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.
Not only did Myra Constable lose her husband, Carie, in a drunk driving crash just before Christmas in 1999, her 23-month-old son, Nicholas, lost his father. Sadly, Carie was found alone in his car the morning after the crash. An autopsy revealed that his blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit.
Shortly after Carie’s death, Myra’s mother called the local MADD office for help, and soon Myra became a regular speaker for MADD Victim Impact Panels. Telling her story became a key component of her personal healing journey.
Also after the crash, Myra began to notice some changes in her son’s behavior. It began when people started coming by more often. Family and friends would gather, blanketing Myra and her son with embraces and tears.
“I first noticed that Nicholas was very clingy to me, especially when I would leave. Over the next couple of years he became really possessive,” Myra recalls.
“He did not want anyone else to hold him or anyone to talk to me.”
At that moment, Myra knew that she needed to help her son find his own path to emotional wellness.
As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, we want to take this time to acknowledge and thank some of our supporters who provide products and services that benefit MADD’s mission and our members.
Nationwide® for supporting MADD and our members by offering exclusive insurance discounts for MADD supporters. Each Nationwide policy purchased through this partnership helps support MADD’s efforts. Nationwide is also a presenting sponsor of Power of Parents® and Tie One On For Safety®.Learn more»
DialAmerica for donating 12.5% of the purchase price of magazine subscriptions to support the fight against drunk driving. Learn more»
MADD Virgin Drinks for supporting MADD by offering an alcohol-free beverage alternative for designated drivers, as well as contributing 5% of net wholesale sales from participating Walgreens locations to MADD’s lifesaving efforts. Learn more»
Impact, LLC for donating $1 for each DVD sale of the documentary IMPACT: AFTER THE CRASH, to help commemorate the lives impacted in the worst drunk driving crash in U.S. history and to help raise awareness to prevent future drunk driving tragedies. Learn more»
The LinkFund for donating 10% of each purchase made from their MADD Mementos Collection, where people can honor their loved ones with custom made bracelets. Learn more»
UMB Bank for supporting MADD's mission and helping to raise awareness by offering the MADD Visa® Platinum Rewards Card, and donating $50 to MADD per new account when a purchase is made with the card within 90 days of issuance. Learn more»
AmazonSmile for supporting MADD’s programs by donating 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to MADD made through smile.amazon.com. Learn more»
And most importantly, thank YOU for your continued support of MADD and our mission. Whether organizations or individuals, the investment of MADD supporters’ time and money saves lives in communities across the nation.
In the U.S. alone, 33,561 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2012, and more than 30% of those were drunk driving crashes.
Many people think that drunk driving is a thing of the past, and that the problem is nearly solved. But you and I know that that is just not the case. More than 10,000 people are killed and hundreds of thousands are injured each year because of drunk driving, and it remains the primary threat on our roadways. But ultimately, even one person killed by this 100 percent preventable crime is one too many.
In honor of all those killed in traffic crashes, help us spread the word about the importance of designating a non-drinking driver this holiday seasonby requesting a free Tie One On For Safety® ribbon. It lets those around you know that drunk driving is not an accident—it’s a choice that far too often ends in tragedy.
MADD National Teen Influencer Sarah Haiken was recently named as the 2014 Woman of the Year by the Town of Huntington as part of their Thirteenth Annual Women's Networking Day and Awards Ceremony. The annual event is designated as a time to recognize and honor extraordinary women for their exemplary accomplishments and contributions benefitting the community.
Sarah received this award for her active and dedicated advocacy for MADD, including her participation in MADD’s National Teen Influencer Group for the past three years. Sarah created a program focusing on the dangers of underage drinking and getting into a car with someone who has been drinking. As part of the program, she has teens sign a pledge not to drink before their 21. The program has thrived and to date, she has had hundreds of teens sign the pledge and over 50 volunteer for the program. She also arranges for local law enforcement involvement.
