“Pass It On” Via Text: “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving!”

Posted Dec 23rd, 2010 by Robert Kasprzak  Category: Community Interest,


In an effort to get impaired drivers off the road during this holiday season, Unison Behavioral Health Group is urging NW Ohio and SE Michigan mobile phone users to text the important prevention message, “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” to family and friends. Unison, in partnership with the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, is working to increase awareness about impaired, or “buzzed” driving.

Buzzed and drunk driving poses threats to public safety, as evidenced by the number of fatal crashes each year on our highways. In Lucas County, one in three drivers will be impacted by a buzzed and/or drunk driver this holiday season. “We know that the holiday season can be one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America’s roadways due to an increase in buzzed and drunk driving,” said Dr. Larry Hamme, Chief Clinical Officer for Unison. “Many people just don’t realize how dangerous buzzed driving really is. Increasing public awareness can help save lives.”

Save a Life – Send a Text: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving!
Enlisting the support of local communities to text the “Buzzed Driving” prevention message is a deliberate strategy borrowed from the Ad Council and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaign. Texting has become the preferred method of communication among teens and young adults–two of the groups most at risk for impaired driving. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, cell phones are the most popular mobile technology among young adults. 81% own their own cell phone and 43% of young adult cell phone owners own a Smartphone with Internet accessibility. 72% of all teens are text messagers and two-thirds of teen texters say they are more likely to use their cell phones to text their friends than talk to them by cell phone.

Most teens and young adults don’t understand the risks of impaired driving. By driving home the message that buzzed or impaired driving is the same as drunk driving, Unison and the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County hope to help save lives this holiday season. How can you help? Text the buzzed driving prevention message to your family and friends–today!

What Does “Buzzed” Mean?
“Buzzed” is a popular term used to describe a feeling of slight intoxication after drinking or using drugs. Many people use the term to describe a condition that they see as being less than intoxicated after drinking or using drugs. The reality is that it impairs judgment and buzzed driving is impaired driving. Impaired driving remains one of America’s deadliest social problems.

Many teens and young adults don’t understand this. To help clarify the risks and dangers of impaired driving, Unison has created several landing pages with specific information, charts, videos and hotlinks to additional resources. The goal is to spread this information as widely as possible across NW Ohio and SE Michigan to help save lives during this holiday season.

What You Need to Know:
Four people aged 16-21 die every day from drunk driving
75% of all alcohol impaired drivers in crashes were males
10,839 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2009
97 people died in alcohol impaired driving crashes over the Christmas holiday last year
187 people died last year during the New Year’s holiday period in alcohol-impaired driving crashes
In 2009, 76% of drivers killed who were alcohol-impaired occurred at night

Learn more about the dangers of buzzed driving by visiting the Unison website at or the Ad Council and NHTSA’s Buzzed Driving site.

About Unison Behavioral Health Group
With over 35 years of experience, Unison Behavioral Health Group is the community’s recognized and preferred leader in caring for the behavioral health and substance abuse issues of adults, adolescents and children. Unison accepts Ohio Medicaid and most private insurances. Through their contract with the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, Unison is able to offer subsidized services to Lucas County residents who are unable to afford the total cost of treatment. Unison is certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, and accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. For more information, visit

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Robert Kasprzak - Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County | 701 Adams Street, Suite 800 | Toledo, OH 43604 | | 419.213.4600 No Comments »

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