"The John R. Elliott Foundation and New Jerseys Attorney General John J. Farmer, Jr. have enlisted the help of Monmouth County Sheriff Joseph W. Oxley to raise awareness about the important role designated drivers play in combating drunk driving. Bill Elliott, Chairman and founder of the "Hero Campaign," Attorney General Farmer and Sheriff Oxley traveled to the Court Jester restaurant on Main Street in Freehold, Wednesday, August 22, to launch the awareness campaign in Monmouth County.
The "Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers" was established by Bill Elliott, Egg Harbor Township, in memory of his son John R. Elliott. Navy Ensign Elliott, age 22, was killed by a drunk driver on July 22, 2000. The drunk driver had been arrested by State Police earlier in the evening and subsequently released to the custody of an adult acquaintance. The adult allowed the drunk driver to get back into his vehicle and to drive away, ultimately resulting in the crash that killed John Elliott.
The "Hero Campaign" teaches the importance of designated drivers by recognizing people who choose to remain sober, ensuring their friends return home safely. Local liquor establishments are asked to participate by displaying free "Hero Campaign" posters or window decals. When a designated driver is identified by the restaurant, complimentary soft drinks or coffee will be provided. Patrons and employees will also be encouraged to wear free blue and gold ribbons provided by the "Hero Campaign."
As part of a countywide initiative, the Monmouth County Sheriffs Office will assist Mr. Elliott and the Attorney General in recruiting local establishments to participate in the Hero Campaign. Currently, establishments throughout Monmouth County are in discussion to become charter "Hero Campaign" members, including the Court Jester in Freehold and Aberdeen, and Ashes restaurant and cigar club in Red Bank.
"Designated drivers save lives, and we are asking all of the licensed liquor establishments in Monmouth County to assist the Sheriffs Office and the Attorney Generals Office in raising awareness through the Hero Campaign," Monmouth County Sheriff Joseph W. Oxley said. "The charter member establishments have joined to help me recognize everyone who takes the responsibility to stay sober and keep drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel."
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