The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2011 there were 9,878 drunk driving fatalities.

Statistics show that buzzed and drunk driving will impact one in three drivers in our community this holiday season alone.

Unison Behavioral Health Group has launched its “Designate a Sober Driver” campaign for the holiday season. The campaign, funded by the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, focuses on the highest risk driving population – young men ages 16 to 25. Components of the campaign include outdoor advertising, social media and public education.

The message is simple – buzzed driving is drunk driving so designate a sober driver this holiday season. The campaign is scheduled to run through January 2.

“Most people don’t intend to drive drunk,” says Dr. Larry Hamme, Unison’s chief clinical officer. “But, at the end of the night, too many try to convince themselves and their friends that they aren’t drunk, just buzzed, and are perfectly capable of driving.”

Being buzzed means being too impaired to drive. Understanding this and planning appropriately can save lives, Dr. Hamme added.

Unison Behavioral Health Group recommends these simple tips for a safe holiday season:

• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

• Before drinking or partying, designate a sober driver.

• If you’re buzzed, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

• If you happen to see a drunk or impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911 to report the vehicle.

• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.

For more information, visit www.unisonbhg.org.

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