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.


Play the Most Important Position in the NFL—the Designated Driver!

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 more than 18,000 in 2014.

Through our partnership with the NFL, MADD members attend select NFL football games providing information at MADD booths, as well as circulate through the parking lots promoting the importance of designating a non-drinking driver before the game begins, and encouraging fans to sign up at a designated driver booth within the stadium. 

We started the game-day partnership with the NFL in 2010 with just two teams. Now, there are 13 teams that participate: the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, and Tennessee Titans.

One of the first two teams to partner with MADD was Buffalo Bills. In 2010, the Bills had 1,783 people sign up.  In 2014, they had 14,284 – eight times as many.

We are proud of the success of this game day program and are grateful to the NFL for partnering with MADD to help raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.

This Super Bowl Sunday, what position will you play? Sign up online now to play the most important position in the NFL—the designated driver!


NFL Player Delanie Walker Shares His Story

Since Tennessee Titan Delanie Walker’s Aunt and Uncle were killed by a drunk driver just hours after watching him play in the 2012 Super Bowl, he has become a tireless advocate for MADD.

He recently shared his story for a video for the NFL:


Making Our Roads Safer—For Everyone

Nearly 300,000 people drive drunk every single day. That’s enough to fill the University of Phoenix Stadium more than four times over. With the big game approaching, it’s a stark reminder Super Bowl Sunday consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous times of year for drunk driving deaths.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. A new report conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reveals that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making better choices that save lives.

Here are the key takeaways from the report: More Options. Shifting Mindsets. Driving Better Choices:

  • In California, Uber’s home state and largest market, drunk-driving crashes fell by 60 per month among drivers under 30 in the markets where Uber operates following the launch of UberX. That’s an estimated total of 1,800 crashes prevented since July 2012.
  • 78% of all respondents to a survey agreed that friends are less likely to drive drunk since the arrival of ridesharing services like Uber to their city
  • Nearly everyone surveyed -- 93% -- would recommend their friends take Uber instead of driving if they’d been drinking alcohol

The new report found ridesharing is having a significant impact across America’s cities, providing people with smarter alternatives to getting behind the wheel if their plans include alcohol. In Miami, Uber ridership is peaking at the same hour that historically has been the worst for drunk driving. In Pittsburgh, demand for Uber spikes at closing time for bars. In Chicago, three-fourths of Uber trips on New Year’s Eve were requested within ⅛ mile of establishments with liquor licenses.

Uber and MADD are working toward a world where a safe ride is always within reach and where drunk driving is a thing of the past.

While we’ve still got a lot of work to do, we’re making progress together toward the goal of reliable rides and safer roads for everyone. The results in California echo similar good news out of Seattle, where we found the arrival of Uber helped reduce drunk driving arrests by 10%. And with the Big Game coming up, we’re encouraging fans of all stripes to make the right call this Super Bowl Sunday by planning to get home safe. Uber will donate $1 to MADD for every trip taken on Sunday, February 1, 2015 between 3:00 PM and 12:00 AM ET when users enter the promo code ThinkandRide.

To learn more, download the report, and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.



Help Line Volunteer: Colleen Sheehey-Church

The MADD Help Line, 1-877-MADD-HELP, is available 24/7 for victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes because of dedicated volunteers—volunteers like MADD’s new National President, Colleen Sheehey-Church.

Colleen started volunteering as a Help Line advocate nearly a year ago because she wanted to be more connected to those in need of support. When her son Dustin was killed in a crash 10 years ago, connecting with MADD was what helped her learn to cope with the grief. As a Help Line advocate, she helps victims and survivors understand that what they are feeling is normal – that they aren’t going crazy.

On the Help Line, Colleen has spent time serving not only victims, but also callers looking for advice about what to do when someone they know drives drunk. She has heard that fear in someone’s voice and has been able to provide the assistance needed over the phone.

Colleen says that there has never been a call she didn’t like, that the Help Line is not just a Help Line, but really a lifeline for the people who are calling. Despite her new role as National President, Colleen plans to continue volunteering for the Help Line.

Click here to learn more about the Victim/Survivor Help Line or MADD’s Victim Services.


2015 Report to the Nation

We are excited to share with you MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving: 2015 Report to the Nation.The report provides an overview of legislative accomplishments, highlights state-by-state drunk driving reform, and provides a glimpse of what’s on the horizon as MADD enters its 35th year.

