College students, alcohol use, and cars create a deadly combination. The U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, housed at EDC, has published Safe Lanes on Campus: A Guide for Preventing Impaired Driving and Underage Drinking. The publication, which is available online, in print, and on CD, describes “environmental management strategies” that can change the climate on campuses and in their surrounding communities to deter driving under the influence and high-risk and illegal alcohol use.
Safe Lanes provides descriptions of policies and programs (with contact information for 22 programs) currently being used at colleges and universities throughout the United States to address driving under the influence of alcohol by students of all ages and alcohol use by students under the legal drinking age. In addition to describing ways to reduce availability and consumption of alcohol, the guide describes efforts to prevent students from drinking and driving. The Carpool program at Texas A&M University, for example, offers rides home between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., and is supported by fundraising events and donations from the community. Safe Lanes also profiles successful designated driver programs and campus-police partnerships.
Written by William DeJong and Robert Zimmerman, the guide reviews and analyzes prevention strategies and details ways colleges and communities can team up to create campus and community environments that discourage alcohol problems.
The guide has five key sections:
- Discussion of the scope of the problem
- Reviews of five areas of “environmental management” intervention
- Description of policies and programs that are being used throughout the United States
- The basics of strategic planning and evaluation
- Resources for campuses and communities
“Town and gown leaders need to dedicate themselves to working on this problem over the long term,” write the authors. “There is no quick fix, but over time a persistent and multifaceted effort can succeed in changing the culture of drinking, building a safer and healthier campus and community environment, and maximizing the opportunity for all students to achieve their potential.”
DeJong is director of the Higher Education Center at EDC. Coauthor Zimmerman is a freelance writer in San Diego and is also editor emeritus of Prevention File: Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs. The Higher Education Center prepared the document on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Originally published on March 1, 2004