MADD


MADD

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21™ is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 10 minutes at 1-877-MADD-HELP.

Together, these programs ensure that MADD achieves its lifesaving mission.


VIDEO: MADD CEO Debbie Weir talks progress, challenges, and why your gift matters

MADD CEO Debbie Weir went live on Facebook Live this week to discuss the major accomplishments of 2016, what's in store for 2017 and why December donations mean so much to MADD and victims of drunk and drugged driving.

Watch it now.

MADD needs to raise $300,000 this month to ensure we can continue to provide victims with services across the country at no charge, take the battle for justice to the politicians, support law enforcement, and help move life saving technology to the market faster. Please give today.


How to cope with the holidays

For many people, this is a season of celebrations. However, the holidays are often a difficult time for those who are coping with grief due to a death or serious injury. At this time of year memories of past holidays can be overwhelming, what may have been a joyful time in the past may now seem meaningless.

Many bereaved and injured people face this season with apprehension, often in fear of their emotional reactions to what are supposed to be happy, memorable moments. A common question asked by those mourning a loved one or struggling to make sense of other losses is, “How can I get through the holidays?”

There is no single answer of what we should or should not do, but it is important that we consider what activities are comfortable for you to participate in during the holidays. When everyone else appears so happy and cheerful, it is easy to feel alone after a loss. Please know that you aren’t the only one who feels this way.

Please consider some of the suggestions below that may help you cope with the holiday season:

•    Plan ahead for the approaching holidays. Accept that this might be a difficult time for you. The additional stress this season brings may impact you emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually. These are normal reactions. Be prepared for rushes of emotions that may occur and the possibility that sights and sounds could trigger memories and flashbacks. 

•    Recognize that the holidays might not be the same as they were in the past. Expecting everything to seem the same might lead to disappointment. Modify or make new traditions as it feels right. But also remember the holidays may affect other family members. Talk to others as you make plans and share your feelings. Respect other’s choices and needs, including children’s, and compromise if necessary.

•    Go on a trip if you feel you will be devastated by staying home. But remember that November and December holidays are celebrated all over the world and you may be faced with the same types of images no matter where you go.

•    Relive the happy memories. Pick three special memories of holidays past with your loved one. Think of them often - and celebrate them. If you have lost someone find a way to honor them through new holiday traditions.

•    Direct moments of uncomfortable silence. Because family and friends love you, they will think they are doing you a favor by not mentioning your loved one or the crash. Have a conversation with your loved ones and let them know if you do or don’t want to talk about the crash or a loved one who was killed.

•    Don’t overwhelm or over commit yourself. Give yourself a reprieve. Accept a few invitations to be with close family or friends. Choose the ones that sound most appealing at the time and decline the ones that feel more like an obligation. Take time for yourself and take care of yourself. Take it slow and easy, one step at a time.

•    Be careful not to isolate yourself. It is all right to take time for yourself, but try not to cut yourself off from the support of family and friends.

•    Talk about your feelings. Let people know if you are having a tough day.

•    Consider holding or attending a memorial service or candlelight vigil. You can make it as small or large as you want. For a large gathering you might host people at a special location, have food prepared, have favorite music playing, poems read and even have someone speak. At a friends and family gathering you could take a few minutes of time to share your favorite stories with others and make a toast or light a candle in honor and remembrance.

If you want to talk with someone about coping during the holidays or for any reason, please call our 24-Hour Victim Help Line at 1-877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435) or visit madd.org to chat online.


VIDEO: A mother speaks out

#MADDLIVE for #GIVINGTUESDAY with a MADD Mother

Posted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) on Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Voices of Victims: Joshua Jahn

By Joshua Jahn

Drunk driving victim


It was at her 8th-grade graduation that I first noticed her.…the girl who would eventually become my wife… I met Mandy and, I swear, she had the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen.

And I had the honor of looking into those eyes for years, including a beautiful stretch of almost a decade when we were inseparable...


My three-year-old son Ryan was already looking forward to his birthday on Dec.29th. As a volunteer firefighter, I was so proud he talked about following in my footsteps...


Kaitlyn was that perfect baby all parents want. Childcare volunteers at church used to fight over watching her. And she was at such an inquisitive age...


The only Christmas celebration we had all together with my wife, my son and my 11-month-old daughter before drunk driving ripped them away was in 2007.

We had a fresh tree. I was so protective of sweet baby Kaitlyn. I’d run outside to warm the car if she had to go out. Mandy and I stayed up until 3 a.m. putting together a train set for Ryan, and I took a picture of him jumping for joy with his sister in the background confused about all the excitement he had because of his present on Christmas morning.

