Give up drinking and support drive

2014-02-03 00:00

IF you want to send a message against drunk driving and educate others about the dangers of drinking, then you can act and join the AlcoFreeFeb Campaign initiated by the Pietermaritzburg organisation, South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD).

Giving up your regular tipple and encouraging your friends to give up booze for the month of February is an act of awareness.

Caro Smit, who lost her son in an alcohol related accident a few years ago, has dedicated her life to educating people about the effects of alcohol.

Her tireless campaigning has led to education in schools and has been supported by celebrities who are also supporting the AlcoFreeFeb campaign. High profile celebrities like Gary Player, Reuben Riffel, Dr Michael Mol, Barry Hilton, DA youth ambassador Mbali Ntuli, multiple Dusi winner Andy Birkett, rape survivor and activist Jes Foord, Olympian Bridgitte Hartley and Comrades winner Shaun Meiklejohn, have all put their weight behind the campaign.

Smit said, “So often it is the nameless victims that die and the perpetrators get off. We are still fighting with the courts to impose stricter sentences­ on drivers who cause accidents while they are under the influence of alcohol.

“People are maimed, crippled and countless innocent lives are lost because people in this country do not take drinking and driving seriously …”

The organisation is also offering those who are social drinkers a way to support their campaign by encouraging them to buy “cheat passes” that will allow them to drink alcohol but donate to a good cause at the same time.

The AlcoFreeFeb campaign began in 2010 and SADD hopes it will get more support this year.

Gary Player said, “I am happy to give my support to the AlcoFreeFeb campaign to highlight alcohol abuse in general. The high incidence of crashes on South African roads and the high number of deaths and severe injuries is shocking.”

Jes Foord, a rape survivor, said she supports the campaign because many other rape survivors that have come through the Foundation doors have been in situations where their drinks have been spiked.

She said, “The presence of alcohol can create scenarios that place an individual in vulnerable environment. Statistically, situations escalate quicker when one or more of the persons are under the influence.”

It costs R100 to sign up as a supporter of the AlcoFreeFeb campaign. You can also buy “cheat day” passes for special occasions for R20. Smit welcomes any donations from those who support the cause.

To find out more contact SADD at 033 347 0103 or go to the website: www.sadd.org.za.

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