At our regular meeting on Wednesday, November 15th, Justin Quaranta discussed the Simple Hope Foundation, a program designed to combat alcohol and drug addiction, and drunk driving, an official project of the Rotary Club of the Ronkonkomas.
The mission of The Simple Hope Foundation to seek out and support effective means of combating substance-abuse driving related injury and death, and to help find new and innovative means of counteracting alcohol and drug addiction.
Justin described the origins of the Simple Hope Foundation, explaining that most drunk drivers who kill are first time offenders; they’re not falling down drunk when they get into their cars. they’re just impaired – and they don’t know it.
The project began when, after considering a myriad of approaches, its founders realized that the best way to intervene in the path of potentially deadly drunk driving incidents is to make people aware of their impaired condition while “they still had a drink in their hand”.
The basis of the program is to set up a breathalyzer kiosk network in establishments serving alcohol in every community, where potential drunk drivers can see just how impaired they really are before getting behind the wheel.
 
The approach is based on results of surveys  indicating that most impaired drivers believed that their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was below the legal limit, and that they would not have driven if they had known otherwise.
 
Since asking a potential drunk driver to pay for the BAC test is implausible, the tests would be free, and the kiosk free to the host establishment. All costs would be covered by kiosk sponsorships and on-screen sales.
 
The kiosks have been used at Rotary fundraisers and other similar events with great success. The challenge is to get widespread acceptance throughout commercial establishments that serve alcohol. The Simple Hope Foundation encourages all Rotary clubs and other civic organizations to try the concept at their events, and to convey its message throughout our communities.
 
The Simple Hope Foundation wants to shift the paradigm by creating a social change in the way people think and act when drinking before driving – not by proselytizing, but by giving people the tools they need to avoid a tragedy. 
 
Justin is shown above with Babylon Rotary President Frank Seibert.