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National Lt. Governors Association Endorses HERO Campaign; 1st National Association of State Elected Officials Supporting Grassroots Designated Driving Program
Date:2/12/2008

NEW YORK, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Affirming its commitment to preventing drunken driving tragedies across America, the National Lieutenant Governors Association Executive Committee has voted unanimously to endorse the Ensign John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers.

The HERO Campaign is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to increasing the use of sober designated drivers to prevent drunken driving. It was established by the family of Navy Ensign John Elliott of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver weeks after graduating from the United States Naval Academy in May 2000. Ensign Elliott was on his way home from Annapolis, MD to celebrate his mother's birthday when the fatal collision occurred. The drunken driver had been arrested earlier in the evening on DUI charges, but was released to the custody of a friend, who allowed him to resume driving while still intoxicated.

"The NLGA is proud to be the first national association of state elected officials to promote this campaign," said NLGA Director Julia Hurst. "The HERO story and its objectives have been embraced by our organization, which represents the nation's lieutenant governors."

"The NLGA's endorsement represents a tremendous boost to our efforts," said Bill Elliott, Ensign's Elliott's father and HERO Campaign Chairman. "Our sincerest gratitude goes to the association and its members for their support. Together, we can help change attitudes about drunken driving and make the use of sober designated drivers as automatic as wearing seat belts."

Since its inception, the HERO Campaign has seen numerous victories, including support from restaurant, bar and tavern owners in a number of states, colleges and universities, professional sports teams and venues, including the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands (NJ).

On the legislative front, in 2001, New Jersey adopted "John's Law 1," named in honor of Ensign Elliott, which requires police to impound the cars of drunken drivers for up to 12 hours. President Bush also signed a federal transportation bill in 2005, which includes grant incentives for states to adopt the DUI car impoundment provisions of John's Law.

Several states have since enacted such legislation, while others, including Delaware and New Jersey, have declared themselves "HERO States." In so doing, these states have embarked on campaigns to promote the use of sober designated driving, including encouraging restaurants, bars, and other establishments where alcohol is available or sold to provide free non-alcoholic beverages to patrons who agree to serve as designated drivers, distributing designated driver pledge cards at sobriety checkpoints and on college campuses, and other initiatives.

Through its endorsement, the NLGA is featuring the HERO Campaign on the home page of its website. Moreover, the association has distributed information on the campaign to its members and invited them to actively advocate on its behalf in their respective states.

For more information on the HERO Campaign, visit http://www.herocampaign.org. For more information on the NLGA, visit http://www.nlga.us.

Contact: Dan Klores Communications

Bruce Bobbins

212-981-5190


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SOURCE HERO Campaign
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