Now, I am asking you for a different type of present – one you don’t have to wrap. Will you donate today in honor of every family missing a loved one? Will you donate in honor of all victims?  


I left this part until last...the part about the crash because I want to focus on my family's life, not their death.

Ten days before Thanksgiving, a woman sat at a bar drinking for SIX hours, before staggering to her car, putting the keys into the ignition, and speeding away. Her blood alcohol content was TWICE the legal limit. She hit my wife and my two children going more than 70 mph on a back road, and the force of the impact snapping a nearby telephone pole like a twig.

When the doctors asked for permission to stop resuscitation efforts on Kaitlyn, I whispered to her, “I am sorry I couldn’t protect you.” When I had to say goodbye to Ryan, I told him, "You will always be my hero."

I returned to the field to make a vow to Mandy. I told her I will move heaven and earth to bring as much meaning to their deaths as they brought to my life.

My greatest regret is the future that the repeat offender that killed my baby girl stole from me. I will never get to watch Kaitlyn graduate or make a toast at Ryan’s wedding.

These future moments, the common and uncommon ones, that’s what I miss. That’s why I work toward a future I can make happen – a future of No More Victims®.

Will you join with me in donating to MADD to prevent other families from experiencing this pain and tragedy. When you give today, Nationwide will DOUBLE your donation.

And that's a prsent that we all truly need - the end of drunk driving.


Why We Walk: 2016 recap

More than 22,000 people walked to ensure #DrunkDrivingEndsHere at more than 90 events nationwide, making the 2016 Walk Like MADD season the most successful yet! 

Supporters raised more than $3 million to fight drunk driving. Thank you to everyone who walked or donated to Walk Like MADD.

Thanks to tireless staff and volunteer leadership, corporate partnerships and passionate Walkers and donors, well over half of the Walks reached their goal. This is vitally important because all Walk funds stay IN the community. That means, whether you Walk in Ohio, California, or Texas, you are fundraising to prevent drunk driving in your community. 

There were many highlights this year, including:

  • In Atlanta at the Rise Up & Run 5K Walk Like MADD event, one of our most successful events of the year, the Atlanta Falcons partnered with MADD, making it our first Walk NFL partnership. 
  • In Maine, a sister made a promise to bring a Walk to her hometown in honor of her sister, killed by a drunk driver. It took twenty years, but she made it happen! See photos from this touching event here
  • The Twin Cities Walk received a visit from National President Colleen Sheehey-Church - and captured it all on a drone video. Watch it now.
  • Houston could have thrown in the towel after rain forced us to cancel part of the event - but residents came out stronger than ever for the rescheduled Walk

We look forward to the 2017 Walk Like MADD season - and we hope you will join us!


Time for Annie's law in Ohio dwindling

The clock is ticking for Annie’s law, an Ohio bill that would require all offenders to prove they are sober before driving.

The bill calls for ignition interlocks, a device that has prevented more than 1.77 million drunk driving attempts. The bill is named after Annie Rooney, an attorney who was killed by a repeat drunk driver.

Her brother and national MADD Board Member Dr. Walt Rooney talked about his sister on Facebook Live recently.

Dr. Walt Rooney talks Annie's Law and drunk driving prevention

#MADDLive with drunk driving victim and MADD National Boardmember Dr. Walt Rooney

Posted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) on Friday, November 11, 2016

Annie's father and sister are visiting each Ohio Senate committee member, caring the story of their loved one and the need for ignition interlocks for all offenders.

Ohio residents, we need you to speak up! Please send this email to your representatives to let them know you support #AnniesLaw


World Remembrance Day honors victims

Today, we pause.

Often, the enormity of the task before us – eliminating drunk driving – requires action - action from MAD, action from supporters, and action from victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving. 

But not today. 

Today, we recognize the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR), a day set aside to remember the many millions of people killed and injured on the world’s roads on the third Sunday of November each year. 

We take a moment to thank emergency services personnel and first responders, who encounter the traumatic aftermath of drunk driving and crashes caused by other causes. Often, these people put their own lives on the line to provide lifesaving medical treatment. Just as importantly, they are there to whisper words of support and hold someone’s hand during a difficult time. 

Each year, millions of people are newly injured or killed on the world’s roadways and highways. Family and friend experience their own grief and trauma. So, today also serves as a day to recognize their loss and suffering. We remember and honor the victims and their loved ones.

The day was first celebrated in 1995 by road victim organizations in the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR). The idea caught on with Africa, South America, and Asia quickly joining. Last year, the day celebrated its 20th anniversary of observance and the 10th anniversary of World Day being adopted by the United Nations.

