ABC sponsors don’t drink, drive speaker

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Don’t drink and drive is the life message Brandon Silveria will give both Andalusia and Straughn high school students on Aug. 24.

Presented by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, along with Diageo, the world’s leading premium spirits, wine and beer company, Silveria will give the the life-saving lesson to students and demonstrate firsthand the importance of “making the right choice” about alcohol, and that if students are under the age of 21, the only responsible decision is not to drink.

“Brandon is a young man who was involved in an alcohol-related crash at age 17 just before his high school prom,” said Lt. Lance Price with the local ABC office.

Price said the state ABC Board is committed to trying to stop drunk driving and underage drinking in Alabama.

“Having Mr. Silveria visit our high schools will show our teenagers the fateful consequences of drinking and driving, and will help the community come together to say no to underage drinking,” he said.

During the presentation, Silveria will recount his wrenching story of how, as a high school student, he had everything a teenager could want – a job, a girlfriend and plans for the future – until he had a few drinks at a party and chose to drive home. After falling asleep at the wheel, crossing the centerline and crashing into a tree, he was left in a coma for three months and spent several years in rehabilitation.

“Brandon was so badly injured that basic motor functions such as walking, talking and swallowing had to be re-learned,” Price said. “He sustained permanent brain injury and suffers from dangerous seizures. Brandon’s presentations consistently receive standing ovations at schools across the country from students who are touched by his story.”

Silveria’s presentation was originally scheduled for May around area proms and graduation season; however, the event was postponed due the storms and tornados that wrecked havoc around the state in late April.

He will visit SHS at 10 a.m., followed by AHS at 1 p.m.