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It's time to appreciate Designated Drivers

December 4, 2014 3:05 pm Published by Comments Off on It's time to appreciate Designated Drivers

Ventura County Crash Trailer

Ventura County has been working hard over the last four years to address the issues of impaired driving. From County-wide DUI Summits, to the Crashed Car Trailer (see above), to other awareness events, many efforts are being made to call attention to the dangers of drinking and/or using and driving — and to acknowledge and reward designated drivers.

To that end, the “Be the DD and Win” campaign was started and has been going strong in Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo and Simi Valley. Straight Up has been proud to support Project SAFER in their activities which include “Be the DD and Win” nights, in which a group called the Prize Posse find and reward designated drivers at targeted nightspots throughout the County.

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The Prize Posse awards a prize to a designated driver at a recent night in Simi Valley.

An eyewitness account

Below is an account from a young adult in Ventura, who recently encountered the Prize Posse.

It was on a Saturday night and a friend of mine was in town for her 30th Class Reunion. We met in downtown Ventura club for dinner, good conversation and dancing.

The band was great that night and we danced almost every song. We were drinking wine and the more we danced, the more we sipped our glasses.

As the band ended one of its songs, I saw a friend of mine come onto the dance floor and make an announcement to everyone in the front of the band and bar area. “OK, we are having a drawing for the DDs,” she said. I didn’t know at first what was going on — but then I realized they were giving out prizes to designated driver. I didn’t think I was drunk and my first thought was “did I win something”?

It was late, maybe around 12am and so I decided to go home. As I walked out of the club there was a cop standing outside so I was thinking I should be very careful driving. As I was starting my walk away from the front door, several people approached me and asked if I wanted a bottle of water and told me there was pizza just down the walkway about 50 feet. I realize that all these people were out with the Prize Posse and were doing their best to let me know I need to pause and assess my situation.

I was starting to realize I was a bit tipsier then I thought because I had to interact with people. I had a hard time talking to them and it was hitting me that I was in no condition to drive! If they weren’t in my face trying to help me, I would have gotten into my car thinking I wasn’t drunk and could make it 5 blocks down the street where I lived.

I ended up taking a taxi and making it home safe and sound.

Again, I was amazed that I did not realize how drunk I was until I interacted with the “Be the DD” people…

They may have saved someone else’s life — other than mine! I could have killed someone!

Thank you to all the people that got me to take that taxi — a small cost compared to the thousands I could have incurred by getting a DUI — or the incredible consequence of hurting another person by driving.

Thanks so much to the Prize Posse and the “Be the DD” program!

Next Be the DD and Win event

Be the DD and Win

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