MADD proudly serves the victims of drunk and drugged driving as one of the largest victim services organizations in the country. Some of the services we provide include helping victims navigate the court system, connect with local resources, and introducing victims to others experiencing a similar pain. If you need assistance or support, please call our 24/7 national Victim Help Line at 1-877-MADD-HELP.


The day the music died

Caroline Sue Sine of St. Petersburg, Florida died August 15, 2016, from injuries she sustained after the car she was driving was struck on the driver’s side by an alleged drunk driver who ran a red light. She and her boyfriend Sean Hankins were returning from a night at the movies. Fortunately, Sean survived and he expects to fully recover from what was tragically a preventable crash. The other driver had been convicted of a prior DUI offense. Caroline was just 34 years old.

After graduating from the University of South Florida’s Music program, Caroline taught music in the Pinellas County Florida school system. She taught at Sexton, Blanton, Bay Point, Bay Vista, and Pinellas Central Elementary schools. She was an excellent teacher, leader, and was loved and respected by both students and peers. More than 400 attended an emotional farewell at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center. Caroline was highly organized, had a passion for teaching chorus and band, and taught violin privately after school. She participated in community chorus in St. Petersburg and developed an after-school music program for underprivileged children. She sought to include iPad technology in her classes so that students could learn to write and create music.

Caroline’s infectious enthusiasm and 3000-watt smile touched the lives and hearts of many, she was an avid runner, and played softball in league sports around St. Petersburg.

Caroline overcame many difficulties to reach her state in life, as a NICU baby, she struggled in her first 6 1/2 weeks of life. She needed an extra year to complete her studies at both Broward Community College and the University of South Florida, but she never quit, and always maintained her cheerfulness, enthusiasm, and determination. She always found a solution to whatever challenged her.  She was a thriver, not just a survivor. She sought to continuously improve in life.

Team ‘Barracuda,’ named for one of her favorite songs, and Team ‘Butterfly Bean Sweet Caroline’ have formed for the upcoming 'Walk Like MADD’ to be held in Largo, Florida, November 19, 2016.  Team members are walking to end drunk driving in Pinellas County and all of Florida so that tragedies like Caroline’s don’t continue to happen.  These teams support MADD’S effort to promote laws which require ignition interlock devices that will prevent multiple DUI offenders from driving under the influence of alcohol.  These devices can save lives. 

Will you help Team ‘Barracuda’, Team ‘PCMEA Remembers Sweet Caroline’, and Team ‘Butterfly Bean Sweet Caroline’ support MADD’s goal to end drunk driving in Pinellas County and all throughout all of Florida?


A year three decades in the making

In 1986, the country encountered a new concept and phrase – designated driver. 

MADD proudly played a part in popularizing the phrase, which describes the role a nondrinking driver plays in ensuring everyone gets home safely after a celebration or event with alcohol. 

Project Red Ribbon, later called Tie On One For Safety®, a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of holiday drinking and driving, also launched that year. We asked people to tie a red ribbon to their cars or trucks to remind people to always designate a non-drinking driver.

This year, we, along with National Presenting Sponsor Nationwide®, are proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the “designated driver” and MADD’s Tie One On For Safety® campaign. As we head into the winter season, we recognize that, sadly, there is still a need for red ribbons, and we hope to make this the safest holiday season yet. 

“The holidays are meant to be a time of celebration, not tragedy,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable, and we need everyone to pull together to create a future of No More Victims®.”

“Request a ribbon, and let others see it so they know you support finding a safe way home before the celebration begins,” she said. 

Last year, nearly 11,000 people were killed by drunk driving. If we want to decrease that number, we have to make a significant difference during November and December, which typically contains some of the deadliest days on our roads.

What can you do?

• Putting safety before the party and always designate a non-drinking driver BEFORE the celebration begins to ensure everyone arrives home safely.

• Display a MADD red ribbon in a visible location on your vehicles. Red ribbons, magnets and window decals are available here or at select Nationwide agent locations.

• Hosting parties responsibly by offering mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages, and by providing alternate transportation or accommodations for guests who have been drinking. Get more safe party tips here. 

Order your free special-edition ribbon today. Help us celebrate this anniversary with a gift of $35, and we will share a decal with you. 


Atlanta Falcons honor survivor Emily Bowman on game day

The Atlanta Falcons recognized survivor Emily Bowman on the field during the Oct. 30 Atlanta Falcons-Green Bay Packers game at the Georgia Dome. Emily served as Honorary Captain during the coin toss and was applauded by game attendees.

Emily was a college student at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University when she was struck as a pedestrian on Feb. 16, 2013 by a drunk driver who fled the scene in Athens, GA. The driver was indicted on 13 counts and sentenced to 20 years, with the first 10 in confinement, followed by 10 years on probation. 

