Ottawa Hills family goes national with safety message - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Ottawa Hills family goes national with safety message

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OTTAWA HILLS, Ohio -

An Ottawa Hills couple whose teen son died in a car crash is sharing its story with the nation.  Drs. Brian and Cindy Hoeflinger appeared on the Katie show on 13abc Friday. 

Their son Brian died in a car accident last February.  Brian was drinking, got behind the wheel and then got into the accident.  Now the Hoeflingers are trying to raise awareness of teenage drinking and they say despite Brian's story some kids in Ottawa Hills did not get the message.

"It's just rampant.  Not just the drinking but what they're drinking and how they're drinking," said Cindy Hoeflinger on the Katie Show.

"At first they seemed to have changed but after it only took 1 or 2 people to start drinking again within a month and everyone went back to the status quo of drinking again and now you couldn't even tell there was a change," said Kevin Hoeflinger, Brian's brother.   

It's an issue that's not only hitting Ottawa Hills schools but schools throughout the area, even the country.  

The superintendent says solutions to the problem come from lots of places, including at home. 

Dr. Kevin Miller says he thinks the world of the Hoeflingers and says this national television exposure is a good way to get the message out there. But so often this kind of education starts at home with parents who know these kids best.  He encourages parents to ask the tough questions and make your kids' business, your business.  He says that kind of support is absolutely necessary.

13abc asked him about hearing the words rampant and drinking when it comes to Ottawa Hills students.

"I don't know what adjective you use.  I mean is it rampant, widespread?  I don't know.  The word rampant, OK.  But we talk about it being rampant in the school, I would change that.  It's rampant in the community and it's not just rampant in the Ottawa Hills community.  It's an issue for every school community in every state in the United States," said Dr. Miller.

 Dr. Miller echoes the Hoeflingers saying, make sure to show kids there are lots of positives happening in their lives.  And that it's not worth messing up any of that with alcohol.

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