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.
Last fall we launched the third annual Power of You(th)® Video Contest, where, along with Presenting Sponsor State Farm®, we asked teens around the country to create a 15-second Instagram video that answered the question, “If you don’t drink alcohol today, what could your tomorrow be?”
Today, we’re excited to share with you the winning video by Keegan Carlson, age 17. Keegan’s video shows that if he chooses to stay away from alcohol today, he can be anything he wants to be tomorrow — an engineer, an actor, an athlete, an artist, a dancer, an architect.
Watch the winning video now:
MADD also recognizes Ricardo Estrada Junior High School in Horizon City, Texas, for having nine student video contest entries — the most entries received from any one school, as well as Caelan “Cal” Barr, age 17, for his two runner-up videos, both of which send powerful messages about underage drinking prevention. See his videos here:
We encourage you to watch and share these videos to help empower teens to say no to alcohol and never get in a car with someone who’s been drinking.
Thank you to all the teens who participated, and congratulations to the winners!
Malina Price-Bos grew up in Auburndale, FL. At the age of 19, she won Miss Auburndale and was later awarded the Miss America Organization’s Community Service award.
She dedicated her life to community service and making a difference for others. After graduating from college, Malina and her husband Keith moved to Israel to become missionary teachers. But tragically, their marriage was short lived. After her husband’s death, Malina returned home to Auburndale.
On St. Patrick’s Day in 1996, just two months after Keith died, Malina and her parents were driving home from church. They were in separate vehicles, when a vehicle crossed the center line and sideswiped the vehicle her parents were in, and then struck the vehicle Malina was driving head-on.
Malina was killed instantly. She was 23.
The driver had a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 and told officials at the scene that he had been drinking at a few bars. He was convicted of DUI manslaughter and sentenced to 17 years in prison. He served 9 before being let out on an appeal.
Malina’s family – her brother Bubba, father Larry, and mother Flora – was devastated by her death. They connected with Mary Dean, a MADD victim advocate in MADD Polk County who helped them throughout the court proceedings. Malina’s mother, Flora, continued her involvement with MADD because she knew Malina would have wanted her do something to help prevent drunk driving. Flora served as the leader of the MADD Polk County Chapter, and continues to share her story often, participating in panel discussions at schools and at court-appointed activities.
“The pain of loss is still real but I am grateful to MADD for the opportunity to volunteer, making Malina’s death not be in vain,” said Flora.
Providing compassionate, impactful services to victims, including injured victims or family members and friends of those killed by a substance-impaired driver, is a core MADD priority. Our victim services are provided by dedicated volunteers and staff across the country. In 2012, MADD Victim Advocates were a lifeline to more than 61,000 victims.
Franz Kegel and Dave Smith are extraordinary MADD volunteer Victim Advocates who have been helping victims for more than 28 years. Together, they founded and led the MADD efforts in San Joaquin County, California. Franz became involved with MADD after his daughters, Liesel and Elke, ages 16 and 15, were killed in a drunk driving crash on their way to a school dance.
In 1982, an offender with a blood alcohol concentration of .17 killed Dave’s 18-year-old son, Jon, in a drunk driving crash. The offender was arrested for drunk driving, hit and run, and manslaughter. The case was plea bargained to a misdemeanor hit-and-run conviction and all other charges were dropped.
“I learned what helped me through the nightmare of my daughters’ deaths and I share with others,” Franz says. “Supporting victims is the most important thing we do. We try to be available to victims 24/7. We quickly answer phone calls and are willing to make visits as soon as possible.”
MADD Victim Services provides court accompaniment for victims during the criminal justice process. Victims are typically thrown into the process with very little experience, which can be overwhelming, especially when someone is grieving. Franz and Dave make every effort to accompany victims to court hearings and know that being present for the arraignments is essential. They provide information to victims and paint a realistic picture of the process. Most importantly, they ensure that victims have a voice.
“The ability to listen to victims and learn, rather than giving advice right away, is helpful,” Franz says. “Dedication in wanting to help and support victims is essential.”
These courageous men are in the courtroom supporting victims and they never give up. Their dedication to MADD and the countless hours of service cannot be measured. They are true MADD heroes, providing a lifeline to those who need it.
The TODAY Show tested this in a segment featuring MADD National President Jan Withers, whose daughter Alisa was killed in a drunk driving crash caused by an underage drunk driver. The show set up a hidden camera experiment and filmed two actors waiting outside of a liquor store pretending to be underage approach nearly two dozen customers to purchase alcohol for them. The results were surprising.