Emily and her mother, Debbie Bowman, have been featured guests at MADD Georgia events and have shared Emily’s inspiring story of recovery. They also donate their time to make a difference at MADD Georgia’s Victim Impact Panels, where DUI offenders hear of the lasting and long-term effects of substance impaired driving.

MADD Georgia State Advisory Board member and Rise Up and Run 5K /Walk Like MADD co-chair Angela Blank said, “Arthur and I were so pleased that Emily was able to join us on the field, so her strength and determination could be highlighted for attendees and viewers alike. We are humbled by her courage and are so appreciative of her support of MADD Georgia.”


Voices of Victims: Cherry Chalker

Even though sometimes you can’t see them, crashes can leave marks on someone’s life that will stay with them.

Cherry knows what that’s like because her neck was broken in two places after a drunk driver hit her after running a stop sign. 

Things have changed for her since the crash. She’s afraid of things she would have taken for granted before. She was always a roller-coaster junky before it happened; she loved to ride them and went whenever she could. Since the crash, she is afraid of what they may do to her neck if she decided to try to ride them now. She’s afraid to drive her husband’s car, because it’s smaller and she’s worried that she won’t be able to get out of it if she gets hit.  Even normal driving can cause some anxiety.

She came to MADD after her crash in 2011 and attends her local MADD support group and walks in her local Walk Like MADD event.  

At the last walk, they handed out plates to decorate and share what they have been through. Cherry spent a lot of time thinking about what she was going to do. Since she spent Valentine’s Day in the ICU, her first thoughts were of broken hearts, but it just didn’t come out like she wanted it to. So she tried again.

She wanted to show what it was like to be broken and try to put your life back together and to show that no matter how hard you try, it’s never going to be quite the same. She took a hammer to a plate and with one swing shattered it into pieces. She then glued the pieces back together. But the plate couldn’t be put back to how it was before it was broken…it’s a different plate now. 

Cherry said that no matter how much therapy or rehabilitation or counseling you get, there is a part of you that always lives in that little moment. Everything stops in that moment, and you have to figure out a way to start moving forward again.  

Cherry said that each person has their own process. She would never presume to tell someone how they should grieve or heal. For her, she chooses to forgive the person who did this. She has come to understand that the forgiveness wasn’t for him. It was for her, that she needs it so that she can move forward and that it’s something she had to decide to do and it continues to be an act of will.

Cherry appreciates the support she gets from the group she attends and says one of the encouraging parts is that everyone accepts everyone else and where they are, and there is no comparing of losses. She encourages people who are grieving from an injury or death to work through their process – take as much time as they need to do whatever it is that they need to grieve and heal. There’s no procedure, check list or timetable for this. 

Cherry walks with MADD because she can, and says that it’s a celebration that she still can do this, that’s she is still here to do this. 

When you support MADD, you support victims like Cherry. Thank you for your generosity. Please consider donating today.


Voices of Victims: Cherry Chalker

Even though sometimes you can’t see them, crashes can leave marks on someone’s life that will stay with them.

Cherry knows what that’s like because her neck was broken in two places after a drunk driver hit her after running a stop sign. 

Things have changed for her since the crash. She’s afraid of things she would have taken for granted before. She was always a roller-coaster junky before it happened; she loved to ride them and went whenever she could. Since the crash, she is afraid of what they may do to her neck if she decided to try to ride them now. She’s afraid to drive her husband’s car, because it’s smaller and she’s worried that she won’t be able to get out of it if she gets hit.  Even normal driving can cause some anxiety.

She came to MADD after her crash in 2011 and attends her local MADD support group and walks in her local Walk Like MADD event.  

At the last walk, they handed out plates to decorate and share what they have been through. Cherry spent a lot of time thinking about what she was going to do. Since she spent Valentine’s Day in the ICU, her first thoughts were of broken hearts, but it just didn’t come out like she wanted it to. So she tried again.

She wanted to show what it was like to be broken and try to put your life back together and to show that no matter how hard you try, it’s never going to be quite the same. She took a hammer to a plate and with one swing shattered it into pieces. She then glued the pieces back together. But the plate couldn’t be put back to how it was before it was broken…it’s a different plate now. 

Cherry said that no matter how much therapy or rehabilitation or counseling you get, there is a part of you that always lives in that little moment. Everything stops in that moment, and you have to figure out a way to start moving forward again.  

Cherry said that each person has their own process. She would never presume to tell someone how they should grieve or heal. For her, she chooses to forgive the person who did this. She has come to understand that the forgiveness wasn’t for him. It was for her, that she needs it so that she can move forward and that it’s something she had to decide to do and it continues to be an act of will.