The report also highlights federal ignition interlock grant dollars, established as part of the 2012 federal highway bill, known as MAP-21, which could be available to states that pass laws requiring all convicted drunk drivers to install interlock devices.

A key feature of the report is the five-star rating of each state, based on the adoption of five proven DUI countermeasures:

  1. Requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers
  2. Conducting sobriety checkpoints
  3. Creating enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle
  4. Participating in “no-refusal” activities for those suspected of drunk driving
  5. Utilizing Administrative License Revocation for drunk driving offenders

The Campaign’s impact is evident. This year, 13 states were awarded five stars for their enactment of drunk driving laws or implementation of proven countermeasures. Click here to read the report and see how many stars your state received.

But we know that our work is far from over. This year, we want to make even more progress through MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving by advocating for mandatory ignition interlock laws in the 26 states without these lifesaving laws, continuing to support law enforcement efforts to catch and deter drunk drivers, and encouraging the development of in-vehicle technology that will one day make drunk driving impossible.

Thanks to your tremendous support, 2015 promises to bring a year of change and growth as we celebrate 35 years of saving lives!


NTSB’s 2015 Most Wanted List

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released its 2015 Most Wanted List, which represents the NTSB's advocacy priorities. It is designed to increase awareness of, and support for, the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation incidents and save lives.

One of the items in their top 10 list is to eliminate substance-impaired driving, which includes both drunk and/or drugged driving.

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 and fight drugged driving. 

The full top 10 list includes:

  1. Disconnect from Deadly Distractions
  2. Make Mass Transit Safer
  3. Improve Rail Tank Car Safety
  4. End Substance-Impaired Driving
  5. Strengthen Commercial Trucking Safety
  6. Strengthen Procedural Compliance
  7. Prevent Loss-of-Control in General Aviation
  8. Implement Positive Train Control in 2015
  9. Require Medical Fitness for Duty
  10. Enhance Public Helicopter Safety

Click here to visit the NTSB’s website to learn more about their 2015 Most Wanted List.


Concerned Citizens: The First Line of Defense to Stop Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking

Originally featured in the 2014 fall edition of MADDvocate®.

A concerned citizen is anyone who cares about keeping the community where they live safe from drunk and drugged drivers.

Perhaps you’ve seen media coverage of a particular story that makes you want to get involved. Or maybe you are concerned about a neighbor, family member, friend or co-worker who you believe drinks and drives, but are not sure what to do about it.

Here are some ways you can make a difference, as a concerned citizen:

  • Call the police anytime you see someone drinking and driving. The more legitimate calls to your local law enforcement, the more likely the impaired driver will be apprehended.
  • Have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle if your name is on the title of a vehicle being driven by an alleged drunk driver.
  • If you know a person is on probation for drunk driving and you see him or her driving impaired, contact the individual’s probation office in the county in which the offense occurred to alert authorities to the driver’s actions.
  • Call the Alcohol Beverage Control Board in your state to register a complaint if you witness a local establishment allowing underage drinking.

For other useful tips on who to call and what you can do, email victims@madd.org to request a prevention brochure. You can also sign up to become a MADD volunteer and work to prevent drunk driving in your community. Together, we can save lives.

We need every voice in the fight against drunk driving. Click here to find out the many ways you can help.


Meet MADD’s New National President

Thirty-five years after a grieving mother started one of the most influential and effective grassroots movements in history, we’re pleased to announce our new National President, Colleen Sheehey-Church, the first victim of drugged driving to serve as MADD’s National President.

Colleen’s 18-year-old son, Dustin, drowned after the car he was riding in, driven by a teen with alcohol and drugs in her system, crashed into a river, trapping Dustin in the vehicle. She joined MADD a year later in 2005.  Read Dustin’s story here.

“No one ever dreams about becoming MADD’s National President, because it means that you have suffered the most unimaginable pain of a death or injury due to the preventable crime of drunk or drugged driving,” says Sheehey-Church. “I was drowning in grief after I lost my son, until I called MADD. I only wished I had called sooner. I’m honored and humbled to represent the victims we couldn’t save, stand alongside those we have and advocate to keep innocent lives safe on our nation’s roadways.”

Read Colleen’s first blog post as MADD’s National President.

