REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2013) - It is a Long Weekend that students will never forget as MADD Canada, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) and Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) bring the 2012-2013 School Assembly Program to Saskatchewan schools.
This year's show, titled Long Weekend, challenges students to examine their beliefs and choices around mixing alcohol and/or drugs with driving, and helps them understand the tragedy that can occur when people make the wrong choices. SLGA, SGI and MADD Canada joined the staff and students at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill High School today for a special screening to highlight the program's provincial tour. SLGA and SGI are sponsoring 35 Long Weekend presentations at schools throughout Saskatchewan.
"SLGA and SGI are proud to once again sponsor this dynamic and powerful program," Legislative Secretary to the Minister responsible for SGI Darryl Hickie said. "This is one of the most important ways that we can reach out to the young people in our province and emphasize the point that they each have the choice, and the power, to prevent impaired driving."
Long Weekend opens with Brian, his brother Malcolm, girlfriend Jessica and best friend Raj on a trip to the cottage. The four youths drink, smoke pot and make increasingly risky decisions. The weekend takes a horrific turn when an impaired Brian attempts to drive into town with Jessica. The fictional story is then followed by emotional and moving real-life stories of four people who were killed in impaired driving crashes.
"So many young people - and in fact people of all ages - think they can handle it. They think nothing will happen to them if they drive impaired. But the numbers, and the tragic real-life accounts of impaired driving that are featured in Long Weekend, tell a very different story," said MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk.
Impaired driving takes a huge toll on Canadian youth. Nearly 50 per cent of all road crash deaths involving 15 to 24 year olds are alcohol-related. In 2009, approximately 350 young people were killed and 41,000 were injured in impairment-related crashes. Also in 2009, 16-25 year olds constituted just 13.7 per cent of the population, but accounted for nearly 31.1 per cent of all alcohol-related crash deaths.
MADD Canada has been reaching out to students through its School Assembly Program since 1994. Each year, a new program is produced to get students thinking about the risks of impaired driving. More than one million students will see Long Weekend, and the French language program called Dommages, across Canada during the 2012-2013 school year.
Ms. Dubyk noted the important role that sponsors such as SLGA and SGI play in bringing this show to students.
"With SLGA and SGI as the Provincial Sponsors of this program, we can deliver Long Weekend to Saskatchewan students and encourage them to see the real facts and the real consequences of impaired driving," Ms. Dubyk said. "Our goal is to ensure none of these students make the mistake of getting behind the wheel impaired or riding with an impaired driver. We do not want to lose one more young person to impaired driving."
About MADD Canada
MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. For more information, visit www.madd.ca.
About Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is responsible for the distribution, control and regulation of liquor and most gaming across the province. Saskatchewan's retail liquor system includes 79 liquor stores, 190 rural franchises and a specialty wine store franchise. Visit: www.saskliquor.com.
About Saskatchewan Government Insurance
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province's self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of over 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Customers can now do some transactions online. Look for the MySGI link under Online Services on your motor licence issuer's website or SGI's website at: www.sgi.sk.ca.