GHSP and Partners Aim to Reduce Driving Impairment Among Minority Communities

by Gwen Newell
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A new statewide initiative is being implemented by state and local officials who are targeting minority college students with their latest version of the anti-drunk driving campaign, Booze It & Lose it.

At the end of August, members of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program partnered with Winston-Salem State University on the historically Black university’s campus to launch the 2021 Labor Day Booze It and Lose It campaign. The Winston-Salem police department also participated.

With traffic crashes being a health disparity issue and because people of color are disproportionately impacted by serious crashes, the GHSP is hopeful that this will raise awareness and help to reduce impaired driving and serious crashes among young people of color.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, so far in 2021, Black people had the second highest rate of total traffic deaths, pedestrian traffic deaths and bicyclist traffic deaths. Also, Black North Carolinians made up 26 percent of all fatal crashes between 2015 and 2018, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More statistics compiled by the GHSP note that in Forsyth County alone, there were a total of 357 crashes between August 30 and September 12, 2020. About 6 percent of these crashes were alcohol or drug-related.

The Chancellor of WSSU, Elwood Robinson and Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson expressed their commitment to protecting their communities and highlighting the dangers and consequences of drunk driving for North Carolinians. Justin Hubbard, a Winston-Salem advocate, also shared his testimony about his best friend who is now imprisoned for the death of someone due to impaired driving.

NCGHSP is dedicated to reducing the number of traffic crashes and fatalities in North Carolina. The Booze It and Lose It campaign is among several initiatives led by NCGHSP and is recognized as one of the nation’s model anti-drunk driving campaigns.

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