The Prevention Council of Roanoke County is concerned about the effects of alcohol on the community. The council held the last of four community forums at Glenvar Middle School on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, to get input from the community about their perception of use of alcohol in the community, particularly by those from 15- to 24-years-old.
School administrators, parents, law enforcement officers and other community members came together to discuss the problems surrounding alcohol-related crashes in Roanoke County. Brittany Sandidge of the Prevention Council shared the following statistics about alcohol-related crashes via email earlier this week:
- 64 crashes involving alcohol and 15- to 24-year-old drivers in 2009-2010
- 31 percent of drivers were male, ages 18-20
- 62.5% percent of drivers were ages 21-24
- 56 percent of crashes occurred between midnight and 4 a.m.
Sandidge and her colleagues are working to learn more about who these drivers are and to find the “best possible way to make that rate go down,” Sandidge said Wednesday.
Community members provided feedback on topics like whether they think alcohol is a problem in this community, whether they feel that the laws surrounding drinking and driving are well enforced and whether the community as a whole considers it acceptable to drink and drive.
“Alcohol is easy to get,” said Joe Hafey, principal at Glenvar High School. “We need to increase education at a younger age” and capture the parents’ attention earlier in their children’s school career, Hafey said. He noted that parental involvement is at its peak in elementary and early middle schools–a prime time to begin education.
The Prevention Council of Roanoke County will continue to collect information on community perception of alcohol-related problems in the community. The Council is hosting a motor vehicle crash survey and needs participants between 18- and 24-years-old. Community members can also continue to provide feedback by taking a survey on the Prevention Council website.