By Crystal Thompson
This year's "Sober and Safe" holiday campaign, sponsored by the HELP (Havre Encourages Long-range Prevention) Committee is in it's fourth year.
The campaign is made up of three elements: Designate-a-Driver, Host Responsibly, and New Year's Eve Home-Free. Each section plays an important role in maintaining the safety of local patrons whose holiday plans include alcohol.
The Sober and Safe Campaign is a collaborative effort, and is a great example of how Havre pulls together for a good cause, said Robin Morris, Executive Director of the HELP Committee. The campaign is adult-focused and encourages local patrons to plan ahead when celebrating the holidays with alcohol.
The Designate-a-Driver element of the campaign is currently underway. Now through New Year's Eve, colorful holiday mugs will be distributed by area taverns. The mugs will be filled for free with non-alcoholic beverages to anyone identified by participating patrons as a designated driver. The mugs were purchased by the Hill County Tavern Association and the Hill County DUI Task Force.
In conjunction with the Designate-a-Driver project, local taverns will be using cocktail napkins printed with the "Cost of a DUI".
Jupe Compton, of The Palace Bar said about the program, "We want our customers to make it home safe and sound...so they can come back and visit us."
The HELP Youth Coalition members created posters advertising the campaign to display in participating taverns.
The Host Responsibly portion of the campaign consists of a list of tips on how to responsibly host holiday parties. Lists of tips were made up and inserted into the paychecks of several major employers in Havre. Additional tip sheets will be distributed through grocery stores, or upon request.
Once again Havre Ford will offer rides on New Years Eve as part of the New Years Eve Home-Free portion of the campaign. Rides for bar patrons and house party guests will be available beginning at 6 p.m., and running until the wee hours of the morning, said Robin Morris. Volunteers for the program will be available to pick you up at home and take you to your party destination. They will also be available to take you from bar to bar if you choose.
The idea behind the Sober and Safe campaign is to eliminate the temptation to drive after drinking. By planning ahead and being prepared, you are ensuring the safety of yourself as well as others who share the road.
Havre Ford has arranged for volunteers to man the phones and transport vans on New Year's for the Home-Free campaign, the cell phone and airtime have been contributed by CellularOne. For a ride on New Year's Eve, call 949-0613 or 949-0614.
For more information on the Sober and Safe campaign contact Robin or Krista at the HELP Committee, 265-6206.
This years committee and contributors include: Tim Solomon, Hill County Sheriff; Virginia Miller, Havre Public Schools; Cindy Smith, Hill County Health Department; Sue Widdekind, Parent & Community Volunteer; Clay Vincent, Hill County DUI Task Force; Shelley Nolan, Parent & Community Volunteer; Jupe Compton, Hill County Tavern Association; Nita Johnson, AT&T; Pete and Steve Steinmetz, Havre Ford; Jennifer Hoffman, Holland & Bonine Funeral Home; CellularOne; The Montana Department of Highway Traffic Safety; and The HELP Committee.