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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Combating DUIs, Designating Drivers

SDSU teamed up with the community to discourage drinking and driving.
By Hallie Jacobs

According to James Lange, director of health promotion for Student Health Services at San Diego State University, about 1,800 college students die every year from alcohol-related incidents. 

Marian Novak and James Lange
Marian Novak, the coalition manager for RADD California, and SDSU’s James Lange at the RADD awards.

More than 75 percent of these deaths involve vehicles.

To ensure SDSU students have a safe environment, Dr. Lange and his team in Health Promotion have been working with Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving (RADD) — an internationally recognized non-profit organization that empowers celebrities and media partners to create positive attitudes about road safety.

“The college component of RADD's California Coalition promotes planning ahead to prevent and avoid impaired driving,” Lange said. “Designated drivers are a great way for a group to be sure they’ll have a sober and safe ride home.”

SDSU's commitment to student safety was recognized at the annual RADD Awards, where Health Promotion took home a Spirit Award for a "large-scale campus-community event alliance."

SDSU is a founding member of the statewide coalition that has now grown to 26 campuses across the state.

A safer community

SDSU’s Health Promotion department reached out to numerous restaurants and bars in San Diego to promote RADD's values. Establishments readily agreed to participate, and in turn are offering perks — such as free, non-alcoholic beverages — for designated drivers to discourage drinking and driving.

"All the establishments have been very interested in participating," Lange said. "The response we've had has been nothing but positive."

Bars and restaurants in Pacific Beach and the Gaslamp Quarter are already on board with the initiative, and more areas of San Diego are getting involved.

"It's great that the establishments are recognizing the value of the initiative and are happy to get involved to promote safety," Lange said.  

About RADD

College is RADD is a California College DUI Awareness Project by RADD — the entertainment industry’s voice for road safety.

With a combined enrollment of over 462,000 students, the program promotes alcohol-free driving through RADD’s designated driver rewards program.

The purpose of the Spirit Awards is to recognize individuals, government leaders, businesses and student organizations that demonstrated outstanding support for RADD’s efforts to educate citizens of the dangers of drunk driving and help bring an end to DUI arrests, deaths and injuries among ages 18 to 34 throughout California.