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Charly Haley, Published February 09 2013

Fargo students advocate against drinking and driving

FARGO – When it comes to drunken drivers, three Fargo high school students think even “one is one too many,” and they want others to feel the same way.

Fargo South High School sophomore Anna Lawley and juniors Madison McConn and Andrew Kelsh are advocating against drinking and driving with their One is One Too Many campaign.

They’re working with Fargo South’s chapter of DECA, a leadership organization.

The campaign cites statistics showing North Dakota’s number of fatalities attributed to driving under the influence is 46 percent, the highest in the U.S.

“I think our project and projects like ours are very important because they target teens,” Kelsh said. He said it’s most important to teenagers so they can receive the message before developing dangerous habits with alcohol.

The students traveled to Bismarck last week and presented the campaign at the state Career and Technical Education conference. They also visited with legislators to support legislation that targets underage drinking.

The proposed bill contains stricter legal consequences for driving under the influence and underage drinking.

Lawley, McConn and Kelsh have also promoted One is One Too Many locally and online. The campaign’s website – oneisonetoomany.com – has a page for people to pledge against drinking and driving. They also have a Twitter feed, @1_is_1TooMany.

On Friday, they set up a booth in the Fargo South lunchroom where students could pledge. The booth also offered information and showed videos, including a trailer for North Dakota Safety Council’s upcoming 25-minute documentary against drunken driving.

Students could also try using “drunk goggles” to see how their actions could be impaired by alcohol.

The three say their fellow students are responding well to the campaign.

Even just having them hear it is good, Lawley said.

One is One Too Many is partnered with the North Dakota Safety Council. Robert Arman, a Safety Council representative and state Highway Patrol trooper, was at South on Friday to help Lawley, McConn and Kelsh with their demonstration.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311