The Boston University review, which focuses on research published since 2006, “has reinforced the position that the current law has served the nation well by reducing alcohol-related traffic crashes and alcohol consumption among youth, while also protecting drinkers from long-term negative outcomes they might experience in adulthood, including alcohol and other drug dependence, adverse birth outcomes and suicide and homicide.”
"The evidence is clear that there would be consequences if we lowered the legal drinking age," said lead researcher William DeJong, Ph.D., of Boston University School of Public Health.
DeJong also says that education can help discourage underage drinking. Often, youth buy into the myth, for instance, that all college students engage in heavy drinking episodes. So giving them a more realistic picture of the true "drinking norms" can be effective.
MADD has always, and continues to support the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age. We know that our hopes for a safer future are riding on today’s youth. By getting them off to a good start, we are taking a giant step toward fulfilling our vision of a nation without drunk driving. That’s why we’re focused on tackling underage drinking, a problem that threatens the safety of our kids and endangers entire communities, now and down the road.
Learn more about MADD’s Underage Drinking initiatives, including more information about the benefits and myths of the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age, as well as programs to help educate youth about the dangers of underage drinking.
President Reagan signing into law the Uniform Drinking Age Act mandating all states to adopt 21 as the legal drinking age.
While we agree with their strategy of frequent and open conversations with your kids about alcohol (starting early), one thing they didn’t cover is stressing the importance of waiting until 21 to drink alcohol.
They talk about “minimizing the risks” associated with teens experimenting with alcohol, but we know that the longer your child waits to start drinking, the safer he or she will stay.
Of all the dangers your teen faces, underage drinking is among the worst. Whether teens are experimenting with beer, wine or other liquor, alcohol presents a serious—and potentially deadly—threat. Compared with non-drinking classmates, teens who drink are more likely to:
Die in a car crash
Be sexually assaulted
Become an alcoholic later in life
Take their own life through suicide
Get the tools needed to start this ongoing conversation, including a research-based parent handbook with proven strategies for talking with teens about alcohol, at www.madd.org/powerofparents. And thank you TODAY show for covering such an important topic!
There are so many things parents worry about every day when it comes to their children, but the fear of the person entrusted to get them to school safely driving drunk should never be one of them.
A school bus driver in Columbus, Ohio, who pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of driving drunk and child endangerment, was recently sentenced to five days in jail. Yes, you read that right. Only five days for endangering the lives of elementary school children on their way home from school.
According to reports, in November, the Columbus police received a call that a school bus was driving erratically, and when they stopped the bus, they found an open bottle of whiskey and a driver with a BAC of .216—more than 3 times the legal limit. The students on the bus reportedly yelled out the windows, “She’s going to kill us! She’s going to kill us,” as they sped through the streets.
No child should ever be put in danger by someone who’s driving drunk, especially when that driver has been entrusted to keep them safe. At MADD, we believe that drunk driving is criminal and irresponsible, and driving drunk with a child passenger is a form of child abuse.
Fortunately in this case, no one was seriously injured, but only five days for risking the lives of innocent children is not an appropriate sentence and does not send the right message about the importance of our children’s safety.
This Valentine’s Day, we want show our fantastic supporters some much deserved LOVE!
At MADD, we know that our volunteers, advocates and supporters are the heart and soul of the organization. Without your generosity, time and support, none of the success over the past 34 years would have been possible. We hope you know how truly valued you are.
You have helped save more than 300,000 lives and serve more than 300,000 victims and survivors…and counting! You’re making an impact in your community, your state and even the nation as a whole, and we greatly appreciate your support.
Whether you stand with MADD in honor or memory of a loved one, or in hopes of creating a safer nation for the future, we couldn’t do what needs to be done without YOU.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our incredible supporters! Thank you for all that you do for MADD and the millions of people across the country who are safer because of you.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, 11 people were killed on our nation’s highways in two wrong-way crashes. Five people, including four University of South Florida fraternity brothers, died in the crash in Tampa, Florida, and six people, including four relatives, were killed in Diamond Bar, California.
Police arrested a 21-year-old female driver on suspicion of driving under the influence in connection to the California crash that killed six. The Florida crash is still under investigation, so it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved at this time.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, driver impairment by alcohol was identified by investigators as a factor in 60 percent of fatal wrong-way collisions, and nine percent of wrong-way drivers had been convicted of driving while intoxicated within the three years prior to the wrong-way collision.
Our hearts go out to these families and communities who are dealing with these tragedies. Eleven families now face empty seats at their tables. Their loss is unimaginable – their pain unspeakable.
But we want to get the word out to these families and all affected by substance impaired driving that MADD is here to help. Call 877.MADD.HELP (623.3435) to speak with a trained victim advocate, day or night.