Read Colleen’s bio.


Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Today is the first ever National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day—a time to show support to law enforcement officers that serve to protect our community.

High-visibility law enforcement techniques that catch drunk and drugged drivers and discourage others from driving drunk are part of our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®These techniques have been proven to reduce drunk driving deaths by 20 percentThat is why MADD works so closely with the officers who keep our families safe on and off the roads

Join us in honoring the heroes who keep our roads safe by sharing this image on your social channels:

 

Tweet: 10,076 people were killed last year in drunk driving crashes. RT to help raise awareness. http://ctt.ec/Jcr49+ http://ctt.ec/7ZBHt+

 


MADD Turns 35 in 2015

Happy New Year to you and your family! 2015 promises to bring a year of change, growth and celebration as MADD celebrates 35 years of saving lives.

But our work is far from over. While drunk driving deaths have been cut in half, we know that even one life lost to this entirely preventable crime is one life too many. In 2015, we want to make even more progress through MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® by advocating for mandatory ignition interlock laws in the 26 states without these lifesaving laws, continuing to support law enforcement efforts to catch and deter drunk drivers, and encouraging the development of in-vehicle technology that will one day make drunk driving impossible.

New in 2015:

Here’s to 35 years of saving lives and a future where there are no more victims, no more families impacted by this 100 percent preventable crime.


Why We Walk: Meagan Ahlstrom

By Rebecca L. Ahlstrom

Leo and I have been married for 33 years and have three children, Aaron, Meagan, and Melody. Early on Sunday morning, June 14, 2009, our worst nightmare collided with our family. What was an innocent road trip turned tragic within seconds! Meagan and I were traveling back from visiting family and were only one hour from home. I had asked Meagan to drive that last hour—we didn’t make it 1½ miles down the county highway before a drunk driver who had passed out at the wheel came barreling for us. There was NO escaping the inevitable. Meagan turned the wheel at the last second and took the brunt of the hit, sacrificing her life for mine. Our daughter died instantly. I suffered seven broken ribs and was beaten up pretty badly but lived.

Meagan was only 24 at the time—an innocent victim of a senseless, selfish, and indescribably painful crime. A crime that has since impacted thousands of family and friends across the U.S. The other driver was sentenced to 5 ½ years in state prison. Our inconceivable loss could have torn our family apart but instead we chose to rally together and let God bring good from a tragic situation.

The following year, in an effort to honor her dearest cousin, our niece Brynn registered “TEAM MEAGAN” for the Walk Like MADD in Nashville. Personalized purple t-shirts were printed to raise support (purple became our team color) and our fundraising began with photos of Meagan, individual pleas through social media including the MADD Team link have been quite successful. Through overwhelming support, each year we have exceeded our TEAM MEAGAN goal. As top team, we have had the opportunity to share “Our Story” from the platform a few years now.

TEAM MEAGAN at the 2011 Nashville Walk Like MADD


As Meagan’s mother, what drives me is my faith and a fierce love for my daughter. Meagan was passionate about life, people, family, and her God. She was making a difference in this world and still is! Like Meagan, we too want to make a difference—part of making a difference is supporting MADD and their efforts to put an end to such crimes.

Our involvement with MADD has affirmed to us in a very personal way that we are not alone in our journey. Not only have we met many others who share the pain of losing a loved one to an alcohol-related tragedy, but we have also experienced overwhelming support from so many friends, family, business associates, church members, and other caring, sympathetic hearts. Beyond all that MADD is accomplishing, at Walk Like MADD the interaction between teams is inspiring, and the hugs to and from other victims fill in the gaps where words just fall so short.

To read some of Meagan’s writings, check out the family’s Facebook page in her honor: www.facebook.com/groups/MeaganAhlstrom/

The Ahlstrom Family

Our faith has challenged us to forgive the other driver and not allow hate and anger to cripple us as a family. We have a choice every day to serve God well and to promote “good choices”.

 

 


New Fatality Data & Campaign Report Show Progress

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the 2013 state-by-state fatality data. Nationally, drunk driving fatalities decreased from 10,322 in 2012 to 10,076 in 2013. Despite this progress, 31 percent of all fatalities in 2013 involved a drunk driver, meaning that nearly one out of three fatalities resulted from this 100 percent preventable crime.