Sarah is a Junior in high school, runs long distances for cross country and track. In 2011, Sarah was awarded a Woman of Achievement award from the Long Island Press and since has received numerous citations and proclamations for her work to prevent underage drinking. She also currently sits on the New York State Governor's Board for Teen Safe Driving for the second year in a row.
Congratulations, Sarah, and thank you for all you do to save lives!
Some of the most dangerous days of the year on our nation’s roadways are between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That is why every holiday season MADD asks you to put a MADD red ribbon in a visible location on your vehicle as a reminder to always designate a non-drinking driver.
Started in 1986, Tie One On For Safety® is MADD’s longest running and most visible public awareness project. The name Tie One On For Safety comes from the phrase “tie one on,” which is slang for drinking alcohol. But at MADD we use the phrase to remind everyone that drinking and driving don’t mix.
On June 18, 2002, Patti Foster and three other women were driving to their final Bible study of the summer. After the car she was traveling in came to a stop at a red light, Patti took off her seatbelt to check on the flowers that she was bringing everyone in the Bible study. At that moment, a drugged driver traveling at 70 miles per hour slammed into the back of their vehicle. The impact hurled Patti out of the car about three stories away until her body stopped in a lane of traffic.
Bystanders began to pray around her before a helicopter transported her to the Trauma ICU. Despite the all-night from the trauma team, Patti remained in a coma.
“If she does live, she’ll be a persistent vegetable,” the doctors told her family.
Six weeks later, Patti slowly began to wake up from her coma, but had many battles ahead of her. “When I began waking up, I had to re-learn every single basic function,” Patti said. “I couldn’t do anything on my own.” She credits her strength during this recovery process to the outpour of support from family and friends, and her steadfast faith.
Now, she is a motivational speaker as well as published in four books, in addition to her autobiography, entitled Coping with Traumatic Brain Injury. Most recently, her story was selected to be featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Patti began writing after the crash as a way to continue healing. “Instead of becoming bitter, I’ve chosen to let it make me better and help others,” she says.
Patti’s story and positive outlook on life continues to inspire others around the world. “We don’t know how many moments we have left,” she says, “but while we have this moment may we choose to live it to the fullest.”
Patti volunteers with MADD East Texas and shares her story at Victim Impact Panels, school assemblies and other MADD presentations to help prevent others from experiencing the life-altering aftermath of a drunk or drugged driving crash that she had to endure.
The scariest part of Halloween isn’t the spooky costumes and haunted houses. It’s the fact that far too often people don’t plan ahead for a safe way home before drinking alcohol. Every year we hear the stories of Halloween celebrations turned tragic for innocent people, like Jean Dyess or Jessica Fraire, enjoying the holiday.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost half (48%) of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities on Halloween night in 2012 involved a drunk driver. These numbers usually are even higher when the holiday falls on a weekend like it does this year.
This Halloween, MADD urges both partygoers and trick-or-treaters to plan ahead to help keep everyone safe.
Be extra alert when crossing the street.
Wear bright, reflective clothing or add reflective tape to costumes and treat buckets.
Bring a flashlight (with extra batteries) so you can see and be seen at night.
Attending a party:
Designate a non-drinking driver before you head out to make sure you and your loved ones arrive home safely.
Save the number of a local cab service in your phone or download a ride-share app prior to heading out.
Consider hiring a shuttle or limousine service to transport you and your friends to and from your event.
Arrange a hotel stay for you and your friends on the evening of the event so no one drives home impaired.
Hosting a Halloween party:
Never serve alcohol to those under the age of 21.
Plan safe parties, including providing non-alcoholic drink options to guests.
Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
Be prepared to get everyone home safe by having the number of a taxi service on hand for those who need a ride.
Be ready with some clean linens so you can turn your sofa into a hotel for guests who need to stay the night.
Underage drinking is not only illegal, it’s dangerous. Which is why we’re asking teens to take a stand against underage drinking.
Teens: You have the power to influence your friends and make an impact in your school, home and community. The Power of You(th) is the power you hold to save some of the 4,700 lives that are lost each year because of underage drinking.
