Help Line Volunteer: Colleen Sheehey-Church

The MADD Help Line, 1-877-MADD-HELP, is available 24/7 for victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes because of dedicated volunteers—volunteers like MADD’s new National President, Colleen Sheehey-Church.

Colleen started volunteering as a Help Line advocate nearly a year ago because she wanted to be more connected to those in need of support. When her son Dustin was killed in a crash 10 years ago, connecting with MADD was what helped her learn to cope with the grief. As a Help Line advocate, she helps victims and survivors understand that what they are feeling is normal – that they aren’t going crazy.

On the Help Line, Colleen has spent time serving not only victims, but also callers looking for advice about what to do when someone they know drives drunk. She has heard that fear in someone’s voice and has been able to provide the assistance needed over the phone.

Colleen says that there has never been a call she didn’t like, that the Help Line is not just a Help Line, but really a lifeline for the people who are calling. Despite her new role as National President, Colleen plans to continue volunteering for the Help Line.

Click here to learn more about the Victim/Survivor Help Line or MADD’s Victim Services.

2015 Report to the Nation

We are excited to share with you MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving: 2015 Report to the Nation.The report provides an overview of legislative accomplishments, highlights state-by-state drunk driving reform, and provides a glimpse of what’s on the horizon as MADD enters its 35th year.

The report also highlights federal ignition interlock grant dollars, established as part of the 2012 federal highway bill, known as MAP-21, which could be available to states that pass laws requiring all convicted drunk drivers to install interlock devices.

A key feature of the report is the five-star rating of each state, based on the adoption of five proven DUI countermeasures:

  1. Requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers
  2. Conducting sobriety checkpoints
  3. Creating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle
  4. Participating in “no-refusal” activities for those suspected of drunk driving
  5. Utilizing Administrative License Revocation for drunk driving offenders

The Campaign’s impact is evident. This year, 13 states were awarded five stars for their enactment of drunk driving laws or implementation of proven countermeasures. Click here to read the report and see how many stars your state received.

But we know that our work is far from over. This year, we want to make even more progress through MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving by advocating for mandatory ignition interlock laws in the 26 states without these lifesaving laws, continuing to support law enforcement efforts to catch and deter drunk drivers, and encouraging the development of in-vehicle technology that will one day make drunk driving impossible.

Thanks to your tremendous support, 2015 promises to bring a year of change and growth as we celebrate 35 years of saving lives!

NTSB’s 2015 Most Wanted List

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released its 2015 Most Wanted List, which represents the NTSB's advocacy priorities. It is designed to increase awareness of, and support for, the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation incidents and save lives.

One of the items in their top 10 list is to eliminate substance-impaired driving, which includes both drunk and/or drugged driving.

MADD thanks the NTSB for its ongoing support of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® and inclusion of substance-impaired driving on the list. We look forward to continuing our work with the NTSB to eliminate drunk driving and fight drugged driving. 

The full top 10 list includes:

  1. Disconnect from Deadly Distractions
  2. Make Mass Transit Safer
  3. Improve Rail Tank Car Safety
  4. End Substance-Impaired Driving
  5. Strengthen Commercial Trucking Safety
  6. Strengthen Procedural Compliance
  7. Prevent Loss-of-Control in General Aviation
  8. Implement Positive Train Control in 2015
  9. Require Medical Fitness for Duty
  10. Enhance Public Helicopter Safety

Click here to visit the NTSB’s website to learn more about their 2015 Most Wanted List.

Concerned Citizens: The First Line of Defense to Stop Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking

Originally featured in the 2014 fall edition of MADDvocate®.

A concerned citizen is anyone who cares about keeping the community where they live safe from drunk and drugged drivers.

Perhaps you’ve seen media coverage of a particular story that makes you want to get involved. Or maybe you are concerned about a neighbor, family member, friend or co-worker who you believe drinks and drives, but are not sure what to do about it.

Here are some ways you can make a difference, as a concerned citizen:

  • Call the police anytime you see someone drinking and driving. The more legitimate calls to your local law enforcement, the more likely the impaired driver will be apprehended.
  • Have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle if your name is on the title of a vehicle being driven by an alleged drunk driver.
  • If you know a person is on probation for drunk driving and you see him or her driving impaired, contact the individual’s probation office in the county in which the offense occurred to alert authorities to the driver’s actions.
  • Call the Alcohol Beverage Control Board in your state to register a complaint if you witness a local establishment allowing underage drinking.

For other useful tips on who to call and what you can do, email to request a prevention brochure. You can also sign up to become a MADD volunteer and work to prevent drunk driving in your community. Together, we can save lives.

We need every voice in the fight against drunk driving. Click here to find out the many ways you can help.

Meet MADD’s New National President

Thirty-five years after a grieving mother started one of the most influential and effective grassroots movements in history, we’re pleased to announce our new National President, Colleen Sheehey-Church, the first victim of drugged driving to serve as MADD’s National President.

Colleen’s 18-year-old son, Dustin, drowned after the car he was riding in, driven by a teen with alcohol and drugs in her system, crashed into a river, trapping Dustin in the vehicle. She joined MADD a year later in 2005.  Read Dustin’s story here.

“No one ever dreams about becoming MADD’s National President, because it means that you have suffered the most unimaginable pain of a death or injury due to the preventable crime of drunk or drugged driving,” says Sheehey-Church. “I was drowning in grief after I lost my son, until I called MADD. I only wished I had called sooner. I’m honored and humbled to represent the victims we couldn’t save, stand alongside those we have and advocate to keep innocent lives safe on our nation’s roadways.”

Read Colleen’s first blog post as MADD’s National President.

Read Colleen’s bio.

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