By Raymundo Villasenor
LBCC has partnered with the College is RADD program to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence.
Marian Novak, the coalition president of College is RADD, was at the LAC on Tuesday, April 15. She was campaigning against drunken driving and gave an informative presentation to students that stopped by her tent.
Novak said, “Our mission is to raise awareness to students on an issue that is still a problem in our community. We try to teach students to plan their night before going out.
“They should designate a friend as driver or hire a taxi, but they should never get behind the wheel if they plan on drinking.
“Remember that friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”
Drunken driving is in a prominent issue in the Long Beach community.
A female student at LBCC was recently convicted of a DUI. The 31-year-old communications major wants to keep her identity hidden and did not want to detail the event thoroughly.
She said, “I would’ve never guessed that I would have an ignition interlock device installed in my car. I know better than that now, but I feel like college students don’t think that it could happen to them until it does.
“That’s why I am glad College is RADD and LBCC are campaigning against an issue that affects many of us.”
Even though she is under the legal age requirement for alcohol consumption, another member of the Long Beach community has a similar story.
Marleny Sanchez, 20, a sociology major at Cal State Long Beach, was convicted of a DUI on Oct. 12 after crashing into the concrete divider of the 91 freeway around 11:30 p.m.
She recalled the event in an email which said, “I woke up in the hospital with a fractured clavicle and right wrist. I was bruised, confused and scared.
“I don’t remember the crash, but I am thankful that I didn’t kill anyone.
“The police told me that if I would’ve killed someone, then I would’ve woken up in jail not in the hospital.”
Sanchez wrecked her car and said she “paid numerous fines and hospital bills” after the accident.
She is enrolled in a 3-month AB541 program that requires her to attend six Alcoholics Anonymous meetings after having scored a 0.1 blood alcohol content that night.
Hugo Valdes, a 20-year-old aspiring film director, was on the other side of the DUI dilemma on Friday, May 2, when a drunk driver crashed into him as he exited the 91 freeway on Avalon Boulevard.
Valdes’ wrist is sprained and he needs physical therapy for his arm, but he suffered no fractures or serious injury. He said, “I hope people, especially young people, realize that when they drive drunk they are putting other people’s lives at risk, not just their own.”