Take a selfie and use the hashtag #ProtectUrSelfie to pledge to be alcohol free until 21! Learn more here.
And check out some of the amazing teens who have already taken the #ProtectUrSelfie pledge on social media:
This weekend, MADD’s National Teen Influencer Group convened in Nashville, Tenn. to share ideas on how to stop underage drinking in their respective communities. The Group is part of MADD’s Power of You(th) program which works to empower teens to take a stand against drinking under 21 in their schools and communities. The teens were selected based on their commitment to be drug and alcohol-free and the desire to share MADD’s message to their peers.
They spent Friday receiving training on how to be a MADD ambassador in their community. On Saturday, the teens volunteered at the Nashville Walk Like MADD event, painting faces and hosting a #ProtectUrSelfie photo booth. At the end of the weekend, the teens each committed to an activity they can implement in their community to influence their peers to make the smart choice and avoid alcohol until 21.
Watching the group learn from MADD and each other was inspiring for all involved. Each teen left the summit excited to get back to their school and began working on their activities.
Teens give lots of reasons for trying alcohol – to celebrate a special occasion, for example, or out of curiosity. Some teens think alcohol will put them in a better mood or make them feel less awkward. Others drink to fit in. They figure, “How bad could it be if everyone is doing it?”
But the truth is, teen drinking can have tragic consequences. More than 4,700 people are killed each year because of underage drinking – and that is not just in car crashes. Those deaths include things like homicides, suicides, alcohol poisonings, falls, drownings, burns and other causes of deaths.
The lives of thousands of teens – like Taylor, Shelby, Lauren and Alexis – are tragically cut short every year because of teen drinking. It’s just not worth it.
That’s why we developed the Power of You(th) program. It gives teens the tools they need to take a stand and help their friends do the same.
This Red Ribbon Week, help us empower teens to take a stand against underage drinking by spreading the word on all of your social media channels and to all the teens you know about MADD’s tools and resources:
Parents often worry about their kids’ safety, and they have good reason to be concerned when their teen gets behind the wheel. Young, inexperienced drivers are the most crash-prone drivers on the road. In fact, traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for American teenagers.
Talking to your kids about the dangers of driving is one of the best things you can do to keep them safe on the road, but many parents just assume their teens get this information elsewhere, so they don’t have the conversation.
October 19-25 is Teen Driver Safety Week, and it’s a great time for parents to talk to their teen drivers about the risks they face.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “5 to Drive” campaign identifies the five most important rules all teen drivers need to follow:
No Alcohol. Even though the minimum legal drinking age in every state is 21, among 15- to 20-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 28 percent of the drivers killed had been drinking. And we know that drunk driving crashes are not the only danger to teens when it comes to alcohol, so talk with your teen about the risks of underage drinking. Use our Power of Parents® handbook to help get the conversation started.
Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly 1 in 5 were distracted by their phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.
Stop Speeding Before It Stops You.In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48%) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers. By comparison, 30 percent of all fatal crashes that year involved speeding.
No More Than One Passenger at a Time.Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.
Talk to your kids—this week and every week—about how to be smart and safe behind the wheel.
We are excited to hear this trend is continuing, especially with Red Ribbon Week just around the corner Find out how you can help reduce the deaths and injuries that come from underage drinking by visiting www.madd.org/redribbonweek to download all of our free Red Ribbon Week resources and learn how you can get involved in your community.
As part of MADD's on-going efforts to encourage adults to plan ahead and always have a designated non-drinking driver, we are excited to announce that Uber and MADD Wisconsin have teamed up to save lives.
For every person that signs up in Madison from October 16th through October 23rd, Uber will donate $1 to MADD!
How can you save lives with an unwanted car? By donating it to MADD! Better yet, you can get a tax deduction at the same time. It’s a win-win!
Donating is easy. We accept all types of vehicles in any condition — from cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, ATVs, as well as boats. Even a vehicle that isn’t running can be sold for parts and contribute hundreds of dollars to support MADD’s mission.
