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Drivers urged to make the right choice

Local nonprofit hosts even about safe summer driving

The open house at Beacon of Hope, the Choices 301 building, provided information about safe driving just in time for the summer months when instances of drunk driving, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents tend to increase slightly, according to Lt. Kerry Thompson of Albany County Stop DWI.

The open house at Beacon of Hope, the Choices 301 building, provided information about safe driving just in time for the summer months when instances of drunk driving, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents tend to increase slightly, according to Lt. Kerry Thompson of Albany County Stop DWI. Tom Heffernan, Sr.

— Thompson said Frank has been instrumental in helping Albany County Stop DWI spread awareness about drunk driving by providing resources and a venue for high school students to visit. Just this year, more than 1,800 high school students connected with Choices 301.

“Ed Frank is one of the most dedicated people that we deal with; a very good partner of our organization and program and we lean on him a lot to help us in the public awareness and educational aspect,” said Thompson.

Talking about drunk driving is important year-round, but particularly so in the summer months when Thompson said the number of people nabbed for DWI spikes.

“The warmer months bring out a lot of people. There’s an increased number of DWIs because people are out having a good time,” said Thompson.

On hand at the Sunday event was a jeep with a replica missile secured on top. Emblazoned on each side was a message: “A drunk driver is as dangerous as a misguided missile.” It’s Frank’s catchphrase and one he takes on the road, literally, all across the region.

“It’s an attention getter but it gets the conversation started,” said Frank.

Frank’s main goal is to “get the drunk out from behind the wheel,” but he makes sure to tackle issues like texting while driving, speeding and proper seatbelt use, too, because they create their own type of risks.

“Anything to get the message of how safe can we be on that highway,” said Frank.

It takes more than a one-of-a-kind car to get his message across. Parents who have lost children to drunk or distracted drivers volunteer with Choices 301 on a regular basis to share their tragedies and raise awareness.

Linda Campion of Clifton Park has been beside Frank since the beginning. She lost her daughter, Kathleen, to a drunk driver in 1989, and has spent more than 20 years as an anti-DWI crusader.

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