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You Only Live Once
By Jan Withers | October 1, 2014 | Filed in: National President , Underage Drinking

I read an article recently titled, “This is What Brave Means,” by Glennon Doyle Melton. In the article, she relayed something that her daughter, Tish, said to her in the car, “Mom, how come everyone says YOLO to try to get people to do dangerous stuff? How ‘bout be SAFE because YOLO???? You Only Live Once, so try not to get yourself dead so soon.”

Underage drinking kills 4,700 people each year, more than all the other drugs combined. It is dangerous, and too often deadly.

Many teens push others to take these risks by telling them they are being fearless or daring. If they don’t they are often labeled wimps. But I love how Glennon illustrates bravery.

“Give me that girl [or guy] who says no in the face of pressure to bong a beer or bully a peer. Give me a girl [or guy] who pleases that internal voice before pleasing others. Give me that person so I can call her [or him] BRAVE loudly and proudly in front of the whole world. Give me a person who has the wisdom to listen to [his] her own voice and the courage to speak it out loud. Even if it disappoints others. Especially then.”

I say it again. Drinking before 21 is dangerous. It literally kills thousands of people every year, including my daughter Alisa who was killed by an underage drunk driving when she was 15.

As Tish says, “YOLO. You Only Live Once, so try not to get yourself dead too soon.” I like the way she thinks! She is brave.


Celebrity or Not, Drunk Driving Is Unacceptable
By MADD | September 30, 2014 | Filed in: Drugged Driving , Drunk Driving

Over the past few days there have been several mentions of drunk and drugged driving in entertainment news: Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini were rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver, Amanda Bynes was arrested on Sunday for allegedly driving under influence of an unidentified drug, and now Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was arrested for DUI early this morning.

This isn’t the first time for Phelps. He was charged and pleaded guilty to a DUI in 2004 at the age of 19, when he shouldn’t have been drinking in the first place. If the newest charges prove to be true, he clearly didn’t learn his lesson. However, it proves what we already know. Far too often first-time offenders repeat their action unless something is done to disrupt the pattern.

That is why MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving calls for all drivers convicted of drunk driving to get an alcohol ignition interlock, even first time offenders. Interlocks reduce repeat offenses by 67 percent according to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Fortunately, no one was injured in any of these three instances, but too many times innocent people are killed or injured because of someone’s choice to drink and drive. It takes the lives of 28 people a day in stories that may not make the evening news or social media. 

Tired of reading headlines like these? We are too. Drinking and driving is a choice and is 100 percent preventable. But we need your help to stop it. Volunteer with your local MADD office to help educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving. Help us work to pass lifesaving laws or provide support to those impacted by this violent crime.

In other words, we need you to get MADD.


74% of Adults Agree Interlocks No-Brainer
By MADD | September 29, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

A new study published in the September issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention, surveyed adults nationwide about their attitudes toward road-safety laws, including ignition interlock devices. The results show that 74% of adults support interlocks for all DUI offenders.

Requiring all convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlocks to prove they are sober before they drive is a no-brainer. Since New Mexico's interlock law was implemented in 2005, drunk driving fatalities are down by 38 percent. Since Arizona and Louisiana implemented their interlock law in 2007, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 43 and 35 percent, respectively. In Oregon, as a result of 2008 interlock law, DUI deaths are down 42 percent. Simply put, these laws work.

That’s why MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for the passage of laws requiring the use of lifesaving ignition interlocks by all convicted drunk drivers in all 50 states, and we are glad to know that the public agrees.

Currently, 24 states require interlocks for all offenders. Click here to see if your state is one of them, and if it isn’t, take action now and contact your lawmakers at www.madd.org/takeaction.    


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