Teens join effort to combat underage drinking

State highway safety officials are hoping the YouTube-generation will be able to communicate its anti-underage drinking message to their peers through video.  

A team from Wilmington Christian School won the Office of Highway Safety’s video contest earlier this week.  The group from Wilmington Christian focused on the consequences of underage drinking and what that choice could cost young people.  The group will receive a $2,000 prize after being selected as the winner.  Director of the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) Jana Simpler says, “The delivery of the message was powerful, clear, well planned out, and the execution was impressive.”  She says, “I am impressed with the level of creativity and ability all the contestants displayed in conveying the under 21 message.”

A group of state traffic safety officials and public relations professionals judged the 25 video entries.  The OHS may use the winning video as a public service announcement broadcast on TV.

OHS is in the middle of its holiday enforcement effort, to discourage drinking and driving during the festive season.  Since the campaign started on Thanksgiving, 23 people have been injured in alcohol-related accidents in Delaware.  Those injuries are represented by green light bulbs on “victim’s trees” at several locations around the state.  The trees will be lit with green lights for every alcohol-related injury and a red light for ever alcohol-related death between Thanksgiving and New Years.  

So far this year, 31 people have been killed in alcohol related accidents.  That’s 34% of all traffic fatalities in 2010.  

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