The Auto Club Honors SDSU Efforts To Curb Underage Drinking

Students Earn Prize for Developing Life-Saving Program

(SAN DIEGO, September 22, 2005) — The Automobile Club of Southern California today awarded San Diego State University a $1,000 prize for developing programs that help educate students about the dangers of drinking and driving and underage drinking.

The College and University Drinking & Driving Prevention Award, which is given jointly by the Auto Club and the Center for College Health and Safety, was presented by Steven Bloch, Ph.D., senior research associate for the Auto Club at Aztec Center on the SDSU campus.

"Rates of drinking and driving are at levels that raise great concern," Bloch said. "A 2005 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicates that drinking by U.S. college students contributes to 1,700 deaths and half a million injuries annually. In addition, 2.8 million college students drive under the influence of alcohol annually."

SDSU students, in conjunction with the Alcohol and Other Drug Initiative on campus, developed a multi-departmental effort to change students' attitudes and motivations regarding alcohol and other drugs, provide safe rides home for students who have been drinking and removing alcohol-related advertisements from campus.

In addition, the program identifies students who violate campus alcohol policies and puts them in contact with counseling and psychological services that include motivational interviewing and online assistance.

"Overall, SDSU's program has proven to be quite comprehensive and impressive," Bloch said.

To address problems associated with drinking among college students, the College and University Drinking and Driving Prevention Award was developed eight years ago by the Auto Club and the Center for College Health and Safety. The award recognizes campus programs and activities that reduce drinking and driving or prevent alcohol and other drug use that can result in impaired driving.

The Center for College Health and Safety assists colleges and universities in developing, implementing and evaluating prevention policies and programs to address health and safety issues.