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SALT LAKE CITY — Maverik Inc. unveiled an anti-drunken driving campaign Thursday along the Wasatch Front region of Utah to help convince drivers to change their minds if they are considering driving under the influence of alcohol this Labor Day weekend.
The campaign will include gas pump wraps at Maverik convenience stores and public service announcements that will be played on the stores’ video screens reminding people to not be “predators” on the road, the Deseret News reported.
Ernie Harker, director of marketing at Maverik, unveiled the public service campaign, accompanied by law enforcement officers from the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) and other agencies.
The Utah Highway Patrol said it will be increasing efforts to enforce DUI laws this weekend as Labor Day marks the end of what it refers to as "the 100 deadly days of summer," said UHP Col. Daniel Fuhr.
Maverik's anti-drunken driving campaign is inspired by Matthew Harker, younger brother to Ernie, who was training for a triathalon by biking to work when he was killed by a drunk driver in Casper, Wyo., on May 29, 2014. He was 39.
Matthew was attempting a left turn at an intersection a block away from his work when a drunk driver — who was celebrating his release from parole — swerved around stopped traffic and hit him.
Ernie recounted to the Deseret News his memories of flying to the hospital that day: he, his parents and his seven other brothers thought Matt was going to be just fine after seeing him unconscious but breathing well. However, doctors pronounced him brain-dead that night. Harker watched his sister-in-law explain to her oldest three sons that their dad would never wake up.
“I remember hearing his [8-year-old] son saying, ‘Who’s going to have fun with us now?’” Harker recalled.
He hopes the campaign will motivate people to enjoy their Labor Day activities responsibly and never drink and drive.
"I'm the marketing director for Maverik. I'm the last guy to say you shouldn't have a good time," he said. "But we want people to be responsible, to be thoughtful, to care about each other and know that people make decisions that are going to impact people."