Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Iowa Partnership for Success Funds Planning

The SAFE Coalition is currently working on the Planning phase of the IPFS (Iowa Partnership for Success) Grant. This requires the completion of a key document, the Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan requires the coalition to consider the results of the assessment and capacity phases previously completed this year in Van Buren County.  Coalition members are working during coalition meetings to pinpoint how the community can best address the priorities of underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  During this process the coalition will develop a logic model and action plan to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  The logic model and action plan will include the strategies the coalition believes will result in a reduction of underage drinking and underage binge drinking in the county. 

The next steps for the IPFS Grant will be to implement the action plan and strategies in Van Buren County.  For more information on the Partnership for Success funds you may contact the coalition office at 319-293-6412 or via email at info@vbsafecoalition.com

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How Are You Getting Home this New Year’s Eve? The SAFE Coalition Urges Drivers: Make a Sober Plan.

Drunk driving has become a national epidemic. Each year, drunk-driving crashes kill more than 
10,000 people in America. The SAFE Coalition is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this holiday season, to reach out to all drivers with an important message about this deadly, preventable crime because Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving!

Let’s say you go to a New Year’s party, you stay a few hours and have a few drinks. When it’s time to go, you think to yourself, “I’m fine to drive. I’ve only had a few drinks, and I barely feel buzzed.” You get in your car and drive toward home.  This act places you at risk of facing the consequences of drunk driving.  Buzzed driving places you and others on the road in danger of a crash; or worse, death.   Designate a sober driver.

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too realistic. Many people wrongly believe there’s a magic number of drinks or hours that determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  But it’s different for every person. Many factors go into the effect alcohol has on your body. Everywhere in our country, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. A major misconception is that you have to be stumbling around drunk to be over that limit. For many people, it doesn’t take much alcohol to be too impaired for driving. NHTSA and the SAFE Coalition are hoping to change the way people think about drinking and driving, and help everyone realize that there’s no safe amount of alcohol for any driver.

Drivers convicted of DUI have many excuses, but the reality they all have in common is this: they didn’t plan ahead.  Designating a sober driver ahead of time is the only fool-proof way to avoid the dangers of drunk driving. If you wait until you’ve been drinking to gauge your level of impairment, it’s already too late.  You might tell yourself and others that you’re “okay to drive” when you’re not. Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time enough to cause you to overestimate your own abilities as a driver.

So next time you’re going to drink, do us all a favor and make a plan. Some simple ideas: leave your keys at home or give them to a friend; designate a sober driver who isn’t drinking at all; tell others your intentions about driving and stick to the plan; and most importantly—once you’ve had anything to drink, do not drive. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so make the choice: are you drinking tonight or are you driving?

Drunk driving is never the right choice, no matter what. Even if you didn’t plan ahead, there’s always another way home. You could call a friend or family member to pick you up; and if you’re worried about leaving your car somewhere overnight, think about the alternative: a DUI costs about $10,000.

Please remember to stay safe by driving sober or by designating a sober driver this New Year’s Eve.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

You Choose: Drink OR Drive Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

The holiday season is right around the corner. As Americans prepare for festivities with family and friends, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to remind all drivers that it’s dangerous to drive after drinking. You have to choose your role before drinking begins: will you drink or will you drive? Remember, even if you only have a little bit to drink and think you’re “okay to drive,” you could still be over the legal limit, because 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. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Time and again, drivers who may have only had a couple of drinks put themselves and others at serious risk.  Driving with any alcohol in your system can be dangerous.

For some people, it doesn’t take much to reach the dangerous level. The SAFE Coalition really wants all Van Buren County drivers to understand that you don’t have to be falling-down drunk to be impaired to drive. That’s why the SAFE Coalition is working with NHTSA to spread the message: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

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 alone, there were 733 people killed in crashes involving at least one drunk driver or motorcycle operator. In 2013, a third (31%) of all crash fatalities in America involved drunk driving. 

So this holiday season, NHTSA urges you to plan ahead: designate a sober driver. If you plan on drinking at all, don’t plan on driving. Don’t assume that you’ll know whether you can safely drive or not at the end of the night.

Van Buren County drivers, please remember these tips to avoid a DUI and keep our roads safe:

·         Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk or having a crash.
·         If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving.  Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
·         When you know you’ll be drinking, 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 sober friend or family member or stay where you are.
·         Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
·         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.

Remember, it is never okay to drive after drinking. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tips for Party Givers

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition would like to encourage you to avoid making alcohol the main focus of social events this holiday season. Entertain guests with music, dancing, games, food, and lively conversation.  Did you know that one in three adults prefers a nonalcoholic beverage? Make sure to offer plenty of nonalcoholic choices such as sparkling water, fancy juice drinks, soft drinks, and bottled drinking water.  Also provide guests with nutritious and appealing foods to slow the effects of alcohol. High protein and carbohydrate foods like cheese and meats are especially good. They stay in the stomach much longer, which slows the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol. Avoid salty foods, which encourage people to drink more.

Require bartenders to measure the correct amount of liquor into drinks (no doubles), and instruct them not to serve anyone who appears to be impaired. Have the bartender check the ID of anyone who appears to be under the age of 30 (no ID, no alcohol).
Stop serving drinks at least 1 hour before the end of the event.  Instead, serve coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, and desserts at that time.

Your responsibility as a host is even more important when the party is over. Be prepared to offer your guests alternate forms of transportation, such as: Ask someone who was not drinking to drive a guest home; Call someone to come and drive them home; Offer your place to spend the night; If the person insists on driving despite his or her obvious intoxication, take the keys, ask for help from other guests, or temporarily disable the car; If all else fails, say you will call the police (and do so).

The following non-alcoholic drink recipes are a courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Join Together, a national resource center for communities working to reduce substance abuse.  Many of these unique drinks can add “flavor” to your party by giving your guests healthy, tasty alternatives to alcoholic beverages. Enjoy!

Citrus Collins

Fill a 10–12 oz. glass with ice cubes
2 oz. orange juice
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. flavored syrup

Fill with club soda. Garnish with an orange slice or a cherry.

Mai Tai

1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup club soda
1 tbsp. cream of coconut
1 tbsp. grenadine syrup

In a shaker or tall glass, combine ingredients; shake or stir to blend.  Add crushed ice.

Lemon-Strawberry Punch

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 pkg. frozen sliced strawberries
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
1 quart carbonated water
1 quart ginger ale
Sliced bananas
Sliced oranges or lemons

Combine frozen lemonade, strawberries (half-thawed with juice), and orange juice. Place in a punchbowl with ice. Just before serving, add carbonated water and ginger ale. Garnish with thin slices of orange, lemon, or banana. Serves 20.

Holiday Delight
Blend the following ingredients in a mixer:

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup cranapple juice
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 banana

Pour into a tall glass.

Viennese Coffee

1/4 cup whipped cream
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat until stiff.  Pour 3 cups of very strong coffee (decaffeinated is fine) into four cups. Float whipped cream mixture on top. Garnish with 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel. Use cinnamon sticks in each cup as servers.