Drinking Destroys Dreams – Public Safety Announcement

In August of 2016, the Lacey Township Task Force (including but not limited to members of the Lacey Township Municipal Alliance, Township of Lacey, Lacey Township Police Department, Lacey Township Board of Education, Lacey Township Recreation Department, Residents, and Religious and Business Organizations) had a meeting to discuss several topics that are affecting our community, including the heroin epidemic that is among us. During this meeting, the idea of presenting Public Safety Announcements to our community, including our schools, was discussed. The ideas included PSAs on Heroin, Drinking and Driving, and Distracted Driving. The first PSA chosen was on the Heroin Epidemic and planning began almost immediately.

On March 10, 2017, “Red Night Out” was presented at the Lacey Township High School. During Red Night Out, Chief Michael C. DiBella presented the Public Safety Announcement on Heroin, titled “Heroin Destroys Happiness” which was completed by students and staff from the Lacey Township High School Telecommunications class, Lacey Township Middle School Staff, the Lacey Township Police Department and the Lacey Township Emergency Services. The “Heroin Destroys Happiness” PSA was a true success and has already received awards including:

1) “Best Drama” – Ocean County Library Film Festival
2) “Critiqued for Excellence” – Ocean County Teen Arts

3) “Best Video” – Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission

4) Selected for the NJ State Teen Arts (State Teen Arts is an exhibition, being selected is the honor).

(Please see the below link for the PSA “Heroin Destroys Happiness”)

Almost immediately after completing this PSA, the Lacey Township High School Telecommunications class, in partnership with the Lacey Township Police Department, began filming a PSA on Drinking and Driving (Underage Drinking). This PSA was titled “Drinking Destroys Dreams.”

On June 1st, 2017, just prior to the Lacey Township High School Project Crash Event, the “Drinking Destroys Dreams” PSA was shown for the first time to approximately 275 graduating Lacey Township High School Seniors in the auditorium (The Lacey Township High School Prom was taking place the following evening, June 2, 2017).  What is unique about this particular PSA, is it shows what occurs when a young adult makes a good decision and what happens when a young adult makes a bad decision, both in the same scenario (Please see the below link for the PSA “Drinking Destroys Dreams”). During this PSA, you see both sides of what happens when a young lady getting ready for the High School Prom decides to consume an alcoholic beverage prior to driving and meeting her friends. You also see what happens when she decides not to consume the alcoholic beverage.

I would like to first thank Television Production Teacher Jeremy Muerman and all of the students from the Lacey Township High School Telecommunications Class who are responsible for producing this “Drinking Destroys Dreams” PSA, including:

  1. Jessica Schlagenhaft (Production Team Director and Creative Team Member)
  2. Zach Ramos (Production Team Assistant Director and Creative Team Member)
  3. Trevor Stankiewitch (Editor and Creative Team Member)
  4. Daria Saxton (Producer and Creative Team Member)
  5. James Capelli (Creative Team Member)
  6. Callam Fredericks (Creative Team Member)
  7. Ryan Crawiec (Creative Team Member)

I would also like to thank the Lacey Township Board of Education, the Township of Lacey, including Mayor Peter Curatolo, who played a real-life part in the PSA, Accurate Towing (seen in the PSA), Lacey Township Police Officers Noah Schaffer and Michael Verwey, who both participated in this PSA, and every single person who was involved in one way or another with making this video. Again, I thank you and I truly appreciate all of your hard work. Already I look forward to the final PSA for this year on Distracted Driving.

Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs continues to be a serious problem across the United States. Every 51 minutes a person is killed by a drunk driver, and another is injured every two minutes. In 2015, 10,265 people died in drunk driving crashes and another 290,000 were injured. Here in Lacey Township, there is zero tolerance for operating a vehicle while under the influence. If you are caught, you will be arrested.

Throughout 2017, the Lacey Township Police Department will continue to detect and deter DUI offenders through both DUI enforcement patrols and approved DUI checkpoints. We will be working with our partners in law enforcement throughout Ocean County to conduct these DUI patrols and checkpoints. The intent of these extra DUI patrols and checkpoints is to make the roadways in Lacey Township as safe as possible for the motoring public.

Both DUI and Underage DUI have severe penalties. DUI penalties for a first offense include but are not limited to a Driver’s License Suspension, Fines, Mandatory Attendance at the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center, and a Possible Term of Imprisonment. In addition, under John’s Law, there will be towing and storage fees.

Drinking Destroys Dreams PSA

Heroin Destroys Happiness PSA

Thank you.


-Chief Michael C. DiBella