Step 1: You fill out our online form at www.carsformadd.org, or call 855-448-6233. Step 2: We tow the vehicle at no cost to you. Step 3: We send you a donation receipt.
Your donation helps fund vital programs not just to help end drunk driving but also to support its victims. Every year MADD provides victim services to tens of thousands of victims and survivors nationwide. MADD has helped save 300,000 lives and counting, help add to that number with your car donation.
Please consider donating your vehicle – or helping us spread the word that MADD accepts vehicle donations – and help save lives.
Every October during Red Ribbon Week – just in time for homecoming and the holidays – schools and communities across the country encourage young people to live a drug-free life. This year for Red Ribbon Week, MADD is launching new resources to help teens, educators and community members empower teens to take a stand against underage drinking.
One important resource for teens is The 411 on Teen Drinking. This booklet, sponsored by State Farm®, contains useful information to help teens resist peer pressure, influence other teens to not drink before age 21 and never get in the car with someone who’s been drinking.
Help us reduce the deaths and injuries that come from underage drinking by visiting www.madd.org/redribbonweek to download all of our free Red Ribbon Week resources and learn how you can get involved in your community.
On October 10, 2013, 23-year-old Eric Fischer and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Andrea Herrera, left the restaurant where they were watching a Tigers game to take care of their newly adopted puppy, Otis. On their way to Eric’s house, a drunk and drugged driver ran a red light and hit the car Eric and Andrea were driving in, pushing them into the path of a semi-truck. Both Eric and Andrea were killed.
Eric and Andrea met earlier that year at a local steakhouse where they were both working, and were inseparable. Eric was known as an easy going guy with a big heart and an even bigger smile. He got along with everyone. Andrea was funny and very creative, with an eye and a talent for turning simple things into something beautiful through a photo or painting.
Both Andrea and Eric were going to school, Eric for marketing, and Andrea for graphic design before their lives were tragically cut short by someone’s choice to drink and drive.
After the crash, the Prosecutor connected Eric and Andrea’s families with MADD Michigan. MADD Victim Advocate, Stephanie Hurst, helped prepare the families for the court process, accompanied them to the trial and offered a shoulder to lean on during the incredibly difficult time.
The drunk driver, who had a history of alcohol-related offenses, was sentenced to between 12-and-a-half and 30 years in prison.
With the trial behind them, Eric and Andrea’s families remain dedicated to making sure that this doesn’t happen to another family. They participated in this year’s Walk Like MADD event in Grand Rapids, Michigan on September 13th, raising $5,315 to put an end to this 100 percent preventable crime once and for all.
Read more about Andrea and Eric on their tribute pages, or make a donation in their honor.
This isn’t the first time for Phelps. He was charged and pleaded guilty to a DUI in 2004 at the age of 19, when he shouldn’t have been drinking in the first place. If the newest charges prove to be true, he clearly didn’t learn his lesson. However, it proves what we already know. Far too often first-time offenders repeat their action unless something is done to disrupt the pattern.
That is why MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving calls for all drivers convicted of drunk driving to get an alcohol ignition interlock, even first time offenders. Interlocks reduce repeat offenses by 67 percent according to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Fortunately, no one was injured in any of these three instances, but too many times innocent people are killed or injured because of someone’s choice to drink and drive. It takes the lives of 28 people a day in stories that may not make the evening news or social media.
A new study published in the September issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention, surveyed adults nationwide about their attitudes toward road-safety laws, including ignition interlock devices. The results show that 74% of adults support interlocks for all DUI offenders.
Requiring all convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlocks to prove they are sober before they drive is a no-brainer. Since New Mexico's interlock law was implemented in 2005, drunk driving fatalities are down by 38 percent. Since Arizona and Louisiana implemented their interlock law in 2007, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 43 and 35 percent, respectively. In Oregon, as a result of 2008 interlock law, DUI deaths are down 42 percent. Simply put, these laws work.
That’s why MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for the passage of laws requiring the use of lifesaving ignition interlocks by all convicted drunk drivers in all 50 states, and we are glad to know that the public agrees.