Peter Cohalan Speech

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Cohalan Speech Urges Students to Take a Stand against Drunk Drivers Suffolk County Executive Peter Cohalan urged students to take a stand against drinking and driving during the National Intercollegiate Alcohol Awareness Week at the Grant Campus on Oct. 21. According to Cohalan, Suffolk County roads can become safer if each individual is an active advocate of highway safety. He said he was determined to get each student involved in Suffolk County’s Designated Driver program. According to Cohalan, responsibilities on the road lie in each and every one. “What will ultimately make our roads safe for all is if each individual becomes an active advocate of highway safety,” said Cohalan. Cohalan advised to have a designated sober driver on a night out, keep a guest’s car keys if a guest is drunk, persuade anyone intoxicated to stay overnight, call a taxi, and to take responsibility for oneself and those they care about. Cohalan asked the audience to join him to pledge to do all they can to prevent drunk driving. “Alcohol is a dangerous drug, particularly combined with driving,” said Cohalan. He also said, “Drunk driving is a major cause of highway deaths. Drunk drivers account for one half of all the deaths caused on the roads in the United States.” Of those drunk drivers according to Cohalan, males between the ages of 16 and 24 are involved in 50 percent of highway deaths and 36 percent of traffic accidents, but are only 19 percent of licensed drivers. Young male adults between the ages of 16 and 24 are at high risk for motor vehicle accidents, “like a number of folks in the audience,” Cohalan said. The life expectancy of these young male adults has decreased in the last 20 years particularly due to drinking and driving, said Cohalan. And according to Cohalan, because the drinking age was recently raised to 21, lives will be saved.

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