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December 12, 2004

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month Promoted with Tree Tags

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Injury Research and Policy is using an unusual method to promote December as National Drunk and Drugged Prevention Month. They sent 4,000 Christmas tree tags, embossed with a safety message, to Christmas tree outlets throughout the Central Maryland Region. The tags, which are attached to each tree sold, say, “Have a ball this Holiday…Just don’t get Smashed,” followed by, “Drive Sober and Always Buckle Up!”

Drive Sober and Always Buckle Up!

“This is an easy way for local Christmas tree distributors to help promote safe driving in Maryland this holiday season,” said Jacqueline A. Milani, director of the Central Maryland Regional Safe Communities Center at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Tree outlets in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford and Howard counties and Baltimore City received the tags. The program is sponsored by the Central Maryland Regional Safe Communities, with support from the Community Traffic Safety Program, Maryland National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, and Borden’s Insurance Agency, Inc.

The holiday season is a great time to celebrate and get together with friends and families, but it is also one of the deadliest times of the year. Alcohol is a factor in approximately 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Over 77 percent of the victims were not wearing seatbelts. Using a lap and shoulder belt can reduce the risk of fatal injuries for front seat passengers by approximately 45 percent.

“By encouraging adults of all ages to avoid getting ‘smashed,’ it is our hope that this holiday season can be enjoyed safely. Driving sober and buckling-up saves lives,” said Ms. Milani.

For more information about the program, contact Jackie Milani at 410-614-5555 or jmilani@jhsph.edu.

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