Apr 062006
 
Authors: James Baetke

A new group of about 20 students is reaching out to the campus and community in efforts to reduce drunk-driving incidents.

Driving Your Life Away (D.Y.L.A.) is one of the newest student organizations recognized by CSU. Their goal is to educate students and the community about the effects of driving under the influence with a strong emphasis on drunk-driving prevention.

“We are the newest DUI group on campus,” said Marques Lopez, a junior marketing major and founder of D.Y.L.A. “There is nothing out there like this.”

Megan Trabert, a sophomore health and exercise science major and D.Y.L.A. member, said she is tired of dealing with friends who drive drunk and wants to a difference in Fort Collins.

“I have friends that say, ‘I got so wasted last night and drove,’ and I get so mad,” she said.

Lopez said the group also will look for private funding to help in planned projects. D.Y.L.A. wants to set up a mock crash downtown to give people a vivid example of the negative outcomes of drunk driving. They plan to volunteer with DUI checkpoints and to rent a Breathalyzer so partygoers leaving the bars can see their alcohol content.

The organization is sponsored by Poudre Valley Hospital, along with recognition from the Colorado State Patrol and the Larimer County District Attorney’s office.

“With the Poudre Valley Hospital behind us, it will give us a lot of credibility,” said Demetri Tzortzis, a senior marketing major.

Anna McConnell, DUI prevention coordinator with PVH, said she is working with a federal grant designed to educate young people between the ages of 18 and 20 about Colorado’s zero-tolerance law among underage drinkers who drive. She also works with other organizations to prevent drunk driving among students over 21 years of age.

“We are all about risk management,” McConnell said. “We want students to know what the laws are.”

McConnell said she is not anti-drinking, but wants students to make smart and reasonable choices while drinking.

Driving under the influence in Colorado means blowing more than .08 into a Breathalyzer or any other portable breath-testing devices, for those more than 21 years old.

“I am really excited about this,” Trabert said. “I’m really passionate.”

For organization information contact csudyla@yahoo.com.

James Baetke can be reached at campus@collegian.com

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Interested in reducing drinking and driving in Larimer County?

Contact “Driving Your Life Away” at csudyla@yahoo.com.

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