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“Get a Ride!” Campaign Seeks To Prevent Drunk Driving

For Immediate Release

August 28, 2007


For More Information, contact:

Chris Gaal, Office of the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney, 349-2670       



“Get a Ride!” Campaign Seeks To Prevent Drunk Driving


Bloomington, IN – Students returning to Bloomington for the fall semester will be welcomed by messages urging them to “Get a Ride” rather than get behind the wheel of a car when they have been drinking alcohol.


The message was developed and organized into a public awareness campaign by Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Gaal with support from the City of Bloomington, the Indiana University Division of Student Affairs, Indiana University Department of Applied Health Sciences and Ivy Tech Bloomington.


Prosecuting Attorney Gaal wants people to know the risks of drinking and driving, and that there are alternatives.


“If you drink alcohol and drive, you risk hurting yourself, hurting someone else, losing your driver’s license, arrest, a criminal conviction and jail,” Gaal said. “If you choose to drink, you don’t have to get behind the wheel.”


The campaign logo, featuring a stylized version of the downtown square, emphasizes the slogan “Get a Ride! Call a Cab. Take the Bus. Just Don’t Drink and Drive.” The message will be featured on 10 city buses, inside the entire fleet of IU buses, on cards distributed to city neighborhoods, and on posters displayed throughout both the IU and Ivy Tech campuses and elsewhere in the community.


City of Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan agrees the “Get a Ride!” campaign is an important public safety initiative.


“August is ‘Be Friendly Bloomington’ month,” Kruzan said, “and friends don’t let friends drive drunk. It is important we put emphasis on keeping the city safe and looking after our friends. Driving drunk can cause a lot of pain and suffering not only to yourself, but to those around you as well.”


Kruzan also noted that every weekend the City of Bloomington Police Department arrests impaired drivers who pose a danger to the public.


“I am pleased to see us being more proactive about this problem and trying to find a way to prevent the danger from happening in the first place rather than simply reacting to it,” Kruzan said.


IU Dean of Students Richard N. McKaig said the university is eager to join forces with its community partners to help spread such an important message.


"IU is pleased to support this project as a complement to our initiation of AlcoholEdu, a three-hour alcohol education course which every incoming freshman was required to take this year before classes began,” McKaig said. “Together with our partners, we hope to reduce the occurrences of driving under the influence of alcohol in our community."


Ivy Tech Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart is equally as eager to be part of the effort.


"Ivy Tech supports the Get A Ride campaign and is partnering with Indiana University and the community in an effort to educate young people about the dangers of alcohol,” Whikehart said. “We will continue to support community efforts to make sure that alcohol does not claim any of the promising futures we are building at Ivy Tech."


Recent statistics show that drunk driving continues to be a significant local problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 320 people (34% of all traffic deaths) died in alcohol-related crashes in the State of Indiana in 2005. Of all adults placed on probation in Monroe County during 2006, 37% were convicted of impaired driving – 491 offenders. Of those, 12% were involved in a crash and 28% were repeat drunk driving offenders.