Since the launch of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®, 24 states have passed an all offender ignition interlock law, and drunk driving deaths are down by more than 24 percent since 2006. The Campaign calls for more high visibility law enforcement through sobriety checkpoints, all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device, and the development of advanced vehicle technology, like the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), which one day can eliminate drunk driving completely.

Next week, MADD will be releasing the 2015 Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving Report to the Nation, which provides an overview of legislative accomplishments, highlights state-by-state drunk driving reform, and provides a glimpse of what is on the horizon. The report rates each state based on the adoption of five proven DUI countermeasures. So be on the lookout next week for this exciting new information!


New Year, New MADD.org

Just in time for the New Year, we took the opportunity to freshen up our website to make it an even better resource to those interested in our mission. In addition to updating the look and functionality of the site, we also added a few new features, including:

  1. Anniversary logo. 2015 marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of MADD’s 35th anniversary. To mark the event, we are unveiling a new special edition of our logo.
  2. New strategic plan. To coincide with the beginning of our 35 year anniversary, we are releasing our new five-year agenda to saving more lives and supporting more victims. You can find it here.
  3. Local office map. Looking for your local office? Look no further. We now have a new map of all of our offices on our homepage. You can search by your zip code to see if there is a MADD Chapter or office near you.
  4. New section on drugged driving. In 2015, MADD is expanding its mission to take aim at this growing problem. This new section of the site includes the latest research and information available on this exciting new part of our mission.

We will continue to make updates to the site throughout the year, and we hope you like the new madd.org as much as we do!


MADD Takes On Drugged Driving in 2015

New for 2015, MADD is expanding its mission to take on the deadly effects of drugged driving. While we know that we still have our work cut out for us when it comes to eliminating drunk driving, we knew it was time to take that experience and apply it to the issues surrounding drugged driving. MADD has provided victim services to those impacted by drugged driving for many years. Now we can provide those families with hope – much like we have to victims of drunk driving for the past 35 years.

New National President Colleen Sheehey-Church’s son Dustin drowned after the car he was riding in, driven by a teen with alcohol and drugs in her system, crashed into a river, trapping Dustin in the vehicle. (Read their story here.) But her story is far from unique.

A 2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that 18 percent of drivers killed in car crashes tested positive for one or more prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit drugs. Even the smallest amount of a drug can interfere with coordination, reaction time, perception and judgment. Mixing drugs with alcohol can worsen impairment and increase the risk of crashing.

However, since this is an emerging issue, there are a number of challenges that must be overcome and issues that must be addressed before the problem can be solved:

  • Drugs include both the legal and illegal variety, causing confusion among the public as to what qualifies as drugged driving.
  • No drug-specific fatality numbers or arrest data currently being uniformly collected.
  • No impairment levels defined for each drug and the mere presence of drugs does not equal impairment.
  • Testing for drug impairment and specialized law enforcement training programs to detect impairment costly.

These are precisely the areas that MADD plans to address first.

Because there is a common overlap between drunk and drugged driving issues, laws and initiatives, we feel this expansion of our mission is natural and hope to apply our learnings from the fight to stop drunk driving to aid the prevention of drugged driving.

Click here to take the pledge to show your support for MADD’s drugged driving prevention efforts.


Why We’re Here: Dustin Church

On July 10, 2004, 18-year-old Dustin Church was hanging out with friends when they decided to go on a late-night pizza run. But on the way home, in the short two-mile stretch between the restaurant and the driver’s house, the speeding car ran off the road, hit an embankment and landed upside-down in a Connecticut river.

The driver was an impaired teenager, who had been illegally drinking underage and using drugs. Dustin was in the backseat of the two-door car as it sank into the river.

The two in the front seat survived. But not Dustin. He died trying to get out of the backseat. He died trying to breathe as the car sank deeper. In short, he died trying to live. But he didn’t live, he drowned.

Dustin, known for his fiery red hair and his laughter, had recently graduated high school and was trying to decide what he wanted to do for college. He was considering an acting career. Dustin was well liked by his peers and was always able to find the best in everyone.

Dustin’s step-mom, Colleen Sheehey-Church said that “for about a year, my husband, our other son and I were heartbroken and lost. Then I called MADD. They saved me.”

As time went on, Colleen and her husband Skip decided they didn’t want to just be victims. They wanted to be a part of the solution and started volunteering with MADD.

