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At nine months of age, a baby builds trillions of brain connections, becomes a master crawler and, often, starts transforming mindless babbling into words like "dada." First steps are right around the corner!
Unfortunately, my first husband Mike never experienced these wonderful milestones. A drunk driver with a BAC of .34 and an empty bottle of whiskey in his car hit him head on, killing Mike, when our daughter, Tara, was only eight months old.
Drunk driving changed my daughter's life forever. Far too often, it decimates families. We MUST end this violent crime. Because on a daily basis, it robs children of their parents.
Since Mike's preventable death, drunk driving has killed roughly 260,000 people and injured 7.5 million others. Repeatedly, I see people shrug off the seriousness of this crime, claim "everyone does it" or discount it as an "accident."
Drunk driving isn't cancer. It isn't something that randomly happens. Together, we can stop it. We can pass laws that demand offenders face the consequences of their actions. We can support victims in their darkest hour. And we can turn the idea of No More Victims® into a concrete reality through law enforcement and advanced technology.
This is what Mothers Against Drunk Driving will do with your lifesaving and compassionate gift. They stretch the funds to maximize the good it can achieve. I witnessed it firsthand as National President from 2008 to 2011 and now as a volunteer. I see just how much MADD does with so very little.
Today, I ask you to join me by making a gift in the name of all fathers. They are too precious to simply ignore.
Thank you for your generosity,
P.S. If you have ever felt compelled to donate to MADD, please consider doing so today. It means so much to victims like myself.
Recently, MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church participated in a webinar with three other expert panelists for the Office for Victims of Crime. The subject of this seminar was “Serving Victims of Impaired Driving Crashes.” Colleen was able to offer the audience as well as the panelists practical insight into the victim's side of the story. She also took the opportunity to show the invaluable aid that MADD’s victim services truly are to first responders, the community in general and especially individuals who are affected by the actions of an impaired driver and in the terrible situation of being a victim of drunk or drugged driving. Above all, it was effectively emphasized throughout this webinar that crashes should never be called accidents and that these crashes affect far more people than just the person involved in the crash.
Please click the image to listen to the webinar or review the presentation.
Last week, the Oklahoma Legislature voted overwhelmingly to make Oklahoma the 29th state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock law. If Governor Fallin signs SB 643 into law, all drunk driving offenders will need to install an ignition interlock for at least six months in order to drive. He has until June 10th to sign the bill into law.
Oklahoma could soon join all of the surrounding states — Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Colorado and New Mexico — in passing laws that require or highly incentivize all drunk driving offenders to use an ignition interlock.
MADD believes in these devices because we know they save lives. No other technology available today can stop a car from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. Study after study has shown that ignition interlocks reduce drunk driving deaths — the most recent studies by the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University show reductions of 7 and 15 percent, respectively. That’s why we are working hard to pass these laws in every state.
Oklahoma’s law would require the use of interlocks for at least six months to regain driving privileges during a license revocation period. The legislation also creates the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP) to allow first-time offenders to attend treatment and other alcohol programs while using an ignition interlock to ensure public safety. Upon successful completion of the program, the offense would be sealed — a new incentive to get more people using an interlock (and the subject of an upcoming blog, so stay tuned).
When MADD launched our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® in 2006, we set out on an ambitious mission to pass all-offender ignition interlock laws in all 50 states. Back then, just one state — New Mexico — had such a law. In just a few weeks, with Governor Fallin’s signature, Oklahoma will bring us within 21 states of making our goal. That might sound like a lot, but we are already well past the half-way mark in just 10 years. One state at a time, we can achieve our goal of stopping repeat drunk driving offenses, and ultimately eliminating drunk driving once and for all.
Would you like to help advocate for an all-offender law in your state? Contact Frank Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.688.1194 to find out how.
MADD announced today the addition of a new Strategic Contributing Partner Pirelli®, whose support will help keep roadways and families safe. As part of the partnership, customers will receive a $60 VISA® prepaid card for every new set of Pirelli tires. Pirelli will donate $5 to MADD and give customers the opportunity to match the donation of $5 from May 26, 2017 through July 5, 2017.
“We are grateful to Pirelli for recognizing the critical need that drunk driving is still the leading threat on our roads and responding with support that will save lives,” said Colleen Sheehey-Church, MADD National President whose 18-year-old son Dustin was killed in an underage drunk and drugged driving crash.
In 2015, more than 10,000 people were killed and 290,000 people were injured in drunk driving crashes in the U.S.—that’s one death every 51 minutes and one injury every 2 minutes. Every day, an estimated 300,000 drunk drivers take to American roads.
In response, MADD focuses on awareness and advocacy by urging people to designate a non-drinking driver if their plans include alcohol, pushing for lifesaving legislation and providing free supportive services to victims of drunk driving. Since MADD’s founding in 1980, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 53 percent, 350,000 lives have been saved and nearly one million victims have been served.
“Pirelli is pleased to be supporting MADD and its efforts to promote safe driving with both American families and young drivers. Safety has always been very important to us in terms of developing new tires for our customers, which is why we have our ‘power is nothing without control’ motto. We hope we can help raise even more awareness for this worthy cause to drive making safe choices, as ultimately it will make roads safer and benefit everyone,” said Pierluigi Dinelli, CEO and Chairman Pirelli Tire North America.
Pirelli has been one of the world’s leaders in the tire industry for over 140 years, thanks to its ongoing commitment to research and development, which ensures it continues to provide innovative products for the road and track. Founded in Italy, Pirelli’s presence in North America continues to grow, with new tires designed specifically for North American driver needs and its first ever retail store P Zero World that launched in Los Angeles in 2016.