On February 25, 2006, 18-year-old Laura Ann Gorman, a college freshman, was riding home with a friend. The driver, who had been drinking, drove off the interstate and crashed into a tree. Laura died at the scene— just a few miles from her dorm room. The driver, whose BAC was .12 three hours after the crash, was convicted of DUI manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison.
Those who knew Laura describe her as a bright, beautiful and caring individual. A hard working and conscientious student, she graduated from high school with a string of awards and accomplishments. She loved cheerleading and spent many hours as a teen volunteer for hospice. She earned an Honors Scholarship from her college and a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Her life held enormous potential; she was someone who had the promise and compassion to make a difference. Her death is not only a monumental loss for her family, who are left wondering what might have been, but for the community as well.
After Laura was killed, her family joined MADD. “Joining MADD was a way to keep Laura’s memory alive and to know that her life made a difference,” says her mother, Helen Gorman. Helen is the Chair of the Pinellas Walk Like MADD® Committee for the third year and also serves on the MADD Pinellas Advisory Board. Laura’s younger sister, Diana, is also involved with MADD, as well as other drunk driving prevention efforts.
Laura’s family shares her story in hope that it will send a strong message regarding the 100% preventable crime of drunk driving and ultimately spare another family from the irreversible devastation they have endured.
This month, we’re excited to kick off the 2014 Walk Like MADD season! Walk Like MADD is MADD’s signature event to celebrate a brighter future without drunk driving and underage drinking, as well as honor loved ones killed or injured in drunk driving crashes.
Last year there were 73 Walk events, which raised more than $2.7 million for MADD affiliates and chapters across the country. All funds raised from each Walk stay in the community to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.
If you are unable to attend a Walk because of the date or location, you can still sign up as a virtual walker and raise money to eliminate drunk driving in your community. Whatever way you contribute, your support is greatly appreciated.
Don’t have a Walk near you? More than 30 Walk Like MADD events put on each year across the country are run entirely by volunteers who want to make an impact in the fight against drunk driving in their community. If you are interested in learning more about starting a Walk Like MADD event near you, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate your support and hope to see you at a Walk Like MADD event this year!
Today, Tennessee Titans Tight End Delanie Walker spent the day talking with media about the NFL season, playing in last year’s Super Bowl, his personal commitment to drunk driving prevention and his partnership with MADD. He did interviews with numerous radio stations and national outlets, including NBC Sports and Sirius Radio, and his main message to football fans is to plan ahead this Super Bowl Sunday — if you’re planning to drink alcohol, make sure you have a non-drinking designated driver or another safe way home, before the game even starts.
MADD is honored to have Delanie share his story in order to raise awareness about the 100 percent preventable crime of drunk driving. Thank you, Delanie, from the MADD family!
Super Bowl Sunday continually ranks as one of the most dangerous times of the year for drunk driving deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 43 percent of all traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday (and the early hours of the following morning) in 2012 were caused by drunk driving, compared to an average of 31 percent for the year as a whole.
This year we’ve teamed up with Tennessee Titans Tight End Delanie Walker, named the 2013 Titans Walter Payton Man of the Year, to urge football fans to have a plan for how they’ll get home from Super Bowl parties with a non-drinking designated driver.
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary since Delanie’s aunt and uncle, Alice (Peaches) and Bryan Young, were driving home after watching their nephew play in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. They were stopped on the side of the road when they were rear-ended by a drunk driver who was leaving a Super Bowl party. Both vehicles caught on fire, and Alice and Bryan died at the scene.
On Super Bowl Sunday, and throughout the year, MADD encourages football fans ‘to play the most important position in the NFL: the designated driver.’ In fact, MADD’s game-day program with the NFL helped teams increase their designated driver sign-ups by seven percent in 2013.
This Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest win of the night for MADD will be knowing that fans have made plans for a safe way home before the game even starts.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is shocked and appalled with the sentence handed down to former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent for his intoxication manslaughter conviction in the death of his friend and teammate Jerry Brown. This punishment sends the message that it’s ok to drink and drive—but it’s absolutely not.
Drunk driving is unacceptable and 100 percent preventable, yet each year more than 10,000 people are killed and another 345,000 are injured in drunk driving crashes. MADD wishes that a non-drinking designated driver would’ve been a part of their plans that night, so that Jerry Brown would still be alive today.
Today, we heard about another celebrity being arrested for DUI, and this time it’s a celebrity that isn’t even of legal drinking age—19-year-old Justin Bieber. Underage drinking is dangerous, not to mention illegal, and it is unacceptable for anyone to make the choice to drive drunk, especially a celebrity, who may been seen as a role model.
