Parents Matter Release New PSAs
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
March 29, 2013 5:21 PM
The message has been constant over the last 7 years. Letting teens know the dangers of drinking and driving.
But, with 61 South Dakota teens dying in alcohol related crashes since 2006, the challenge has been daunting.
“I'll be honest, I saw it as a huge undertaking and really are we going to be able to have an impact?,” said Chief Doug Barthel.
Police officers and activists believe getting parents involved is the most effective way to prevent teens from drinking and driving.
“Really the only way we are going to get this accomplished and have a true impact be would be to get the parents onboard with us as well,” said Barthel.
But for some parents it's a difficult subject to bring up.
“It really freaked me out to be honest with you. But, I knew I had to do something,” said parent Eric Majors.
The parents matter organization is debuting a series of commercials that will be released around prom season and again for graduation season to prompt parents to start a dialogue with their children. And some feel the sooner the conversation the better.
“It gets harder. Those conversations are building a foundation. We need to begin when they are in grade school and continue through their college years,” said Darcy Jensen.
The PSAs feature parents having the talk with their kids and discussing what worked for them. While there's no way to know how effective the PSA's will be, parents and officers hope it could prevent the worst for a family.
“The greatest fear that I have is getting that knock at 3AM and learning that my son is never coming home,” said Majors.
“For every life we can save is certainly a victory and worth celebrating,” said Barthel.
Don't drink and drive, a message that continues to be conveyed with prom and graduation season just around the corner.