College students In opposition to Ingesting and Driving hosts provincial convention in Saskatoon – Saskatoon

Students Against Drinking and Driving held its provincial conference over the weekend in Saskatoon.

The event took place over Friday and Saturday, and included guest speakers.

Jenna Rathgeber has been with SADD for two years and grew up around the organization as her older sister was a member.

Rathgeber stressed the importance of not getting behind the wheel while impaired.

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“Lots of people have died because of impaired drivers and it’s always good to let people know because some people aren’t always aware of the consequences,” said Rathgeber.

The Van de Vorst and Stevenson families have both been affected by impaired driving, both having lost a loved one.

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The Stevenson family is no stranger to speaking at events like this, having spoken at the SADD conference multiple times before.

“You have to think that it’s going to make a difference in some small way, and if you do it enough, and you do it to enough people, I think it does make a difference,” said Craig Stevenson.

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His wife, Bonny Stevenson, compared awareness of drinking and driving to when seatbelts became mandatory.

“I think a comparison that’s been used before is when the seatbelt legislation came in everyone thought it was the dumbest thing ever and eventually, we all got to the point where we’re wearing our seatbelts and we’ve seen that it saves lives,” said Bonny Stevenson.

Linda Van de Vorst believes speaking at events and raising awareness does make a difference.

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“To lose someone is something that you have to live with the rest of your life and if we can share our message and it can stop someone from driving impaired or making that decision to do drugs, it’s worth it,” said Linda Van de Vorst.

Brynn Alspach is in his first year with SADD, and the messages shared by affected families are something she won’t forget.

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“This can help us have more of an impact and it’s really interesting to hear the perspectives of people who have been really deeply affected by this,” said Alspach.

Just like Jenna Rathgeber, Alspach was inspired to join because of her older sister. Alspach plans to stay with Students Against Drinking and Driving and continue to spread the message: don’t drive impaired.

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