NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans tight end Delanie Walker has partnered as an ambassador with the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office this year to increase awareness for their "Booze It and Lose It" campaign designed to reduce impaired driving injuries and fatalities.
"I'm here today for a photo shoot to support our law enforcement and their 'Booze It and Lose It' campaign," said Walker. "My aunt and uncle were killed by a drunk driver. It means a lot to me to prevent this from happening.
"I want to make sure our fans know that if you drink, have a plan," Walker continued. "Make sure you, your friends and family get home safe."
The Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO) is primarily a grant awarding agency that receives approximately $20 million dollars in federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration dispersed to 386 agencies across the state. The vast majority of this funding is earmarked for alcohol-related countermeasures, including sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, media, educational outreach, and the purchase of traffic safety equipment.
"Our law enforcement partnerships are vital," said Kendell Poole, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Office. "The education and awareness our office promotes would not be nearly as effective without the enforcement to back it up. It is all about getting Tennesseans to realize the consequences of their decisions."
Tight end Delanie Walker takes part in photo shoot with Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office to increase awareness for their "Booze It and Lose It" campaign. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)
"Booze It & Lose It" is a high visibility enforcement campaign designed to reduce impaired driving injuries, fatalities, and associated economic losses. The "Booze It & Lose It" campaign provides for increased law enforcement efforts and public service messages to accomplish its goal. The intervention targets all drivers who are impaired due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Each year two campaigns are performed statewide – in August and again in December. These are two times during the year where an increase in alcohol-related crashes can typically be seen. Agencies receiving grant funds for impaired driving enforcement can also do checkpoints and saturation patrols during other times, depending on the specific issues in their community.
"We are proud to support the Governor's Highway Safety Office and the great work they do making Tennessee's road's safer," said Brad McClanahan, Titans director of marketing. "Additionally we couldn't have a better player represent our team and its commitment to the community and to this specific initiative than Delanie Walker."
Statistics have shown that with increased enforcement and education, impaired driving will continue to decline. Over the last decade, impaired driving fatalities (as a portion of overall traffic fatalities) in Tennessee have decreased by over 5 percent, however, there is still much work to be done. Tennessee lost 242 lives in 2013 because someone made the destructive decision to drink and drive.
The "Booze It and Lose It" message is utilized year-round to remind people the consequences of drinking and driving. You could lose your license, your freedom, or your life.