Colleen Sheehey-Church is now the newest MADD National President. She will travel the country sharing Dustin’s story and working to put an end to drunk driving.

 Colleen, Dustin and Skip


Tips to Ring in the New Year Safely

Every day in the United States, 28 people are killed in drunk driving crashes and hundreds more are injured. And the risk of sharing the road with a drunk driver is even higher on holidays, like New Year’s. In fact, New Year’s Day is the most dangerous day of the year for drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.

In 2012, over half of all traffic fatalities on New Year’s Day – after the midnight toasts – involved a drunk driver. Tweet: In 2012, over half of all traffic fatalities on New Year’s Day involved a drunk driver http://ctt.ec/Bo5P8+ via @maddonline

So before you gather with family and friends to ring in the New Year, make sure you’ve made the necessary plans for how to keep your loved ones safe.

Going out?

  • Before your New Year’s Eve celebration begins, make a plan to get home safely. If you plan on drinking, designate a non-drinking driver ahead of time and leave your keys at home, or program the phone number of a friend or local taxi service to your phone.
  • Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking. There’s always another way to get home safely – it’s never worth the risk.
  • If you see someone driving drunk, always call the police. Getting drunk drivers off the roads prevents tragedies and saves lives.

Hosting a party?

  • As guests RSVP, confirm that they have a plan for a safe way home via a non-drinking designated driver (rideshare service, public transportation, taxi, etc.).
  • Plan activities like party games or door prize drawings that do not involve alcohol and engage people, resulting in a lower consumption of alcohol.
  • Have the number of a taxi service or a rideshare app on hand or offer your sofa to guests who need to stay put.
  • View our safe party guide for more handy host or hostess tips.

Make this New Year’s holiday something to celebrate by preventing drunk driving. Happy New Year!




Double Your Impact to Lessen the Impact

Want to do more to help save lives? Make a donation to MADD this holiday season and your gift will be matched will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000 by our friends at Nationwide®.  Give now »


2013 Drunk Driving Fatalities by State

From 2012 to 2013, drunk driving fatalities decreased by 2.5 percent nationwide. How did your state do?

State 2012 Drunk Driving Deaths % of Traffic Deaths in 2012 Caused by Drunk Driving 2013 Drunk Driving Deaths % of Traffic Deaths in 2013 Caused by Drunk Driving 
Alabama 240 28% 260 31%
Alaska 15 25% 15 29%
Arizona 230 28% 219 26%
Arkansas 144 26% 123 25%
California 829 28% 867 29%
Colorado 134 28% 142 30%
Connecticut 100 38% 114 41%
DC 3 20% 6 30%
Delaware 35 31% 38 38%
Florida 709 29% 676 28%
Georgia 295 25% 297 25%
Hawaii 47 38% 33 32%
Idaho 52 28% 58 27%
Illinois 322 34% 322 32%
Indiana 230 29% 198 25%
Iowa 96 26% 103 32%
Kansas 104 26% 102 29%
Kentucky 169 23% 167 26%
Louisiana 235 33% 234 33%
Maine 50 30% 42 29%
Maryland 163 32% 141 30%
Massachusetts 129 34% 118 36%
Michigan 261 28% 255 27%
Minnesota 114 29% 95 25%
Mississippi 191 33% 210 34%
Missouri 283 34% 248 33%
Montana 89 43% 92 40%
Nebraska 73 34% 60 28%
Nevada 85 33% 79 30%
New Hampshire 32 30% 46 34%
New Jersey 164 28% 146 27%
New Mexico 97 27% 93 30%
New York 340 29% 364 30%
North Carolina 372 29% 371 29%
North Dakota 72 42% 62 42%
Ohio 389 35% 271 27%
Oklahoma 209 29% 170 25%
Oregon 88 26% 105 34%
Pennsylvania 407 31% 368 30%
Puerto Rico 101 28% 127 37%
Rhode Island 28 44% 24 37%
South Carolina 348 40% 335 44%
South Dakota 44 33% 41 30%
Tennessee 286 28% 277 28%
Texas 1290 38% 1337 40%
Utah 32 15% 38 17%
Vermont 24 31% 18 26%
Virginia 209 27% 254 34%
Washington 143 33% 149 34%
West Virginia 94 28% 91 27%
Wisconsin 202 33% 178 33%
Wyoming 41 33% 25 29%

 

Click here for the full report from NHTSA.