Cherry appreciates the support she gets from the group she attends and says one of the encouraging parts is that everyone accepts everyone else and where they are, and there is no comparing of losses. She encourages people who are grieving from an injury or death to work through their process – take as much time as they need to do whatever it is that they need to grieve and heal. There’s no procedure, check list or timetable for this. 

Cherry walks with MADD because she can, and says that it’s a celebration that she still can do this, that’s she is still here to do this. 

When you support MADD, you support victims like Cherry. Thank you for your generosity. Please consider donating today.


Recognizing excellence

Advocating for better laws to protect our roadways from drunk drivers is one of the things MADD’s volunteers and field staff do best. MADD also needs dedicated legislators who are committed to safer roads and preventing the tragedies caused by drunk driving.

This year, MADD is recognizing 69 legislators from across the country for being true partners in our legislative efforts.  These state legislators opened their doors to MADD volunteers and staff, listened to our stories and heard us when we said we must stop 10,000 people from being killed every year by drunk driving. They shared our message and they worked with us to save lives. 

Some of MADD’s Legislators of the Year scored historic victories in their state capitols this year. In Maryland, for example, Delegate Ben Kramer and Senator Jamie Raskin led the General Assembly, along with Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, to pass Noah’s Law — after six years being blocked by a stubborn committee chair. As a result, Maryland now has one of the strongest all-offender ignition interlock laws in the country. We celebrate Delegates Kramer and Fraser-Hidalgo and Senator Raskin as Legislators of the Year for refusing to give up on this life-saving legislation.

Other MADD Legislators of the Year faced roadblocks in winning support for their initiatives this year, but have committed to returning next year to continue the work they started. In Michigan, Representative Klint Kesto has been a MADD partner for several years on an ignition interlock law for all drunk driving offenders and work will continue in 2017. MADD sincerely appreciates Representative Kesto for his commitment to eliminating drunk driving. In California, Senator Jerry Hill worked tirelessly on a compromise with Governor Jerry Brown’s administration to expand California’s ignition interlock program and has committed to working with MADD in the future to make California’s law even stronger. MADD also has partnered for several years on drunk driving legislation with Wisconsin’s Representative André Jacque, who has pledged to help improve Wisconsin’s ignition interlock law. 

MADD recognizes and thanks all of the Legislators of the Year who joined us in 2016 to further our mission to relegate drunk driving to the history books. We look forward to working with these champions in their respective Legislatures as we continue our march toward a nation with No More Victims.


The 2016 Legislators of the Year: 

California

Senator Jerry Hill 

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez

Colorado

Representative Rhonda Fields 

Representative Polly Lawrence 

Senator John Cooke 

Senator Mike Johnston 

Connecticut

Representative Al Adinolfi

Representative Joe Aresimowicz

Representative Christie Carpino

Senator Eric Coleman

Senator Leonard Fasano

Representative Mary Fritz

Representative Stephen Harding

Senator Tony Hwang

Senator John Kissel

Representative Themis Klarides

Senator Martin Looney

Representative Rosa Rebimbas

Representative Richard Smith

Representative William Tong

Washington, DC

Councilmember Mary Cheh

Florida

Senator David Simmons

Representative Scott Plakon

Representative Robert Cortes

Representative Katie Edwards

Georgia

Representative Tom Rice 

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle 

Indiana

Representative Timothy Wesco

Maryland

Delegate Ben Kramer

Senator Jamie Raskin 

Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo 

Massachusetts

Senator James Timilty

Michigan

Representative Klint Kesto 

Senator Tonya Schuitmaker 

Mississippi

Representative Patricia Willis

Representative Andy Gipson

Senator David Parker

Senator Sean Tindell

Representative Kevin Horan

Missouri 

Representative Caleb Jones

New York

Senator George Amedore

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas 

Assemblyman John McDonald III 

Assemblyman Dean Murray

Assemblyman David McDonough 

Ohio

Representative Gary Scherer

Pennsylvania

Senator John Rafferty

Representative Keith Greiner

Rhode Island

Senator Stephen Archambault 

Representative Gregg Amore 

South Carolina

Representative Eddie Tallon 

Senator Larry Martin 

Tennessee

Senator John Stevens

Representative William Lamberth 

Senator Randy McNally 

Representative Mark White 

Senator Mark Norris 

Representative G.A. Hardaway 

Representative Joe Pitts

Senator Kerry Roberts 

Senator Doug Overbey

Representative Dale Carr 

Vermont

Representative Willem Jewett 

Wisconsin

Representative André Jacque

Senator Roger Roth 

Senator Alberta Darling

Representative Jim Ott 

Senator Van Wanggaard 

Senator Chris Larson 


Recognizing excellence

Advocating for better laws to protect our roadways from drunk drivers is one of the things MADD’s volunteers and field staff do best. MADD also needs dedicated legislators who are committed to safer roads and preventing the tragedies caused by drunk driving.

