Convicted Drunk Driver to Speak Oct. 9 during Alcohol Awareness Week

Photo of Jason Barber

Jason Barber, a convicted drunk driver, will speak on Oct. 9 at the Show Me Center in observance of Alcohol Awareness Week at Southeast Missouri State University.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.

Sept. 14, 2006 – Jason Barber, a convicted drunk driver, will speak on Oct. 9 at the Show Me Center in observance of Alcohol Awareness Week at Southeast Missouri State University.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. and is open to the public. The Center for Health and Counseling is sponsoring the event along with Southeast Missouri Hospital, the Southeast Regional Support Center and the Campus and Community Coalition for Change. The program is being supported by the Office of the President, the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention & Education, the Southeast Regional Support Center, Student Government, the Dean of Students Office, Campus Life, and the Office of Residence Life at Southeast Missouri State University.

In 1991, Barber was racing friends and driving drunk. They all thought they were just having a good time, but that changed in a split second when he caused a crash that killed a passenger in the vehicle he was driving. He was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, sent to state prison and released in 1995 after serving three and a half years of a six-year sentence. He has been sober ever since.

In the time since his prison release, Barber has furthered his education as a human services major with an emphasis on drug and alcohol counseling. For the past three years, he hasworked in local high schools as a facilitator of drug and alcohol groups for at-risk youth. Barber also facilitated teen and parent outreach groups in the evenings, teaching parenting skills and communication techniques for better teen/parent relationships.

Barber has been written about by several newspapers, appeared on local cable talk shows, “Court TV” and “MTV,” and has been a guest on the nationally televised LEEZA Show. He is currently writing a book detailing his life as an alcoholic and addict, the passenger’s death, prison and the grace that saved his life.

In the past six years, Barber has spoken to nearly 500,000 teenagers and young adults, from the North Carolina Governor’s Safety Conference to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to Mirmar Naval Air Station in San Diego.