Drunk driving is a choice, and it is 100-percent preventable.
As with any drunk driving arrest, MADD believes everyone has the right to a fair trial, and if found guilty, should be convicted and sentenced to the full extent of the law. We encourage judges to use the full power provided by law in each state to determine appropriate sanctions for anyone convicted of drunk driving.
Our hope is that a high-profile DUI arrest such as this one will serve as a reminder to adults 21 and over, both celebrities and fans alike, to plan ahead for a safe way home if their plans include alcohol, as well as reminds those under 21 that drinking alcohol is illegal.
Last week, we announced that MADD National President Jan Withers would be featured on an upcoming episode of Katie Couric’s talk show, Katie, to talk about underage drinking and the importance of the 21 minimum drinking age.
If you missed the episode, you can watch all three segments here:
Parents Whose Son Died After Drinking and Driving
Dr. Brian Hoeflinger and his wife, Cindy, share the story of their son, Brian, who was 18 when he died.
Discussion of the 21 Minimum Drinking Age
MADD National President Jan Withers and MADD National Board Member Monica Vandehei are featured as part of this discussion.
Talking with Kids About Drinking
Dr. Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital and a mother of five, shares her tips on how to talk with kids about alcohol.
At MADD, we consider law enforcement to be our first, most natural partner. These are our heroes that make our roadways safe. They work long hours, deal with difficult situations, and put themselves in danger on a daily basis—and some pay the ultimate price.
In 2013, line-of-duty deaths among law enforcement officers in the United States declined to its lowest recorded number in over 50 years, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. But traffic-related incidents still accounted for 46 deaths—the most of any other on-duty fatality:
31 officers were killed in automobile crashes
11 officers were struck and killed while outside of their vehicles
Four officers were killed in motorcycle crashes
The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund has 10 easy steps you can take to make our roadways safer for officers and others and to help decrease officer injuries and fatalities:
Focus on driving. Do not talk on your cell phone, eat, hunt for items in your vehicle or engage in other distractions while driving.
Give officers room on the roadway. When you see or hear a police or other emergency vehicle with its lights and siren activated, slow down, move to the right and stop if possible. Once the emergency vehicle passes, do not follow the vehicle too closely—give it plenty of room.
Move over. When you see a police or other emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the roadway, slow down and, if possible, safely move one additional lane away from the stop.
Never drive on the shoulder of a highway. This is not only illegal but also dangerous, as police and other emergency vehicles often use the shoulder to get to traffic crashes and other incidents.
Watch officers' hands as they direct traffic.
Only drive when sober.
Drive within the speed limit.
Keep the volume on your car radio at a reasonable level.
Supporting the heroes that keep our roads safe is one of the three tenets of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®. Do your part to keep our law enforcement officers safe, so that they can return the favor.
It’s not often you can change a life for sixty cents a day. But knowing we can count on your support allows us to reach more hearts and touch more lives, until that great day when together we end drunk driving completely.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) today released its 2014 Most Wanted List—the top 10 advocacy and awareness priorities for the agency for 2014. It is designed to increase awareness and support for the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation injuries and fatalities.
One of the items in their top 10 list is to eliminate substance-impaired driving, which includes both drunk and/or drugged driving. In 2012 more than 10,000 traffic deaths in the U.S. involved an alcohol-impaired driver, and in 2011, over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
The list also includes:
Address the unique characteristics of helicopter operations
Advance passenger vessel safety
Eliminate distraction in transportation
Enhance pipeline safety
Improve fire safety in transportation
Identify and communicate hazardous weather in general aviation
Implement positive train control systems
Promote operational safety in rail mass transit
Strengthen occupant protection in transportation
MADD thanks the NTSB for its ongoing support of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® and inclusion of substance-impaired driving on the list. We look forward to continuing our work with the NTSB to eliminate drunk driving.
MADD National President Jan Withers was recently invited to appear on Katie Couric’s talk show, Katie, to talk about underage drinking and the importance of the 21 minimum drinking age. College student and MADD National Board Member Monica Vandehei was also there, and spoke about the need for enforcement of the 21 drinking age law on college campuses.
The episode, called “Teens and Alcohol,” also features the bereaved parents of an 18-year-old boy who died in an underage drunk driving crash. It is scheduled to air on January 17, 2014 (check your local listing for time).
At MADD, we know that our hopes for a safer future are riding on tomorrow’s drivers. By getting today’s youth off to a good start, we are taking a giant step toward fulfilling our vision of a nation without drunk driving. That’s why we’re focused on tackling underage drinking, a problem that threatens the health and safety of our kids and endangers entire communities, now and down the road.