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SAFE Coalition cautions teens on drinking and driving


BARSTOW • The Substance Abuse-Free Environment Coalition is reminding local teenagers not to ride with someone who has been drinking this holiday season.

December is a dangerous time for alcohol-related traffic collisions. Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Association shows there were 2,597 fatalities of traffic collisions in December 2010. According to a SAFE Colalition news release, 775 of those fatalities were caused by collisions involving alcohol-impaired motorists.

A recent California Healthy Kids survey has Barstow High School counselor Anna Robles wishing more students realized the dangers of riding with a driver who has been drinking.

Robles wants teenagers to not jeopardize their lives by getting into a car knowing the driver has been drinking, even if it is a relative or a parent.

“Parents are key influencers in the lives of these young people,” Robles said. “I know many take the time to talk about the dangers of drinking and driving. I just wish they’d talk to them about the dangers of riding with someone who has been drinking.”

According to the release, about one-in-four Barstow 9th and 11th graders reported either drinking and driving or riding with a driver who had been drinking numerous times in the state survey.

“Drinking and driving is risky behavior, but so is riding with a driver who has been drinking,” BHS principal Derrick Delton said. “That’s a message I want teens and parents to understand, especially this holiday season.”

Delton and Robles are both members of the SAFE Coalition, a group of local parents, business people, educators, health professionals and others advocating for effective solutions to reduce problems related to alcohol and other drugs in Barstow, the release states. For more information on how to become involved in the SAFE Coalition, email

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