Sober squad

As read on a bumper sticker: It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road.

Currently in the works is a new designated driver program for Sam Houston State University called Kat Krew.

“This program will have a team of drivers that will be on call throughout the day/night for students if they need a safe ride home or to the hospital,” said Lisa Joyner, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative (ADAI) assistant.

According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) website, 2.1 million college students drive under the influence of alcohol each year. With this new program, SHSU will try to lower the risk that students take when going out for a night on the town.

SHSU is not alone in creating a designated driver program; several universities across Texas have already taken the initiative and begun to help their students.

“The program that we are bringing to SHSU will be modeled after Texas State and Stephen F. Austin State University,” said Joyner.

Texas A&M has a similar program call CARPOOL, standing for Caring Aggies R Protecting Over Our Lives.

The Kat Krew will be an extension of the currently up and running iDrive program. This program offers free non-alcoholic drinks throughout the night to the person who states that they are designated driver.

“Sometimes the owner or wait staff will give the person free food as well,” said Roseanne Keathley, coordinator of ADAI. “It’s a reward for somebody serving as the designated driver.”

The new program will take the current iDrive program a step further and offer a ride to students that did not designate a driver and need a safe ride home.

Since the program is still in the planning stage, the method of funding has not been decided upon yet, but it will probably be paid for in either of three ways: a donation system, a fee attached to the students’ Bearkat One card or a fee assessed by the vendor for gas and insurance purposes. As of now, the program should be up and running by Fall 2009.

A student must be approved by student services and sponsored by a faculty member to be a part of the Kat Krew.

Any one who is interested in serving as a faculty sponsor or a participating student should call Roseanne Keathley at 936-294-1171.

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