Informed Families Catalyst

Family Focus: Melissa & Demetrius Branca

Posted by Informed Families on August 30, 2018 at 4:26 PM

Family Focus: Melissa & Demetrius Branca

Four years ago, Melissa Branca received a call that would change her life forever. Her stepson Anthony was struck and killed by a distracted driver on his way to work. He was hit in his vehicle while waiting to make a left turn. The truck driver, who was going 40 miles per hour when he hit Anthony, received a $1,100 fine and a 6-month license suspension for careless driving. Anthony died one month before his 20th birthday.

“When you experience a loss of this magnitude, everything changes…you turn into a completely different person,” said Branca. “I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. This shouldn’t have happened. It was preventable. Distracted driving is an underserved problem, legislatively and otherwise.”

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Topics: driving, Florida, parents, impaired driving, distracted driving

Informed Families Receives $25K Grant To Expand Safe Homes Smart Parties

Posted by Informed Families on November 22, 2017 at 12:18 PM

Thanks to a generous grant from the 2017 State Attorney's Safer & Healthier Communities Fund through the Miami Foundation, Informed Families will be expanding our Safe Homes Smart Parties campaign to address safe driving.

The program will reduce impaired driving by educating over 40,000 teens and families in 30 Miami-Dade high schools about the danger, consequences, illegality and social unacceptability of impaired driving through educational materials, educational activities and a targeted, interactive awareness campaign in schools and online.

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Topics: safe parties, safe homes smart parties, driving

Talking with Your Teen About Buzzed Driving

Posted by Informed Families on April 28, 2017 at 8:00 AM

You likely have seen the commercials from the Ad Council: “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.” This campaign is aimed at educating people that buzzed is synonymous with impaired, and if you are impaired, you shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel. The goal, of course, is to convince drinkers that if they are tipsy, rather than falling-down drunk, they are, in the eyes of the law, still under the influence and a danger to themselves, their passengers and others on the road.

This message is often difficult to impart to adults, who may think they are fine to drive even after several drinks. For teens, the task is even more challenging; many high schoolers already feel invincible, and many have little experience with how alcohol physiologically affects them.

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Topics: driving, alcohol use

New Research Shows Marijuana Use Impairs Driving

Posted by Informed Families on July 22, 2015 at 1:01 PM

Effects of marijuana – with and without alcohol – on driving performance

Using the most sophisticated driving simulator of its kind to mirror real-life situations, new research shows that marijuana use impairs one measure of driving performance. People driving with blood concentrations of 13.1 µg/L THC – the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – showed increased weaving within the lane, similar to those with 0.08 breath alcohol, the threshold for impaired driving in many states. Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana had an additive effect, so that drivers using both substances weaved within lanes even if their blood THC and alcohol concentrations were below the impairment thresholds for each substance alone. Alcohol, but not marijuana, increased the number of times the car actually left the lane and the speed of weaving. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Office on National Drug Control Policy, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded the study.

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Topics: marijuana, study, driving

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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