Every 90 seconds someone is injured from driving under the influence. Every 53 minutes, someone is killed. Yes, that is over 350,000 injuries and nearly 10,000 deaths each year due to driving under the influence.
Being Miss Garden Grove 2017 has allowed me to open up the conversation with community members, elected officials, and constituents about my personal platform- Prevention and Awareness of Driving Under the Influence. Six years ago my family suffered a loss that spurred me to become an advocate for DUI prevention. My cousin was under the influence of alcohol when he decided to ride a friend’s motorcycle with no helmet on. He crashed and was immediately pronounced brain dead. A huge mistake that cost him his life and left our family with a void that will never be replaced. One of the most powerful things I can do is to share my family’s story and educate the community about this prevalent issue.
This year, I have partnered with the Garden Grove Police Department in an effort to educate people about the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence. I attended a DUI Checkpoint, hosted by GGPD, and learned one very important thing. The purpose of a checkpoint isn’t just to catch intoxicated drivers, but to educate drivers about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription medication, and marijuana. In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities in the community, the City and GGPD released a Fatality Campaign. You can click the link to see the PSA, and you just might see someone familiar.
Throughout the remainder of my year, I will speak to a variety of classrooms in the Garden Grove Unified School District, non-profit organizations, and college campus Greek Life programs about my platform while continuing to raise funds for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Stay tuned within the next couple of months as I release a series of PSAs sharing my experience with spreading the message of my platform! It is with sincere hopes that this conversation will continue to help educate and save lives from driving under the influence.
-Missy Garden Grove