Justin Smart describes his DUI crash at the… - Wyoming Medical Center

Justin Smart describes his DUI crash at the 2015 Holiday DUI Campaign kick-off

By Cindy Toland Nov 17, 2015

Safe Communities Holiday 2015 DD

Seven years ago, Justin Smart decided to drive after drinking. He will talk about this decision affected his life on the anniversary of when he made it. Smart is a keynote speaker at the 2015 Holiday DUI Campaign Kick-off event on Friday, Nov. 20, at Casper College.

The event features both Smart and another individual speaking about their DUIs, alcohol awareness activities, pizza and giveaways. It will be held on third floor of the new UW/CC Student Center (aka T-Bird’s Crow Nest) at noon on Friday.

This anti-drunk-driving campaign aims to inform all Americans about the dangers of driving after drinking—even after drinking just a little. Drunk driving is a terrible killer on our nation’s roads. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. This time of year is especially dangerous due to holiday celebrations and frequent parties. In December 2013, 733 people died in crashes involving at least one drunk driver or motorcycle operator.

The holiday season is right around the corner. As Americans prepare for festivities with family and friends, WMC Safe Communities is joining with highway safety partners and law enforcement organizations across the country to remind everyone that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

“A lot of folks think they know their own limits. They think that if they’re just a little ‘buzzed,’ then they’re still good to drive,” said Lt. John Becker of the Natrona County Sherriff’s Office. “However, drivers who may have only had a couple of drinks put themselves and others at serious risk. During the holiday season, don’t drink and drive. Let’s make DUIs extinct!”

Take these steps to ensure your holiday celebrations don’t end in tragedy.

  • If you will be drinking, plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before the party begins. Leave your keys at home or give them to someone else.
  • If you have been drinking, do not drive — even a short distance. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or Safe Ride. The Governors’ Council on Impaired Driving encourages you to use the new Drive Sober Wyoming app which helps users phone or text a friend for a ride.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement when it is safe to do so.
  • If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely.

Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk or having a crash. Help us make Natrona County’s roadways safer by never driving after drinking. Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”

For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

The Natrona County DUI Campaign Committee is a coalition made up representatives from the Casper College Criminal Justice Department, Natrona County Sheriff’s Department, Wyoming Medical Center Safe Communities, Mothers’ Against Drunk Driving, Wyoming Department of Transportation, Casper/Evansville/Mills Police departments, Wyoming Highway Patrol and Casper Fire-EMS.

Cindy Toland

Safe Communities educates on the dangers of at-risk behavior and addresses issues such as drinking and driving, seat belt and car seat usage, and texting and driving. Cindy Toland is coordinator for Wyoming Medical Center Region 2 Safe Communities. Call her at 577-2134 or email her at ctoland@wyomingmedicalcenter.org.