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Forum staff reports, Published February 27 2013

Statewide DUI ad campaign launches this week featuring relatives of West Fargo family killed in crash

BISMARCK – Relatives of a West Fargo family killed last July when their vehicle was struck by a drunken driver going the wrong way on Interstate 94 will be featured in a statewide advertising campaign beginning this week.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation recently worked with Arlene and Tom Deutscher, of Bismarck, to bring awareness to the deadly consequences of drinking and driving, according to a department news release.

The couple’s message will be released this week using TV, radio, social media and billboards.

In the message, the couple discuss how a tragic crash affected them last July 6, when their son, Aaron Deutscher, his pregnant wife, Allison, and their 18-month-old daughter, Brielle, were on their way to a family reunion when a pickup traveling the wrong way on I-94 near Crystal Springs collided head-on with their vehicle.

All involved were instantly killed, including the pickup’s intoxicated driver.

Mark Nelson, director of the department’s safety division, said too many such tragedies are happening in the state, noting 52 percent of fatal traffic crashes in 2012 involved alcohol.

“The Deutschers have made a bold choice to take their tragedy and turn it into an opportunity to save lives,” he said in the news release. “The overall message we want to get across with the Deutscher campaign is that it’s not worth it. Don’t drive drunk. It’s that simple – just don’t do it.”

The 60-second message can also be found on the department’s Facebook page or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/NDDOTOnline.

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