This year, MADD is recognizing 69 legislators from across the country for being true partners in our legislative efforts.  These state legislators opened their doors to MADD volunteers and staff, listened to our stories and heard us when we said we must stop 10,000 people from being killed every year by drunk driving. They shared our message and they worked with us to save lives. 

Some of MADD’s Legislators of the Year scored historic victories in their state capitols this year. In Maryland, for example, Delegate Ben Kramer and Senator Jamie Raskin led the General Assembly, along with Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, to pass Noah’s Law — after six years being blocked by a stubborn committee chair. As a result, Maryland now has one of the strongest all-offender ignition interlock laws in the country. We celebrate Delegates Kramer and Fraser-Hidalgo and Senator Raskin as Legislators of the Year for refusing to give up on this life-saving legislation.

Other MADD Legislators of the Year faced roadblocks in winning support for their initiatives this year, but have committed to returning next year to continue the work they started. In Michigan, Representative Klint Kesto has been a MADD partner for several years on an ignition interlock law for all drunk driving offenders and work will continue in 2017. MADD sincerely appreciates Representative Kesto for his commitment to eliminating drunk driving. In California, Senator Jerry Hill worked tirelessly on a compromise with Governor Jerry Brown’s administration to expand California’s ignition interlock program and has committed to working with MADD in the future to make California’s law even stronger. MADD also has partnered for several years on drunk driving legislation with Wisconsin’s Representative André Jacque, who has pledged to help improve Wisconsin’s ignition interlock law. 

MADD recognizes and thanks all of the Legislators of the Year who joined us in 2016 to further our mission to relegate drunk driving to the history books. We look forward to working with these champions in their respective Legislatures as we continue our march toward a nation with No More Victims.


The 2016 Legislators of the Year: 

California

Senator Jerry Hill 

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez

Colorado

Representative Rhonda Fields 

Representative Polly Lawrence 

Senator John Cooke 

Senator Mike Johnston 

Connecticut

Representative Al Adinolfi

Representative Joe Aresimowicz

Representative Christie Carpino

Senator Eric Coleman

Senator Leonard Fasano

Representative Mary Fritz

Representative Stephen Harding

Senator Tony Hwang

Senator John Kissel

Representative Themis Klarides

Senator Martin Looney

Representative Rosa Rebimbas

Representative Richard Smith

Representative William Tong

Washington, DC

Councilmember Mary Cheh

Florida

Senator David Simmons

Representative Scott Plakon

Representative Robert Cortes

Representative Katie Edwards

Georgia

Representative Tom Rice 

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle 

Indiana

Representative Timothy Wesco

Maryland

Delegate Ben Kramer

Senator Jamie Raskin 

Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo 

Massachusetts

Senator James Timilty

Michigan

Representative Klint Kesto 

Senator Tonya Schuitmaker 

Mississippi

Representative Patricia Willis

Representative Andy Gipson

Senator David Parker

Senator Sean Tindell

Representative Kevin Horan

Missouri 

Representative Caleb Jones

New York

Senator George Amedore

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas 

Assemblyman John McDonald III 

Assemblyman Dean Murray

Assemblyman David McDonough 

Ohio

Representative Gary Scherer

Pennsylvania

Senator John Rafferty

Representative Keith Greiner

Rhode Island

Senator Stephen Archambault 

Representative Gregg Amore 

South Carolina

Representative Eddie Tallon 

Senator Larry Martin 

Tennessee

Senator John Stevens

Representative William Lamberth 

Senator Randy McNally 

Representative Mark White 

Senator Mark Norris 

Representative G.A. Hardaway 

Representative Joe Pitts

Senator Kerry Roberts 

Senator Doug Overbey

Representative Dale Carr 

Vermont

Representative Willem Jewett 

Wisconsin

Representative André Jacque

Senator Roger Roth 

Senator Alberta Darling

Representative Jim Ott 

Senator Van Wanggaard 

Senator Chris Larson 


What to do if a driver flees a crash?

You’ve just been hit by a person who appears to be intoxicated or impaired by drugs. 

Perhaps you are injured or one of your loved ones is hurt. Maybe your mind hasn’t even processed what has just happened. And then it gets worse. 

The alleged offender gets back in his or her vehicle and takes off.

What can you do? More importantly, what should you do?

 Moments after a drunk driving crash, it’s important to take a few precautions for your own safety and that of any passengers.

