Feb. 25, 2009
Northwest urges motorists to drive safely this St. Pat's
The University Wellness Center and COMPASS (Caring Open-Minded Peers Assisting Student Success) Peer Educators are urging students and other members of the Northwest community to drink responsibly this St. Patrick's Day, Tuesday, March 17, and designate a sober driver before going out to celebrate.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that over the past five years 851 people have lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents on St. Patrick's Day, and that 327 of those fatalities involved a drunken driver with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08.
"St. Patrick's Day is supposed to be a time to celebrate Irish heritage and gather with friends, but it can quickly end in tragedy due to impaired driving," said Beau Dooley, Northwest's director of wellness. "If you plan on drinking, don't rely on luck to keep you safe or to keep you out of trouble. Be responsible and take appropriate precautions."
The Wellness Center recommends that St. Patrick's Day revelers take the following steps for the sake of their own safety and the safety of others:
Plan a safe way home before drinking or going out to celebrate.
If you intend to get a ride home with someone else, designate a sober driver before any drinking begins.
If you become impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
Consider using Northwest's Safe Ride Home program. Safe Ride Home operates from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday and provides transportation to safe locations for all Northwest students. Call 660.562.1245 for a Safe Ride Home.
If you spot a drunken driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
If you know someone who is about to drive a car or motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
"Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is an extremely risky thing to do," said Dooley. "If you plan on using alcohol, plan ahead and look out for your friends too."
According to NHTSA research, impaired driving remains one of America's deadliest problems. In 2007, 41,059 people nationwide were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Out of that number 12,998 died in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. To learn more, go to www.StopImpairedDriving.org .
For more information, please contact:
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
email@example.com | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
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