Vail Mountain School students work on drunk driving prevention |

Vail Mountain School students work on drunk driving prevention

Student recommendations include signs, TV spots and information on apps

Vail Mountain School students have created several suggestions to help curb drinking and driving.

VAIL — Town officials here have been known to turn kids’ ideas into action — the Zeke Pierce Skate Park is the best example. Now kids may have some ideas to curb drinking and driving in town.

A group of Vail Mountain School students Tuesday gave a handful of presentations to the Vail Town Council about possible ideas to keep people out of their cars after a night on the town.

The students are from teacher Grant Gary’s innovation class, and started from a premise of how to improve something in their world. The students settled on drinking and driving.

But why drinking and driving?

Gary asked the students how many of them knew someone who had been injured or killed in a drunk-driving accident. Most of the students raised their hands.

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Most of the presentations focused on building awareness that people who shouldn’t drive home can park overnight without charge in the town’s parking structures. 

A couple of the teams made videos that could be used for commercials, perhaps on local TV channels. Other teams recommended signs, both on the way into the structures and on the way to the resort villages.

Other teams recommended add-ons to Vail Resorts’ Epic Mix app, perhaps with a “fence” in the area around the resort villages, so only people there would get the public service messages.

All the presentations hit on a handful of important topics: the ability to park free overnight, if you recover your vehicle by the following morning, and options for getting home or back to your lodging. Information also included the facts that alcohol has a more debilitating effect on people coming from lower elevations, and that Eagle County has the state’s second-highest per-capita rate of alcohol-related road fatalities.

Council members said they were impressed with the presentations.

Councilwoman Kim Langmaid recommended putting the drinking and driving information on the town of Vail’s app.

Mayor Dave Chapin, an owner of Vendetta’s in Vail Village, said he believed local bars would be receptive to informational signs in those establishments, and invited the group to a Wednesday meeting of that group.

Talking to the students, Chapin had some advice for both teens and adults: “When you have the opportunity to make decisions, you want to make the right decisions.”

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at or 970-748-2930.

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