1. Call the police – Call 911 to report the crash and all details pertaining to it, such as the:

  • Number of injured persons and the severity of their injuries
  • Number of vehicles involved and if the road is blocked
  • If the other driver is impaired, report that information and that he is now fleeing the scene.

Be prepared to give a vehicle description to include color, make, model and license number. Do this even if it doesn’t appear to be major damage. This information will assist authorities in dispatching the appropriate resources for your crash and hopefully stopping and arresting the fleeing impaired driver. 

2. Determine who is hurt and how badly – Don’t try to move people who may have neck or back injuries. If someone is bleeding and you have plastic gloves in your car, put them on and try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure.

3. Don’t engage with the drunk driver while they are on the scene – Write down the license plate or snap a picture with your phone. Take a picture of alleged offender as well if you have time but don't try to talk with an intoxicated person. Not only could it serve little purpose, but it also could be dangerous. 

4. Don’t chase or attempt to stop the offender – It’s not worth risking additional injury. You need to stay at the crash site. Don’t move car parts around if possible. Focus on your breathing, your health, and your friends and family.

5. If the vehicles are drivable and no one is injured, get to a safe place – If possible, move to the side of the road or even a nearby parking lot. 

Drunk driving crashes are traumatic, dangerous, and 100 percent preventable. Until we reach a future of No More Victims®, please follow these recommendations to stay safe after a crash.


Sad Day in San Diego

By Ron Replogle

Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager

I was attending the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference with 16,000 police officers from around the world Saturday, October 15, 2016, when a very tragic scene unfolded literally right before our very eyes.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., an alleged drunk driving crashed on the Coronado Bay Bridge adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center. The pickup truck stuck the bridge railing and went over the side of the bridge, and dropped 60 feet below landing on a crowd of people celebrating at a festival at Chicano Park below the bridge.

The crash killed four and injured nine. 

I was approximately five blocks away attending a meeting of the State and Provincial Police Division where, ironically, we were discussing highway and public safety issues. All of us in the room heard the sirens of the first responders racing to the scene. Of course not knowing the details and the severity of this crash and of the innocent lives lost and injured, we went on about our business. A few hours later, I began to hear of the details of the crash, and, then, I saw the first local news report. 

This crash is another example of the carnage that impaired drivers continue to cause on our roadways and in our society. This has to stop.

On average, 28 people are killed in our nation every day by impaired drivers. Unfortunately on October 15, 2016, four innocent people celebrating on a beautiful day in San Diego lost their life in an instant due to the criminal and brutal actions of one driver. Very sad to say the least. 

The crash and case highlight exactly why we need to continue our fight to eliminate drunk driving so there are No More Victims®!  


Webinar brings together law enforcement, MADD

MADD Victim Services recently hosted a national webinar with a special guest, Sgt. Ryan Johansen, an officer out of California with a passion for law enforcement and also for advocating for victims and survivors.

His main point was that MADD and law enforcement must work together by doing four central things: Caring, Knowing, Supporting and Preventing.  

He encouraged MADD Advocates to get involved in roll call briefings, get to know their law enforcement agencies and officers and see if a victim or survivor will share their story prior to key events, such as sobriety checkpoints or saturation patrols. Doing so may help officers who hear those stories gain continued motivation and support to continue to prevent crashes from occurring. 

By working with investigating officers as well as prosecutors, advocates can make a difference by advocating that all possible charges or enhancements have been applied. They can also work by educating victims and survivors about the processes they are going through and encouraging them that the best cases take time to put together.

One of the tips he shared was that in his community they use a template warrant to garner blood draws, saving time and energy to make sure that suspected drunk drivers are tested, an example of working smarter within the community to make sure investigations are done well.

MADD appreciates his education, dedication and support. We recognize the importance of working closely with law enforcement, investigators, and prosecutors to prevent crashes or provide support when a crash occurs, and we thank them for their service.


MADD says goodbye to a longtime difference maker

MADD Florida staff and volunteers honored Becky Gage last week for her 19 years of service and dedication to MADD as a Victim Services Specialist.

Becky has given of her time to victims/survivors, and it is without saying she is one of the best advocates that MADD has worked with.

Unfortunately, she knows all too well how drunk driving can impact a family. Becky’s son, Dennis, was killed in 1996. She has turned her grief into action, and her pain into compassion. She has gone to crash scenes to assist law enforcement with death notifications on her own time. She has sat in court with thousands of families to lend her support. She organizes a moving victim/survivor tribute during the holidays, so families can remember and honor their loved ones. She has cheered those same people on at the various walks in the Tampa Bay area.

We wouldn’t have the reputation and success of MADD’s victim services program without Becky going above and beyond the call of duty. In her 19 years of service, she has assisted at more than 7,000 drunk and drugged driving crashes and provided more than 29,000 services.

