Pubdate: Wed, 04 Jul 2007
Source: Castlegar News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Castlegar News
Author: Lynsey Franks, News Editor
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)
Bookmark: (Youth)


D.A.R.E., Drug Abuse Resistance Education, a program that aims to 
benefit children by providing them with the skills they need to avoid 
involvement with drugs, gangs and violence, has Castlegar residents 
questioning its value.

Local RCMP utilize the D.A.R.E. curriculum in classrooms in order to 
give students informative facts about drugs and crime and how to 
avoid becoming a part of that world. This proactive approach teaches 
children from kindergarten to grade 12 and focuses on how to resist 
peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.

With that said, it has become evident that an overwhelming number of 
readers are expressing a grave concern in regards to drinking and 
driving in Castlegar, and the programs success.

Last week's question of the week asked "Do you feel that the D.A.R.E. 
program is serving its purpose?" And an overpowering number of people 
replied "no."

It's quite apparent that we are all asking ourselves the same 
question, and are sharing the same concern. The increase of impaired 
driving has people trying to pin-point the cause, whether it be the 
local drinking facilities, lack of education, or plain ignorance, it 
seems to have a majority of the population stumped.

By educating people about the dangers of drinking and driving, there 
is hope that the dangerous and criminal act would decline in numbers, 
but I don't think we can feed the blame directly down one avenue.

We all have personal responsibility, and by the time we reach 19 we 
are considered adults. Based on the statistics provided by Staff 
Sergeant David Fayle, the majority of DUI's (drinking under the 
influence) occurrences were people between the ages of 19 and 35-years-old.

Yes, there are establishments that make a profit from liquor sales, 
but I don't think that can be considered an excuse or a reason for 
the increase. The D.A.R.E. program is viewed as an internationally 
recognized model of community policing, and according to the 
organizations website, it goes above and beyond traditional drug 
abuse and violence prevention programs.

Our local teens are equipped with the proper decision making tools, 
we as adults have heard or experienced enough horror stories to help 
us make the smart decision when it comes to drinking and driving.

We must take personal responsibility for ourselves, our children and 
other drivers who are sharing the same road by continuing to do take 
every step towards making drinking and driving history.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman