In recognition of the University’s drug and alcohol awareness programs, Cal State San Marcos was recently honored by RADD, the Entertainment Industry’s Voice for Road Safety, with a Spirit Award recognizing the campus for its best practices in DUI prevention and alcohol education initiatives. The campus will host several events and educational workshops during October 20-31 in conjunction with National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW).

“Our goal for NCAAW is to create awareness about the harmful consequences of high-risk drinking or drinking alcohol excessively, promote the usage of a designated sober driver and to encourage students to party with a plan,” said Cathy Nguyen, health educator for Student Health & Counseling Services. “This includes drinking responsibly (one drink per hour), eating food while drinking, establishing a designated driver and students making arrangements with their friends to ensure that they are partying safely. It’s all about making good choices.”

Alcohol-related crashes continue to be a leading killer of college-aged young adults nationwide. More than 600 young adults are killed every year in California as a result of a DUI crash. To prevent drunk driving and encourage responsible drinking among college students, CSUSM partners with the RADD California Coalition.

Established in 1986, RADD is best known for its campaign slogan, which coined the phrase “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.” Through the California Coalition, RADD works with universities and colleges throughout the state, as well as area businesses and government agencies, to promote positive and contagious attitudes about road safety, alcohol education, responsible drinking and the use of designated driver programs.

In 2009 the organization partnered with UCI Health Education to award grants to a handful of college and university campuses in California, which included CSUSM, SDSU, UCSD and USD to fund campus initiatives and expand local efforts of RADD Rewards, which provides incentives for non-drinking designated drivers over the age of 21.

RADD Rewards uses a card system that allows designated drivers to enjoy free non-alcoholic beverages, discounts on appetizers and priority event admission at participating restaurants and bars. Statewide more than 175 businesses actively participate in RADD Rewards. Among them is North County Tavern and Bowl, which opened in Westfield’s North County Fair in December 2010, and offers an alternative approach to dining and entertainment with its upbeat sports lounge and eight bowling lanes.

“We want our guests and our community to be safe, and we take that responsibility seriously,” said General Manager Nikki Rittenhouse. As part of the RADD Rewards program, North County Tavern and Bowl offers designated drivers over the age of 21 free non-alcoholic beverages and a free appetizer. “Our participation in the RADD program is one way we’re able to say thank you to designated drivers who put their safety and the safety of their friends first.”

Other local businesses participating in the RADD Rewards program with CSUSM include Churchill’s, Penny Lane, Phil’s BBQ, San Marcos Brewery and Grill, Pizza Nova and the Elephant Bar Restaurant. For more information on RADD Rewards, visit CSUSM’s HOPE and Wellness Center.

Alcohol-related crashes continue to be a leading killer of college-aged young adults nationwide. More than 600 young adults are killed every year in California as a result of a DUI crash.