It was with sincere gratitude that we recognize Becky Gage for her 19 years of service with MADD and to wish her well on her retirement. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 

Debbie Weir, David Pinsker, and MADD Hillsborough’s co-founder Linda Unfried were on hand to wish Becky well in her future adventures of travel, and spending time with friends and family!

 MADD CEO Debbie Weir, Becky Gage (with a portrait of her son, Dennis) and MADD Hillsborough's co-founder Lina Unfried
 
 Becky has served more than 7,000 drunk and drugged driving crashes and provided more than 29,000 services to victims.
 
 MADD CEO Debbie Weir says goodbye to Becky.


Why We Walk: Chezray Ramon Young

My son, Chezray Ramon Young was only 20 years old when he was brutally killed by the act and actions of an individual. This individual desired to disobey the laws constructed and enacted to punish law violators by not only drinking and driving but, also, by driving at an extremely high rate of speed.

The images that plague our thoughts and our hearts are the thoughts of seeing his small frame body being tossed all around his vehicle to which he was so proud to own. The images we continue to battle with daily, the ones that keeps our hearts constantly fluttering, are the images of a life, a valuable life, a God fearing young man’s life, a smile that made the world go around life, an image of “Momma, I got your back life” and, my teacher, my coach cut short.

Life for us, a once tight-knit family is no more the same.

We moved to Arizona with a mission to accomplish and that mission was to finish with our endeavors and to finish them strong as a strong team. That team didn’t include anyone else but a mother, two sons and a daughter. We knew that in order to become what we wanted, we had to have each other and hold each other together. He was so mannerable, so polite, so dependable, so wise with words and had a hug and kiss that made life feel flawless. Now, what we try to hold together is our mind.

We struggle to continue though we know Chezray wouldn’t want us to give up. It doesn’t stop the hole that has been drilled through our entire being. No more curb-side service, no more coaching, no more being the armor bearer, no more being that smile. What’s left is a 12-year-old who struggles every single night. A sister who doesn’t have her best friend, her partner, her brother's arms or shoulder to cry on. What’s left is a mangled mother who feels like her chest has been caved in with no room for a heart to beat, a mother whose health has taken on a journey of its own. And family and friends who can’t seem to embrace why a young man, a respectable young man’s life, was cut so short all because, instead of going straight home fromwork, he did what he did best. He gave a ride home to a friend. Everything positive and everything that’s good that anyone can capture by his smile, is what he was.

To keep Chezray’s memory alive his Aunt Tasonia Hendrix formed a team and will be walking on Saturday, October 8th at Eisenhower Park in San Antonio, TX. Please join us as we end drunk driving or make a donation.


Why We Walk: Chezray Ramon Young

My son, Chezray Ramon Young was only 20 years old when he was brutally killed by the act and actions of an individual. This individual desired to disobey the laws constructed and enacted to punish law violators by not only drinking and driving but, also, by driving at an extremely high rate of speed.

The images that plague our thoughts and our hearts are the thoughts of seeing his small frame body being tossed all around his vehicle to which he was so proud to own. The images we continue to battle with daily, the ones that keeps our hearts constantly fluttering, are the images of a life, a valuable life, a God fearing young man’s life, a smile that made the world go around life, an image of “Momma, I got your back life” and, my teacher, my coach cut short.

Life for us, a once tight-knit family is no more the same.

We moved to Arizona with a mission to accomplish and that mission was to finish with our endeavors and to finish them strong as a strong team. That team didn’t include anyone else but a mother, two sons and a daughter. We knew that in order to become what we wanted, we had to have each other and hold each other together. He was so mannerable, so polite, so dependable, so wise with words and had a hug and kiss that made life feel flawless. Now, what we try to hold together is our mind.

We struggle to continue though we know Chezray wouldn’t want us to give up. It doesn’t stop the hole that has been drilled through our entire being. No more curb-side service, no more coaching, no more being the armor bearer, no more being that smile. What’s left is a 12-year-old who struggles every single night. A sister who doesn’t have her best friend, her partner, her brother's arms or shoulder to cry on. What’s left is a mangled mother who feels like her chest has been caved in with no room for a heart to beat, a mother whose health has taken on a journey of its own. And family and friends who can’t seem to embrace why a young man, a respectable young man’s life, was cut so short all because, instead of going straight home fromwork, he did what he did best. He gave a ride home to a friend. Everything positive and everything that’s good that anyone can capture by his smile, is what he was.

To keep Chezray’s memory alive his Aunt Tasonia Hendrix formed a team and will be walking on Saturday, October 8th at Eisenhower Park in San Antonio, TX. Please join us as we end drunk driving or make a donation.