Record co. takes on drunken driving

Susan Acker

Illumina Records has teamed up with musicians with a new program to try to prevent drunken driving.

President of Illumina Records Ronald Bellanti started the campaign, which is called Ground Control.

“He had witnessed the highlights and lowlights of music. He saw a lot of victims of drunk driving along the way,” Nicole VanEden, spokeswoman for Illumina Records said.

Ground Control’s Web site provides posters for bands, victim’s stories and the story of why Bellanti started Ground Control.

An excerpt from the story gives readers a glimpse of what Bellanti saw.

“I ran to the crash as fast as I could. When I got there I could see that it was bad, there was with screaming and blood everywhere. The girl that I was just speaking to was lying on her side.

“One of her arms was severed and blood was everywhere, it was just pumping out of her.

“The thing I remember the most was her eyes, and that only one of them was still in her head. I remember that I kept looking all over for her other eye.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and non-fatally injure someone every two minutes.

The target audience of this campaign is teenagers and college-age young adults.

Two of the artists involved in the campaign are Ian Allen and Margot MacDonald.

MacDonald is the 2007 national spokesperson. She recently recorded a Christmas song whose proceeds will go toward the Ground Control campaign.

“It’s easy to avoid. A lot of times it’s not avoided, sadly,” MacDonald said.

She said if someone is thinking about drinking and driving they should call a cab.

Allen wrote a song titled “Will ICU Again” that is being used in the campaign.

“It’s gratifying when someone hears your song and says ‘We can use it for our campaign,’” Allen said. “What better way to reach them than through music?”

The San Diego-based singer wrote the song about a friend who was killed in a car accident.

Allen has a message for people who are thinking about drinking and driving.

“Don’t do it. Don’t be selfish, it’s not about you, it’s about other people,” he said.

Allen’s song can be heard at

Susan Acker can be reached at

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