 


Celebration of Life (Guest Blog)

By Maddi Romeo, a member of MADD’s National Teen Influencer Group

In the midst of the holidays, celebration can be daunting and unwelcome. The year my grandmother was killed, Thanksgiving and Christmas were quiet and stiff. We went through the motions—the presents, the Yule Log, the Christmas lunch. But we weren't kidding anyone, especially ourselves. Now, seven years later, we couldn't be more excited as we pull out my grandmother's decorations and the tales that go with them.

I've seen the impact of drunk driving during the holidays, not only in the Facebook postings of my MADD family, but in the eyes of my mother, father, and aunt. Seeing that pain makes me urge anyone who feels it to fight by celebrating the life of those they love. Christmas was happy once again when we were finally able to joke about my Nana and remember her as she would have wanted: happy. We pull out the wreaths she loved so dearly and watch the Christmas movies she enjoyed (behind closed eyelids) - through this we too are happy in the holidays.

So I suppose the moral of my little story is that it was really hard for us to understand that holidays after the crash weren't a memorial service to be filled with eulogies and teary eyes, but celebrations of life and, in our house, of the beautiful gift of the Son.

Time won't heal the wounds, which is why I want to take this tiny spotlight to ask once again for everyone to please be safe this holiday - don't drink and drive. There's no party worth the price of a crash. However, time does make you realize it is okay to be happy. So make those jokes about how somehow those socks always ended up in your stocking or how the turkey never comes out quite right because, in the end, I've learned that the greatest celebration of life is the continuation of living.


MADD is joining forces with Lyft and UBER

A lot goes in to planning the perfect New Year's Eve celebration, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants to help you with your checklist:

√ Reservations for two at that fancy restaurant you’ve always wanted to try – check.

√ The perfect outfit for that night on the town – check.

√ Your favorite bottle of bubbly for that midnight toast – check.

• A designated non-drinking driver – check?

After the ball drops and rings in the New Year, sadly it also rings in the deadliest day on the roads due to drunk driving. In 2013, 70 people died on New Year’s Day alone.

To keep everyone safe on the roads, MADD is joining forces with Lyft and UBER. Together, we urge all adults that if your plans include alcohol then plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before the celebrations begin.

Both services will be donating to MADD’s mission – Every ride can save a life.

UBER: Enter promo code MADDNYE from 6:00 p.m. local time New Year’s Eve to 6:00 a.m. local time New Year’s Day and UBER will donate $1 to MADD for every ride nationwide.

Lyft: Starting 6:00 a.m. local time December 29 through 6:00 a.m. local time New Year’s Day, pledge to get home safe at Lyft.com/NYE and $1 per pledge nationwide will benefit MADD.

Don’t start the New Year in tragedy. Make a resolution to designate a non-drinking driver 100% of the time to make sure you, your loved ones and everyone on the roads gets home safely.


Never Give Up

On May 31, 2006, Crystal McCoy’s life was forever changed when a drunk driver, driving on the wrong side of the road, crashed into her. She doesn’t remember the crash, only the headlights as they came her way.

She had severe injuries to her face, hips, pelvis, knees and ankle, and has had to undergo 13 surgeries so far. For the first five weeks she couldn’t speak and had to write everything down—she still has those journals. Her four-year-old was scared of her because of the way she looked after the crash ... she had lost her teeth.

She was in the hospital for months and couldn’t move to even look outside, and when she was finally released, she cried when she first saw a tree. She still wasn’t able to walk, but was determined to do so again for her two young children. In fact, she shocked nurses when she returned for a visit and was able to walk on her own.

While Crystal’s Memorial Day – the day the crash happened – will never be the same, her Christmas holiday is “even more special now,” she says. She knows how precious life is and doesn’t want to take anything for granted.

Christmas is Crystal’s favorite holiday. One tradition she has is to always decorate her Christmas tree on her father’s birthday. She also creates a special ornament each Christmas for her tree to celebrate yet another year of life she was fortunate enough to live.

Crystal has a different life now, a different vocation, and she can’t do all of things she used to love to do like ride a horse or go line dancing, but she wants people to know that they should “never give up, it will get better. It doesn’t seem like it will, but it will.”