Erin Coombs, on behalf of the Edward Taylor Coombs Foundation, spoke in front of 400 Elizabethtown College Student-Athlete Mentors
on the importance of responsible decision making on October 18th. She was invited to speak as a part of the NCAA and TEAM Coalition’s Never Drive Drunk campaign. At the end of the seminar, all students in attendance signed the pledge to Never Drive Drunk!
The college, which is located in Elizabethtown, Pa., offered laptops to allow audience members to sign the pledge to never drink and drive at bluejaysNDD.org. The Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at the professional and collegiate level of sports, supported both the banner and the pledge. It was through this Coalition that the Student-Athlete Mentors learned about the ETC Foundation and Erin Coombs.
During her discussion, Erin shared how her brother, Edward, a passenger in a vehicle driven by an intoxicated driver, had died in 2011. In his memory, Erin and her family created the Edward Taylor Coombs Foundation, which, to date, has awarded more than $290,000 in scholarships to high school seniors.
In addition to stressing to students the importance of not drinking and driving, she also shared how to drink safely and responsibly. The ETC Foundation understands that drinking, for some students, is part of college life. Erin encourages using some of these preventive measures, including the Virtual Bar app, which allows users to keep track of their Blood Alcohol Concentration and know whether they are above the legal limit or not.
By entering their gender, height, weight and age and then selecting the type of drink and how long it took to consume, users can know their current BAC, the amount of time until it returns to zero and the alcohol’s effect on their judgement and coordination. Users can also see how eating food will affect their BAC.
Erin also shared the importance of eating before and after drinking alcohol and of alternating between alcoholic beverages and water. She also told the audience to avoid drinking games.
Designated drivers should not consume any alcoholic beverages before they drive. If students or their designated drivers are too intoxicated to legally drive, Coombs suggested ordering an Uber or a taxi. She also shared that she often buys Ubers for other people.
“It’s better to intervene early than to hear something tragic the next day,” Coombs said.