By Mick Jensen
Ashburton Community Alcohol & Drug Service (ACADS) is launching a new summer campaign tomorrow night designed to encourage people to take action to stop friends and family getting behind the wheel after drinking.
An improvised street performance will kick off the annual anti-drink driving campaign at tomorrow’s Buskers Night event in Baring Square East.
A Blue Brothers sketch of the Aretha Franklin classic ‘Think’ will be re worded to pass on important alcohol related messages.
ACADS health promoter Tania Scott said the goal was to raise awareness of safety issues around drink driving and to ensure people identified appropriate actions to get home safely.
Behind the stage performance were serious messages associated with an ongoing campaign that ACADS had been involved with for 28 years.
She said locally 80 per cent of alcohol related crashes involved male drivers and that was why the Ashburton Community Alcohol Action Project (ACAAP) was deliberately targeting men of working age.
She said the new campaign had received input from Methven Young Farmers and also ANZCO, whose staff were involved in designing posters for it.
The campaign was also promoting alcohol free products in local supermarkets and would be visiting male dominated workplaces to offer demonstrations with ‘‘beer goggles’’.
Tasks completed with beer goggles would offer an insight into how alcohol impaired vision, action and perception, and made people feel less inhibited.
She welcomed requests from more businesses to show their staff the demonstration because ‘‘it added to the conversation’’ and ‘‘helped break down a number of preconceived ideas’’, she said.
In Mid Canterbury nearly all fatal road crashes involve alcohol as a contributing factor.
There are more alcohol-related crashes on the district’s country roads than on state highways or urban areas and alcohol-related road crashes peak during late summer.
The ACADS campaign song takes to the stage at 8.10pm tomorrow night and staff will be on hand to provide more information and resources.