11th Annual Think and Drive Program Offered Various Messages to Area Students

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PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Tuesday brought the Dakota Radio Group’s annual Think and Drive-Stay Alive 2013 program to Riggs High School Theater.  The presentation was offered to students from eight different schools and included a discussion of messages from synthetic drugs to distracted driving.  Attorney General Marty Jackley was the first speaker of this year’s program.  He updated the youth about so-called synthetic drugs; which are basically harmful chemicals that are labeled in a way to attract or mislead users.

Some types of synthetics are packaged as products like herbal incense or plant food to cover up their intended purpose or are marketed toward youth as a “legal” high.  Jackley says instead, they can bring dangerous results.

Jackley had a handful of questions from teens in the theater and says it was a good chance to give them information about the dangerous synthetic substances.

Jackley says the chemicals in many of the synthetic drugs haven’t been tested and there are no safeguards in place.  He says medical professionals have a hard time knowing how to treat users who end up in emergency rooms, because they don’t know the types of chemicals that have been ingested.

Peter Maningas, MD who is an emergency room physician at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital, spoke to the teens about destructive habits and delivered a message of hope.

Justin Iburg of Mitchell was the day’s final speaker.  He was involved in a districted driving accident near Mitchell in September of 2010 which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist.  He was found not guilty of Second Degree Manslaughter, but guilty of Reckless Driving.   He was sentenced to serve 100 days in jail in exchange for voluntarily giving up his driver’s license for five years.  He was also ordered to give 25 distracted driving presentations and Tuesday’s Think and Drive program was his 48th.  He spoke about the victim of his accident during his segment, along with how the entire incident has impacted his life and says he hopes those who hear his message take his words to heart.

Iburg says there are several things that can distract drivers when they’re behind the wheel.

To listen in to Tuesday’s program, click on the Think and Drive banner at www.drgnews.com.

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