Sunnie Jenkins, left, and Aryn Waag, right hold hands as they try to navigate the corn maze at Youngs Jersey Dairy with impaired driving goggles on Tuesday. The demonstration was part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Kick-Off at Young’s. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Clark County agencies join a national campaign focusing on impaired drivers. Here’s why goggles are involved.

Community organizations and local law enforcement agencies have come together to take part in a national campaign to reduce the number of impaired drivers and to spread awareness.

The campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” kicked off last week and runs through Sept. 3.

During the campaign, law enforcement will be on the lookout for drivers who are impaired, distracted, or speeding and will have an increased roadway presence, said Lt. Dustin White, Division Commander of the Uniform Patrol Division at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

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This will be made possible through the combined efforts of the Springfield Police Division, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office, which grants federal dollars to law enforcement agencies to dispatch more officers, according to White.

“Know that during this campaign, we don’t issue warnings,” White said. “Please buckle up and don’t drink and drive.”

Also present at a recent announcement of the campaign at Young’s Jersey Dairy were representatives from the Clark County Combined Health District’s Safe Communities Coalition, AAA, and #safeTEENfirst, a movement that encourages driver safety.

The scope of the campaign is not contained to drunk driving, said Cindy Antrican, Public Affairs Manager for AAA. It also focuses on illicit drugs and prescription medication.

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“It’s important when we talk about ‘Drive Sober’ that it’s not just tied to drunk driving,” Antrican said. “We have to look at the problem as a whole, and not just one piece of it.”

Participants at Young’s Jersey Dairy had the opportunity to attempt a corn maze while wearing impaired driving goggles, which were provided by CCCHD.

“It’s a fun event, but we’re also trying to just get people aware of how dangerous it is to drive impaired,” said Emma Smales, Health Planner and Safe Communities Program Coordinator with CCCHD. “It really is a matter of life and death.”

“I actually felt like I was impaired,” said maze participant Aryn Waag. “Just walking was hard, so getting behind the wheel, I could not imagine.”

Waag is also the mother of David Waag, a Greenon High School senior who died when a car in which he was a passenger crashed into a tree on Aug. 20, 2017.

The driver of the car , Trey Blevins, crashed into a tree. Blevins was indicted on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs.

The case against Blevins is still pending in Greene County Common Pleas Court.

David Waag was not wearing a seat belt during the accident. He was 17 years old when he died.

Since then, Aryn Waag joined #safeTEENfirst, speaking at schools about the importance of seat belt safety.

“One small choice that you don’t think about … could change your life forever,” Aryn Waag said. “We just want teens to be safe.”

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