Winner 1987

America Undercover: Drunk and Deadly

Home Box Office

More than 50,000 Americans die on the highways each year and experts estimate that more than half of these deaths are alcohol-related. But numbers can be numbing and the number 50,000 becomes an abstraction rather than a reality. In Drunk and Deadly, accidents from a selected day are examined from the human angle so that the individual victims are made real to the viewer. Then the reality is compounded and made more tragic by adding cases one to the other so that the net experience is a true understanding of the impact of a number like 50,000. Ann Hassett and Robert Niemack of Niemack Hassett Productions, in association with Home Box Office, have provided a frightening slice of life and death during the day of May 17, 1986. Their showing of the program one year to the day later made the effect even more chilling. A Peabody is awarded to Home Box Office for humanizing an American tragedy that has, too often in the past, become merely a listing of numbers.