CARDD - Connected Around Responsible Drinking Decisions
In June 2010, The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources received funding from the New Jersey Division of Addiction Services to address the issue of alcohol and drug use among young adults, particularly 18-25 year olds. After about a year of assessing the needs of Bergen County, a number of individuals, organizations, and businesses aligned themselves to create the group, CARDD – Connected Around Responsible Drinking Decisions. The coalition has begun addressing the problem that plagues young adults, especially men, and the communities in which they live and socialize – heavy drinking and drunk driving.
The Data Speaks for Itself – Heavy Drinking and Drunk Driving are Critical Issues
• The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reported in 2008 that drivers in their early twenties have the highest level of involvement in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, compared to drivers of all other ages.
• In New Jersey as a whole, young adults are responsible for the largest percent of motor vehicle crashes. Even more, they are responsible for an even greater percent of alcohol related accidents (see Figure 1).
• Bergen County ranks higher than most other NJ Counties in alcohol related crashes from 2001-2009; at over 50 crashes per month for almost every year. Young men make up the majority of those crashes, as well as the majority of DUIs.
• Over 70% of the 150 college freshman surveyed in Bergen County, all under the age of 21, admitted to consuming alcohol. In that same survey, almost 50% of students admitted to driving while intoxicated, over 20% of them have done it between three and six times during the previous month.
• During focus groups and interviews in Bergen County, young adults’ excessive drinking and partying was continuously mentioned as the “worst drug problem” in the county.
What We’ve Been Doing to Make a Difference
• CARDD has been hard at work to reduce drunk driving. They have successfully partnered with students and administrators from Bergen County Colleges and Universities to educate students on heavy drinking, drunk driving, modify policies and practices, and build awareness of current alcohol issues such as Four Loko. Over 800 college freshmen will have completed a highly reputable online prevention program to reduce high risk drinking and partying by 2012.
• Local restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have joined CARDD to stop customers from drinking and driving. Park City Bar and Grill and Pub 46 have been instrumental in spreading word of this initiative and bringing the whole industry into the project.
• CARDD is providing training for over 600 hospitality industry staff on how to serve alcohol responsibly using a program called TIPS - Training for Intervention Procedures.
TIPS is regarded as a global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol. It is a skills-based training course designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and drunk driving. Moreover, TIPS is supported by a host of evidence.
• Most exciting, CARDD is working with young adults creating an innovative, highly interactive, campaign to stop people in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs from driving drunk. Police Officers in Bergen County say that the majority of DUI stops involve someone leaving an establishment. The campaign, “Who’s Takin’ You Home Tonight?” speaks to the typical young man who tends to “go out” to meet young women, but is likely to end up driving home drunk and getting into trouble.
The campaign includes posters with images of a young man suffering the consequences of driving drunk versus that same man reaping the benefits of getting home safely, a “street” or “promo” team that interacts with customers to create conversations around this pressing issue, and also gives out prizes and freebies. The kickoff campaign is expected to be implemented at Park City Pub and Grill in Ramsey, NJ in early winter.
CARDD invites all individuals, agencies, organizations, and businesses to participate in this valuable effort to stop drunk driving in our communities.
The Bergen County Prevention Coalition then meets from 10:00am – 11:30am.
In addition to a friendly atmosphere and good people, delicious lunch and beverages are always provided.
CARDD changes meeting locations monthly to acquaint themselves with a variety of businesses, agencies, and organizations in Bergen County.
If you are interested in learning how you and/or your organization can get connected, contact:
Bergen County Prevention Coalition Supervisor
Who's Takin' You Home Tonight?
Who's Takin' You Home Tonight?