Student to Speak on Effects of Impaired Driving

August 12, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio — University of Mount Union junior Melinda Mason, a victim of a crash caused by an impaired driver, will share her story at 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 15 at Washington High School Football Stadium in Massillon.

Mason, a religious studies major at Mount Union, will share about how her life was changed dramatically in April after a crash caused by an impaired driver as a kickoff to the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” national impaired-driving enforcement campaign.

Other speakers at the event include Sargeant Doug Cardwell of the OVI Task Force and North Canton Police Department, who will share on the efforts of the task force and the importance of enforcement efforts in the fight against impaired driving and Washington High School principal Brad Warner who will speak on the new Fan Code of Conduct program. The event is open to the public.

Nationwide, 33% of fatal crashes involve impaired drivers, while Stark County’s average since 2011 is over 46%. For this reason, many find that the Stark County community needs to band together to bring this issue to light.

The campaign is being held August 16 – September 2, during which local law enforcement will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers through high-visibility enforcement. The kickoff event will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 15 at Washington High School Football Stadium.

The University of Mount Union plans to send more than 100 students, staff and faculty members who will wear purple to show their Purple Raider support for Mason.

Mount Union strives to do its part in educating students on drug- and alcohol-related issues through various programs put on year-round by the in-house drug and alcohol prevention team. Mount Union is one of only a few private schools in northeast Ohio with a prevention team conveniently located on campus that is dedicated to helping students learn how to make healthy decisions with regard to alcohol, drugs and wellness.

“Drug and alcohol issues are not a campus issue — they’re a community issue,” said Kelleen Weber, MaEd LPCC-S LCDCIII, director of alcohol, drug and wellness education at Mount Union. 

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