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.