Bexley News

'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over'

Police again join campaign against drunken driving

Alcohol played a part in 37 of last year's 87 traffic fatalities in Franklin County

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With Green Lawn Cemetery as a backdrop, local law-enforcement officials launched this year's Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign last week.

As part of the national effort, local law-enforcement agencies, including the Franklin County DUI Task Force, will work together to get drunken drivers off the roads.

The campaign, announced Friday, Aug. 16, in front of the Huntington Chapel, will run through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

Speaker Randy Young expressed the pain he felt when he lost his stepdaughter to a drunken-driving accident 22 years ago. At the time, Tanya Stage was a student at Washington Court House High School.

"Some parents react with anger and frustration of not getting justice for their child's death," said Young, state program coordinator for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"I've seen couples slowly stop communicating with each other and others even divorce."

But he and his wife, Sue, decided to take action, he said.

"After Tanya's death, my wife and I were determined that we wouldn't let her death be in vain, that we would use it as a way to reach out to individuals on the effects impaired driving has made on our lives and encourage them not to drink and drive," Young said.

Last year, there were 87 motor vehicle-related deaths in Franklin County, 37 of which were ruled alcohol-related. At the Aug. 16 press conference, each of the 37 fatalities was symbolized by red or white rose.

Dr. Jan Gorniak, the Franklin County coroner, said she has seen too many lives cut short when people get behind the wheel while impaired.

"Driving drunk is a choice with disastrous, sometimes fatal, consequences," she said.

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