by Donna McCollum
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are considered party nights at Stephen F. Austin State University. Beginning this week, anyone who may find themselves partying a bit too much can call 'Driving Jacks' for a safe ride home.
"Don't Drive Jacked Up", is the organization's motto. Driving Jacks volunteers are letting students know the free safe ride home service is ready to make sure they get home safely after a night of partying.
Driving Jacks' president Stephanie Sullivan is certain lots of party goers will be picked up in an Enterprise rental car. The company is offering the rentals at reduced rates. Volunteer students will be dispatched to some bar or party to pick up a person who may have had a little too much to drink. Stephens assured, "Even if you're under age, we don't ask for IDs. It's non-judgmental. We don't tell you about not to drink. We don't take you to any other bars or parties. We only take you home."
Safety for not only the party goer, but also the drivers is a consideration. Jonathan Ghoison is the risk management director. "Terrie Mayfield of Nacogdoches Safe and Drug Free did training on alcohol awareness and how to handle someone who may be intoxicated, and also covered date rape drugs and recognizing those," he explained.
Driving Jacks doesn't want to leave the impression it's promoting heavy drinking. Quite the contrary. Amy Shields introduced the idea at SFA, only to be killed by a drunk driver in 2004. Education about responsible drinking is important. Faculty advisor, Dr. Carl Pfaffenberg said, "At all campuses throughout the country, approximately 40% of students don't drink at all. They have nothing to do with it."
Driving Jacks is supported by those who are realistic about alcohol use. The main objective is to keep drunk drivers off the Nacogdoches streets. The number to call if you need the services of driving jacks is 936-652-6600. They'll provide rides to students and community residents within the city of Nacogdoches.