Drunk Driving Prevention strives to save lives

| November 10, 2016 | 0 Comments
Volunteers with the Drunk Driving Prevention Program pose for a group photo after a safety briefing for volunteer drivers on call for the weekend, Oct. 21. Pictured from left to right are: Sgt. Broc Mast, Spc. Andrew Arroyo, Sgt. Gregory Bauer, Sgt. Isaiah Gray and his wife Mary Lyn Gray with their son Isaac, Sgt. Tara Kristich, Spc. Anthony Kemp, Sgt. Christopher Slane, Spc. Matthew Von Stetten, and Staff Sgt. Janiel Pierre.

Volunteers with the Drunk Driving Prevention Program pose for a group photo after a safety briefing for volunteer drivers on call for the weekend, Oct. 21. Pictured from left to right are: Sgt. Broc Mast, Spc. Andrew Arroyo, Sgt. Gregory Bauer, Spc. Isaiah Gray and his wife Mary Lyn Gray with their son Isaac, Sgt. Tara Kristich, Spc. Anthony Kemp, Sgt. Christopher Slane, Spc. Matthew Von Stetten, and Staff Sgt. Janiel Pierre.

Christine Cabalo
Staff Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Volunteers with the Drunk Driving Prevention Program are on call to ensure no driver turns into a statistic.

The nationwide nonprofit organization offers free rides for military and civilian drivers if they find themselves impaired from alcohol and need help.

The program has a Hawaii chapter with several volunteers from Schofield Barracks who are taking pickups, Fridays and Saturdays, from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Hawaii volunteers operate a sign up and information booth about the program during Rocktoberfest at Schofield Barracks, Oct. 1. Pictured in the photo from left to right are Spc. Matthew Von Stetten, Spc. Caleb Roots, Sgt. Christopher Slane and Sgt. Isaiah Gray.

Hawaii volunteers operate a sign up and information booth about the program during th recent Rocktoberfest at Schofield Barracks. Pictured in the photo from left to right are Spc. Matthew Von Stetten, Spc. Caleb Roots, Sgt. Christopher Slane and Spc. Isaiah Gray.

Easy to use
“Volunteering or using the program is extremely easy,” said Spc. Isaiah Gray, the Hawaii chapter vice president and a Soldier with the 58th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “There’s always someone there to help guide you, so you don’t feel alone.”

Drivers who are 21 and older can use the program to request a volunteer to pick them up. Drivers can either call the program’s dispatch line or use the program’s free app. The app sends its GPS location and can make an automatic call. Each weekend at least 14 drivers are on call to pick up program users anywhere on Oahu.

“When you call in, the dispatcher gets information like where you’re at, how many people are with you and whether your car is manual or automatic,” said Sgt. Christopher Slane, also with 58th MP Co. and a volunteer dispatcher. “If you have a motorcycle, we have special people on call who can ride the bikes back for you. We also ask about their cell phones, making sure their phone is charged and that we have their license plate number and a liability waiver.”

Volunteer stories
Some volunteer because they also use the program on nights they aren’t on call. Others volunteer because drunk driving has personally impacted them. Among them is Spc. Matthew Von Stetten, a program volunteer, with Charlie Co., 65th Engineer Bn., 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Before working with the program he volunteered for his unit as a designated driver. He became even more involved in the cause when a drunk driver killed another Soldier in his unit.

The Drunk Driving Prevention Program has several chapters nationwide and offers their services to both military and civilian drivers. Volunteers can take drivers over the age of 21 who call from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays.

The Drunk Driving Prevention Program has several chapters nationwide and offers their services at no cost to both military and civilian drivers in the community.

Among them is Spc. Matthew Von Stetten, a program volunteer, with Charlie Co., 65th Engineer Bn., 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Before working with the program he volunteered for his unit as a designated driver. He became even more involved in the cause when a drunk driver killed another Soldier in his unit.

“It doesn’t matter where someone is on Oahu; we can give a free ride home,” Von Stetten said. “Me being a volunteer is not a burden; it’s taking that risk out of the hands of drivers.”
For Spc. Andrew Arroyo, the need to volunteer is a way to ensure the safety of his family and
“Alcoholism runs in my family, so I take it very seriously,” he said. “I also lost a best friend in high school when they were hit by a drunk driver.”

The Drunk Driving Prevention Program provides free rides to those who call the program or use their app if they are too impaired to drive. Volunteers will ensure both drivers and their cars are driven home safely.

The Drunk Driving Prevention Program provides free rides to those who call the program or use their app if they are too impaired to drive. Volunteers will ensure both drivers and their cars are driven home safely.

Gray and Von Stetten said they’re always looking for additional volunteers. Drivers on call receive training before going out.
Two drivers go to each pickup location for safety and to drive vehicles to a person’s home. Volunteers also carry a Breathalyzer to ensure drivers aren’t suffering from alcohol poisoning, which requires emergency assistance.

If there is a medical emergency, volunteers will drive program users to the hospital and contact a family member or friend.
“We’re able to help Soldiers realize there is another option (available when) going out to have fun,” said Staff Sgt. Janeil Pierre, who is the Hawaii chapter president, with Fox Co., 225th Brigade Support Bn., 25th ID. “We’re not here to take away anyone’s fun. We want to keep you employed and out of trouble.”

Program volunteers are also reaching out to drivers at public events. Gray, Von Stetten and other volunteers have promoted the program during Rocktoberfest, battalion balls and other occasions where there may be a need for a designated driver.

“It can make for some very long nights, but it’s been a very rewarding experience,” Gray said. “We’ve had so much appreciation and people call thanking us, sometimes because they had a wife or brother or someone who passed away because of a drunk driver.”

Contact the Drunk Driving
Prevention Program
The program provides free rides to ensure drivers and their vehicles arrive home safely. Anyone, military service member or civilian, who is over 21 can use the program for free. Pick-ups are scheduled from 8 p.m.-6 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays. For more information call 888-7407 or visit ddpp.us.

Download the app
Users can download the DDPP app for free, which has a direct connection to the program’s dispatch hotline. To download the app visit the program’s website at ddpp.us. Select the black box. When the app loads, save the bookmark to your home screen for easy access. Users can fill out a liability waiver and send their direct location to drivers who will do the pick-up through the app.

The Drunk Driving Prevention Program has several chapters nationwide and offers their services to both military and civilian drivers. Volunteers can take drivers over the age of 21 who call from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays.

The Drunk Driving Prevention Program has several chapters nationwide and offers their services to both military and civilian drivers. Volunteers can take drivers over the age of 21 who call from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Community, Safety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *