"Midland shoots drunk drivers" billboard sparks controversy - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

"Midland shoots drunk drivers" billboard sparks controversy

Midland Shoots Drunk Drivers (Source: KWES). Midland Shoots Drunk Drivers (Source: KWES).
MIDLAND, TX (KWES) -

If you regularly drive on Business I-20 in Midland, you have probably seen the controversial billboard, "Midland shoots drunk drivers." The organization behind the sign is speaking about its history and why they put it up in the first place.

"People I know take offense to the fact that we shoot drunk drivers," said Stop DWI CEO Charles Hodges.

Hodges said the billboard was made to get people talking. It just went up a few days ago and some say the sign is misleading.

"It leads people to believe Midland shoots people," said Traci Ausbun, a Midland driver.

Others didn't think the sign was that big of a deal.

"It's got a picture of a camera. I didn't think of guns at all the first time I read it," said Mary Ann Campos.

Some people said they didn't even know the sign exists. If you are from Midland, you know the billboard has been up and down on the same highway since 1996, when the design was first created. The camera represents the 25 cameras Stop DWI gave to DPS Troopers to help fight drunk driving.

Now, the sign is just a symbol to bring awareness.

"To me, there is no grey area. To be politically correct, in what words we choose to put up there. I just really want to get people's attention," said Hodges.

The sign got plenty of people's attention and started conversation about DWI in the area.

"I think lots of people are easily offended," said Campos.

"It would be more appropriate to put Midland stop drunk drivers than it is to shoot drunk drivers. I think they should take it down and fix it and put it back up," said Ausbun.

Stop DWI said Lamar Advertising puts the sign up every time the space is vacant, so there is no telling how long the sign will stay up.

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