Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the 2016 California Statewide Law Enforcement and Community Recognition Luncheon at the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the California Office of Traffic Safety honored more than 400 law enforcement officers, highway patrol members and first responders for their relentless work to keep drunk and drugged drivers off the California roadways. They hailed from across the state from Alameda to Los Angeles to Walnut Creek.
Among the speakers were Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter, who also is President of the San Diego County Police Chief’s and Sheriff’s Association, as well as Operations Deputy Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety Randy Weisman, and MADD San Diego Executive Director Steve Lykins. Former MADD National Board Member and retired California Highway Patrol Officer Robert ”Skip” Carter served as the Master of Ceremonies.
I also had the opportunity to speak for MADD National and express our extreme gratitude for the efforts of the law enforcement officers who are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This seemed an especially well-timed thank you, as California legislators are currently considering SB 1046, which will make ignition interlocks mandatory for all offenders. Currently, California only offers ignition interlock protection to residents in four counties.
No one understands the dangers of drunk driving more than the law enforcement officials. They stand up to protect us every day, even when it demands the ultimate sacerfice. For them especially, I urge you to contact your legislators in support of this life-saving bill. Learn more about this bill here. It was an honor to recognize these heroes.
I can easily say that I join the many others in the room that California Heroes are ……TODAY, TOMORROW AND ALWAYS. Thank you California Law Enforcement for your efforts to end drunk driving. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
It’s an honor for me to be the voice of thousands of victims and attend these gatherings around the country. Every year, law enforcement officers save thousands of lives. With their continued efforts and ours at MADD, the hope is that one day, there will be NO MORE VICTIMS®.
Nicole died right after graduation.
"It was the worst Father’s Day present my husband has ever received. Father’s day has never and will never be the same again," said Nicole's mother, Teresa Moats.
These are words from Theresa Moats when asked how the crash that occurred on Father’s Day, June 15, 2008 in Licking County, Ohio changed their lives.
Nicole Swigert Moats, 18, was headed home with four friends from the local movie theater. This particular movie theater was a popular hangout spot, so it was not unusual for Nicole and her friends to go to the movies often.
It was a little after midnight when the drunk driver crashed into the vehicle driven by Nicole’s friend. Nicole and two of her friends were killed and the other passenger sustained serious injuries. The offender was 2X's the legal limit and sentenced to 10 years for three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault.
Mr. and Mrs. Moats always taught their children about drinking and driving. In fact, in 7th grade Nicole completed a project that focused on the 10 important things in life. Number three was “don’t drink and drive.”
Mr. and Mrs. Moats appreciate the support MADD has given them and the mission to eliminate drunk driving.
“Nicole had a contagious personality, was a really good kid and never got into any trouble, worked two jobs in high school, and wanted to be a veterinarian once she completed college, “ said Teresa Moats when asked to describe how she remembers Nicole. “I am against drinking and driving, always have been and always will be.”
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