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Supporting Victims in a Unique Way
By MADD | July 26, 2012 | Filed in: Victim Services

Sometimes the simple things that we can do for victim/survivors and their families often have as great of an impact as the key services that MADD provides. This can be seen through the actions of a small group of passionate scrapbooking divas in Texas who wanted to help the best way they knew how—by making unique, one-of-a-kind cards for victim/survivors of drunk driving.

Karah Ricketts, Volunteer Coordinator for the Texas State Central Region, encountered this group in her quest for victim services volunteers. Their talents didn’t quite fit into the role that typical volunteers fill, but Karah wasn’t about to let their desire to help go unfulfilled. They came up with a unique way use their creative talents while providing a valuable service for victims.

This artistic group creates hand-made custom cards for MADD to use, in conjunction with the standard “We Care Card,” to reach out to victims and survivors letting them know that we are here for them. This initial correspondence with victim/survivors is so important during a time filled with overwhelming emotions. The volunteers hope that these cards let them know that someone is thinking about them, that someone cares.

In one afternoon the eight volunteers created more than 50 beautifully unique, handcrafted cards, and since then, over a dozen people have expressed interest in joining this card-making crew. The Central Texas office plans to have monthly gatherings for volunteers to assemble to create the cards, while other volunteers have continued making cards on their own for MADD. One of the volunteers said, “I have made 25 cards in the last week. This is the most fun time I have ever had as a volunteer with any nonprofit.”

While it may seem like a small gesture, the love and care that go into making each card will undoubtedly be felt by those who receive them.

 


Dramatic Drop in Kansas DUI Fatalities
By MADD | July 23, 2012 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

We are encouraged to see that the Kansas Department of Transportation recently released preliminary data showing a dramatic drop in drunk driving deaths over the past year. In the year since a law went into effect on July 1, 2011, requiring all drunk driving offenders in Kansas to use an ignition interlock on their vehicles, the state is reporting 59 alcohol-related traffic fatalities—compared with 125 and 137, respectively, for the previous two years during the same timeframe.

Ignition interlocks, or in-car breathalyzers, require drunk drivers to prove they are sober before the car will start. Throughout the U.S., 17 states (plus a pilot program in California) have laws requiring the use of this technology for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders.

MADD would like to commend Kansas lawmakers, especially Senator Tim Owens, Representative Kay Wolf and Representative Pat Colloton, for their efforts to save lives and prevent injuries on the state’s roadways.

Read the full press release or find out more about ignition interlocks.

 


DUI on Discovery Fit & Health
By MADD | July 23, 2012 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

On Tuesday, July 24, Discovery Fit & Health will premiere the series, DUI, on their network.  The documentary-style show follows the Oklahoma Highway Patrol as they find and arrest people driving drunk, and tells the stories of the alleged offenders and their families.

Drunk driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in the U.S. In 2009, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That's less than one percent of the 147 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.

We applaud Discovery Fit & Health for showcasing the lifesaving work of our heroes in law enforcement, bringing awareness to the issue of drunk driving, and showing the consequences of this violent crime.

 

 

Click here to learn more about the series or see photos from filming.

 


Contact your Representative to Help Protect Crime Victims' Rights
By MADD | July 19, 2012 | Filed in: General , Victim Services

We need your help to give crime victims the rights they deserve, but time is running out.  Please call or email your United States Representative today and urge him or her to co-sponsor House Joint Resolution 106 (H. J. Res. 106), a proposed U.S. Constitutional Amendment for Victims’ Rights.

This amendment would protect the vital rights of crime victims to be notified of proceedings, to be present at proceedings, and to be heard on important decisions.  Right now, every state has statutory laws and most states have state constitutional amendments protecting victims' rights, but these laws are ineffective. 

Even in states giving "strong protection" to victims’ rights, fewer than 60 percent of the victims were notified of the sentencing hearing and fewer than 40 percent were notified of the pretrial release of the defendant.  This is largely because defendant rights are enshrined in the federal Constitution – 23 separate rights in all – but victims' rights are state-based.

The only way that crime victims’ rights will be protected is to even the playing field through a federal constitutional amendment—House Joint Resolution 106.

At least 100 co-sponsors are needed to move it forward as the legislative session draws to a close.  So please contact your representative today by phone or email.  Your voice matters!

Click here to find your U.S. Representative's contact information, or click here to email them through madd.org.


Recording Artist Sara G Supports MADD
By MADD | July 17, 2012 | Filed in: Drunk Driving , General , Underage Drinking

Summer can be a dangerous time both on America’s roadways, and for teens on summer vacation. That’s why we are working hard this summer to stop the preventable deaths and injuries resulting from drunk driving and underage drinking.  We’ve teamed up with recording artist and former Miss World Canada Sara G and her single “Call Me A Cab,” to create MADD PSAs. These PSAs reminds summer revelers to always designate a sober driver before they go out, as well as additional PSAs letting kids know that drinking underage isn’t cool—it’s dangerous.  

Listen to the PSAs now:

15 second drunk driving PSA  |  30 second drunk driving PSA
20 second underage drinking PSA  |  30 second underage drinking PSA


We would also like to thank Sara G for donating 29 cents for each download of the single “Call Me A Cab” purchased off of iTunes now through October 31st.  Learn more.

Thanks to Sara G and Inasense Records for making our roads safer this summer.


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