EIU anti-drunk driving group to honor police

2013-04-08T01:00:00Z EIU anti-drunk driving group to honor police JG-TC.com
April 08, 2013 1:00 am

CHARLESTON (JG-TC) — Coles County Sheriff’s Office personnel this week will be honored, as will officers from the police departments at Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon and Charleston, according to a press release.

The event to honor the law enforcement personnel is to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Buzzard Hall second floor atrium on EIU’s campus, a media statement from Respect for Youth (RFY), EIU’s chapter of University Mothers Against Drunk Driving (UMADD), stated. The awards to the officers will be presented by members of RFY.

“We want to honor those who have made Coles County streets and highways much safer by getting impaired drivers off the road,” RFY President Brandon Mendez said. “Each year, Respect for Youth honors the officers from each department who have given the most DUI tickets, making the roads safer for all of us.”

In addition, according to Mendez, this year the group will honor the department with the most total arrests with a traveling trophy, which was donated to the group by EIU Chief of Police Adam Due. Each year it will move to the department that removes the largest total number of impaired drivers from the streets of Coles County.

This year the honor goes to the Sheriff’s Office.

RFY will honor Capt. Ray Hall for getting 16 impaired drivers off the streets of Mattoon; Sgt. Mike Elam for getting 20 impaired drivers off the streets in and around EIU; Officer Brian Hissong for getting 31 impaired drivers off the streets of Charleston; and, Deputy Sheriff Chris Cochennour for getting 67 impaired drivers off the roads of Coles County.

RFY was founded in 2007 following the death of the girlfriend of EIU football wide receiver Micah Rucker, when she was hit by an underage, drunk driver.

Rucker, who now plays for the New Orleans Voo Doo, wanted to do what he could to ensure no one else suffered such a loss. He started Respect for Youth with this in mind, and the group brings inspirational speakers to campus, promotes events that do not include alcohol and does other activities to stress the responsibilities that go with alcohol use.

Membership in the group is free and both students and community members are welcome to attend to work toward these goals. The group meets every other Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Buzzard Hall in Room 2522, the Journalism Department conference room. The last meeting of the year will be April 23.

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(4) Comments

  1. travisterrific
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    travisterrific - April 09, 2013 2:19 pm
    And at the same time;we should set up state police outside of local vfw and country clubs to stop and check local judges and city and county officers leaving the establishments under the influence of alcohol as well.
  2. gringa
    Report Abuse
    gringa - April 08, 2013 3:30 pm
    "The police take DUIs seriously but all too often our courts do not."

    I couldn't agree more! All you have to do is look up names of those receiving current DUI's on judici.com to find repeat offenders who have had charges dropped from previous arrests, have no valid driver's licenses, and have no insurance on the vehicle involved.

    There are times where no damage or bodily harm resulted from a DUI, and rightfully the court goes easy on the offender, but ....
  3. Rosanna
    Report Abuse
    Rosanna - April 08, 2013 11:59 am
    While I am not trying to criticize the efforts of the police, I have to wonder how many of these cases involved previous DUIs and persons driving on suspended or revoked licenses. While it is one thing to give a first time offender a second chance, that should never be extended to repeat offenders. The police take DUIs seriously but all too often our courts do not.
  4. gringa
    Report Abuse
    gringa - April 08, 2013 10:46 am
    For some strange reason Gestapo roadblocks do not infringe on our 4th Amendment rights, but arresting stumbling fall-down drunks leaving local golf courses and bars and clubs is somehow harassment.

    If the goal of law enforcement was to keep drunks from driving, they should position their resources where drunk drivers are likely to be. Instead of setting up random roadblocks, spend the same amount of money on breathalyzers to be used by those who frequent places where alcohol is consumed.
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