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Tips to Protect Children from Drunk Driving
By MADD | September 17, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

Children are our greatest resource and our future. That’s why MADD is taking action to help protect the children who are needlessly put in danger every day in this country.

While drunk driving is recognized as a violent crime, driving impaired with child passengers is not commonly acknowledged as a form of child endangerment or child abuse. No one should have to ride with an impaired driver. However, children have little choice when the driver is a parent or an adult caregiver.

If you see an adult who is visibly impaired attempting to drive with a child in the car:

  • Calmly suggest alternative transportation, recommend the driver postpone travel or offer to drive the child, if appropriate. Avoid a heated altercation that can put the child in further danger.
  • Call 911 at the time of the incident with as much information as possible (such as name of the driver, vehicle description and/or license plate, and destination). Also be sure to give them your name and contact information for responding officers.
  • Document the situation so that your notes can be used later.
  • Notify another parent or caregiver of the situation.
  • Teach children techniques for keeping themselves safe if they are ever forced to ride with an impaired driver (see below).
  • Report your concerns to state or local child protective agencies.

Here are some tips you can teach your kids or a child you know who might find themselves in a situation where they are riding with a drinking driver:

  • Sit in the back seat.
  • Buckle-up tight and use your booster seat, if needed.
  • Put all of your belongings on the floor.
  • Do not bother the driver and stay quiet.
  • Tell a trusted grown-up immediately about any unsafe ride.

Child Passenger Safety Week
By MADD | September 16, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, a time to evaluate how to keep our kids safe on the roads.

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, and too many of those are caused by drunk driving. In 2012, 239 child passengers (under age 15) were killed in drunk driving crashes—representing 20 percent of all child traffic fatalities. And of those, more than half (52 percent) were passengers in a vehicle with the drunk driver.

MADD receives more than 17,000 phone calls every year related to child endangerment. No child should be in danger from drunk driving, especially by those entrusted to keep them safe. Drunk driving is criminal and irresponsible, and driving drunk with a child in the vehicle is a form of child abuse.

While 46 states and the District of Columbia have laws enhancing penalties for those who drive drunk with a child passenger in a vehicle, the laws vary widely in severity and definition of a child passenger. For example, in New York it is a felony to drive drunk with a child passenger under the age of 16, while in Wisconsin, the same offense is a misdemeanor. Click here to see if your state has DUI Child Endangerment Laws.

MADD is urging lawmakers to enact legislation to protect our most vulnerable population, children. Please email your representatives letting them know that you want a stronger DUI child endangerment law in your state and that every child deserves a non-drinking designated driver.

If someone you know is driving drunk with a child in the car, we have more information and strategies available for you here. Or call our toll-free, 24-hour Help Line at 877-MADD-HELP.


What’s Your Tailgaiting Gameplan?
By MADD | September 3, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

Football season is upon us! Are your ready to cheer on your favorite team?

Tailgating is a great way to get together with friends and fellow fans before a game to show your team spirit. However, it can also be a challenging environment to monitor alcohol use.

If you are planning on hosting or participating in a tailgating party, make sure to check out our tailgating gameplan, and read our safe tailgating tips to make sure everyone stays safe, healthy and happy this football season.  

No matter how you celebrate or who you cheer for, don’t ruin game day by getting a DUI, or much worse. Always put safety before the party this football season by designating a non-drinking driver before you leave the house.


MADD’s response to the NFL’s conditional reinstatement of Dallas Cowboys’ Josh Brent
By MADD | September 2, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

The Josh Brent situation is a painful reminder of how drunk driving can tear people’s lives apart. We wish so many things could have been different. We wish that Josh Brent would have made a different choice that night and never got behind the wheel of a car after drinking. We wish the criminal justice system in Texas would have sent a stronger message that drunk driving is unacceptable.

Above all, we wish Jerry Brown was alive today, playing football and being a dad. Sadly, victims and survivors pay the ultimate price and are given a lifetime sentence, despite the fact that drunk driving crashes are 100% preventable every time.

We acknowledge the NFL’s conditional reinstatement, but the focus needs to be on what does Josh Brent do with his second chance?

We advocate for immediate suspension and potential banishment from the NFL if Josh Brent violates the NFL’s conditions, especially any adverse involvement with law enforcement and/or prohibited alcohol-related conduct, and all sentencing mandates handed down by the criminal court. 

Instead of looking back MADD wants to look toward the future and how these tragedies can be prevented. That’s why we are more resolved than ever to work with the NFL to educate players, fans and entire communities that behind the statistics real people are needlessly killed and injured every day.

On behalf of the tens of thousands of victims and survivors we serve freely each year, MADD urges everyone to plan ahead if your plans include alcohol. Make the only choice to designate a non-drinking driver to keep the roadways and your loved ones safe.


Celebrate Safely this Labor Day
By MADD | August 26, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

Labor Day is celebrated by many Americans as the symbolic end of summer. With back to school and fall just around the corner, many families take advantage of this long summer weekend and head out on a last summer vacation or a day trip to the beach, pool or lake.

But holidays like Labor Day can be an especially dangerous time on America’s roadways. In 2012, there were 147 people killed in drunk driving crashes over Labor Day weekend. To put that into perspective, throughout the year someone is killed in a drunk driving crash every 51 minutes, on average. Over the Labor Day weekend, that statistic jumps to one every 34 minutes.

Thankfully, law enforcement will be out in force ready to arrest drunk drivers who put lives at risk from August 15 through September 1, covering the end of summer and the busy Labor Day holiday weekend.

Research shows that these campaigns result in a 20-percent decrease in drunk driving deaths. With one person, on average, dying every 34 minutes in a drunk-driving crash over Labor Day weekend, that’s a lot of lives that could be saved!

There are several ways you can help keep your loved ones safe this Labor Day holiday:

If you plan to be on the road during this dangerous time period, please be careful, and remember to spread the word that driving after drinking is simply not worth the risk … so don’t take the chance. 


Share this image to remind everyone to drive safe and sober this Labor Day Holiday:


 

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