IMPACT Grand Prairie adds Dallas County JP, reminds everyone to designate a driver this holiday season

by dentonramsey

IMPACT Grand Prairie adds Dallas County JP, reminds everyone to designate a driver this holiday season


By Denton Ramsey / Sports Editor


The IMPACT Grand Prairie group has been busy.

On Dec. 8, the community coalition to reduce and prevent youth substance abuse in Grand Prairie selected Dallas County Justice of the Peace Michael C. Petty as vice chair for IMPACT Grand Prairie.

“I am extremely pleased to have Judge Petty’s passion and leadership for IMPACT Grand Prairie,” City Manager and IMPACT Grand Prairie chair Tom Hart said. “He is a true advocate for youth and will do everything in his power to ensure a safe and healthy community for this and future generations.”

Judge Petty has served as Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, since 2002, and prior to that he worked to attain the rank of lieutenant and earned the Dallas Police Department commendation for lifesaving.

Petty has also owned a private investigation company and worked as a mediator, previously serving on the board of directors for Equest, Victims Outreach of Dallas, and Success for all Children and Dallas County Mental Health/Mental Retardation.

Judge Petty is married to Pamela Dealey Petty and they have one son, Clifford, who is 16.

In addition to adding a new vice chair to the group, IMPACT Grand Prairie is also stressing the importance of designating a driver this holiday season with the slogan, “If you catch a buzz, catch a ride.”

“The holiday season is supposed to be a time for family, friends and festive celebrations, but it is unfortunately also a time when we see a tragic jump in the number of alcohol-related highway fatalities,” Hart said.

The holiday season is one of the busiest on the nation’s roadways, and due to a high incidence of alcohol, it’s also one of the most dangerous.

Locally, the Grand Prairie Police Department will increase DWI enforcement during this time of year to prevent alcohol-related accidents and fatalities.

“Designating a sober driver before the party begins is just one of several, simple steps to remember to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving,” Hart said.

In addition, Hart offered a few other simple reminders for a safer holiday season:

  • Don’t even think about getting behind the wheel of your vehicle if you’ve been out drinking;
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi or get a sober friend or family member to come and get you;
  • Or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober;
  • And remember – Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.

Since 1981, every President of the United States has proclaimed December “National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month” to help promote the use of designated drivers and sober ride programs during the holiday season.

The month of December and the New Year’s Eve holiday are also often highlighted by significant increases in state and local law enforcement efforts to combat impaired driving.

“Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is simply not worth the risk,” Hart said. “The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant and not the way you want to spend your holiday season.

“So remember, this holiday season, if you catch a buzz, catch a ride.”

IMPACT Grand Prairie is a community coalition founded in 2004 to tackle head-on community concerns about youth substance abuse, which are similarly prevalent in other communities in the area.

The coalition meets monthly to plan community prevention strategies that support the coalition’s mission of reducing youth substance abuse.

In the past, these strategies have included alcohol retailer compliance checks, advocating for the passage of a city ordinance that holds adults more responsible for underage drinking that takes place on their property and educating adults on the legal and health consequences of underage drinking through the annual “Those Who Host Lose the Most” media campaign.

IMPACT Grand Prairie is funded through grants from the Texas Department of State Health Services and through public and private donations.

It is just one initiative of Drug Prevention Resources (DPRI), the oldest prevention organization in Texas.

Celebrating its 71st year of service, DPRI was initiated by pioneers who implemented what are still some of the most successful prevention approaches today—individual education, capacity building and environmental change.

DPRI continues to be a leader in the prevention field, regularly updating approaches to provide the latest strategies for youth, families and communities to be safer, healthier and drug-free.

Although the agency has regularly responded to statewide initiatives, its primary focus is on high-risk populations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. For more information, visit


Sports Editor Denton Ramsey can be reached via e-mail at