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March 10, 2004

“Docs, Cops and Shops” to Curb Drinking and Driving

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Center for Injury Research and Policy, the Central Maryland Community Traffic Safety Programs, law enforcement agencies, colleges and universities, alcohol beverage retailers and health care professionals kicked-off the “Docs, Cops and Shops” drinking and driving awareness campaign with a news conference on Wednesday, March 10. The aim of “Docs, Cops and Shops” campaign is to help curb drinking and driving among college students and reduce their risk of injury.

Over the next several weeks, the “Docs, Cops and Shops” campaign will distribute alcohol awareness literature to young adults at local colleges, bars, restaurants and liquor stores. Central Maryland law enforcement agencies will step-up enforcement efforts for the duration of the campaign until it concludes in June. A multi-jurisdictional saturation patrol to catch drunk drivers will kick-off March 12-14.

DWIThe campaign will also include a week-long visit from the Pennsylvania DUI Association’s Traffic SafetyBug to select area colleges. The SafetyBug is a 1999 VW Beetle equipped to simulate impairment of 0.10 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), which is higher than Maryland’s legal limit of 0.08 BAC.

Studies published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol report that nearly 1,400 college students die each year from alcohol-related injuries, which includes injuries from vehicles crashes. Many of these deaths occur when students are involved in what is defined as “high risk” drinking, which is consuming five or more drinks in a row in one sitting.

The “Docs, Cops, and Shops” campaign participants include: the Central Maryland Regional Safe Communities Center and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; the Central Maryland Region – Local Law Enforcement agencies; Central Maryland Regional College Consortium; Community Traffic Safety Programs – Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford and Howard counties; Maryland Department of Transportation – State Highway Administration, Highway Safety Office; AAA Mid-Atlantic; American Trauma Society – Maryland Division, BGE; Foundation for Safety and Education; Maryland State Beverage Association; Maryland Trauma Center Network; National Study Center for Trauma and EMS, and State Farm Insurance.

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.