was a lesson these guys won’t forget.
It turns out this powerful message delivered via the mirror monitor was contrived by the Y&R Miami Bravo advertising agency for their client—We Save Lives, a non-profit organization initiated to change the nation’s attitude toward drunk driving.
These unusual restroom encounters were made into a 3-minute public service announcement (PSA) titled, “Reflections from Inside.”
“I think about the man I killed in the crash all the time,” Caudilla said in the PSA. “I kind of try to replay the scene in my head and see where things went wrong but mostly I just think about him and his family.”
The PSA aimed to remind people about the devastating consequences of drunk driving, and their video has received more than 7.5 million views on YouTube since it was published on March 30, 2016.
“We often hear from the victims of impaired driving but to our knowledge this is the first time a convicted felon who is now in prison has come forward to do a PSA about the tragic consequences of drinking and driving,” said Candace Lightner, president of We Save Lives and founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in a press release.
“We believe Kris’s message will save lives.”
According to MADD, “Every day in America, another 29 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. That’s one person every 50 minutes.”
Be responsible. Don’t drink and drive. If you plan to drink, arrange for a family member, friend, or taxi to get you home safely.