The Delaware Office of Highway Safety Partners with NASCAR Driver Ross Chastain to Bring Awareness to the Dangers of Impaired Driving
April 26, 2023
DOVER, Del. (April 26, 2023) — The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is teaming up with NASCAR Drivers Ross Chastain and Chad Chastain to encourage Delawareans to “Use Your Melon” and Drive Sober. On Friday, April 28th, OHS and Ross will be at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Dover at 680 S. Bay Rd., Dover, DE 19901 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. making an appearance at the OHS Drive Sober table to sign autographs and promote the Use Your Melon Campaign reminding drivers to never drive impaired and always plan for a sober ride home.
On Saturday, April 29th, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., OHS will hold a second event at Grotto’s in Dover at 1159 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, DE 19901 where Ross will make an appearance again to greet fans and sign autographs.
OHS will provide educational activities and community outreach at both events to educate on the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol. In addition, OHS is partnering with the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement (DATE) to have their DUI simulator on site for both events where Delawareans can experience firsthand the dangers of driving impaired while in a safe and controlled environment.
“I am thankful to once again partner with the Delaware Office of Highway on our Drive Sober Use Your Melon program. We have had a lot of success educating Delawareans on the importance of driving sober,” said Ross Chastain. “As impaired driving related crashes, injuries and fatalities increase in Delaware and across the country, I am looking forward to using my platform to help the Delaware Office of Highway Safety educate all road users on the catastrophic dangers of driving impaired.”
Ross Chastain is a native of Alva, Florida, and an eighth-generation watermelon farmer and champion NASCAR driver. When Ross was not on the track, he tended to the watermelons on his family’s farm. Ross competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series for Trackhouse Racing in the No. 1 Chevrolet. Last year was a career-defining year for Ross as he scored 2 wins, 15 top-5s and 21 top-10s. Additionally, he made history at Martinsville Speedway by riding the wall, in a move now called “The Hail Melon,” to advance to the Championship where he finished second in the season-ending championship standings.
Ross has always been passionate about traffic safety and his love for being a watermelon farmer. This led to the creation of his Use Your Melon and Protect Your Melon Campaigns which are helping to spread awareness of the dangers of impaired and distracted driving across the country, highlighting the importance to drive sober and buckle up every trip, every time.
“Impaired driving is an increasing problem on Delaware’s roads” said Richard Klepner Deputy Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “If drivers are impaired by any substance – alcohol or drugs – they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. We are proud to partner with Ross and his team utilizing his platform to increase public awareness of the dangers regarding impaired driving.”
In Delaware, impaired driving crashes and arrests are increasing. Last year in 2022, there were 1,201 crashes, 104 serious injuries and 4,655 arrests involving impaired driving on Delaware roads. Statistics show that most fatal crashes occur on Friday night through Sunday morning with increases in the summer months and the month of December. Since 2018 40% of fatal crashes have involved impairment and males aged 20-44 are more likely than females to be driving drunk when involved in fatal crashes.
Nationally In 2020, there were 11,654 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. Drunk driving can have a range of consequences, including the possibility of causing a traumatic crash. These crashes could cause you, someone you love, or a total stranger to suffer serious injuries or even death.
Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
The Cost of Drunk Driving
- On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and more.
- If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time. Imagine trying to explain that to your friends and family or your place of employment.
- Drinking and driving can cause you to lose your driver’s license and your vehicle. This could keep you from getting to work, resulting in lost wages and, potentially, job loss.
About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com. Follow OHS on the Delaware Office of Highway Safety website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.