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What Would You Do?
By MADD | January 18, 2012| 3 Comments | Filed in: Drunk Driving , Power of Parents

This Friday evening on the season premiere of ABC’s What Would You Do? there will be a segment about parents using their children as designated drivers.  You can view a preview of the segment here.  While we don’t know all of the details of the episode, we do know that is a real problem that should be addressed. 

Our friend, Hollywood Ruch, was only five-years-old when his impaired biological father gave the keys to Hollywood’s 13-year-old half-brother to drive.  This decision ended in  a crash.  Hollywood lost several teeth and suffered a brain injury that affected his fine motor skills.  However, Hollywood overcame this disaster and now speaks at schools and events across the country, including MADD events, sharing his story and speaking out against drunk driving.  View Hollywood’s speech at MADD’s National Conference in 2010:


MADD believes that driving under the influence with a child in the car, as well as having a child drive the car, is child endangerment.  As noted in our Report to the Nation, more than half of all children under the age of 15 killed in drunk driving crashes in 2009 were passengers of drunk drivers.

In 2009, 11-year-old Leandra Rosado was tragically killed when an SUV she was traveling in with seven other children crashed in New York City.  The adult driver, who had a BAC of .132, was the mother of one of the other passengers.  After Leandra’s death, her father tirelessly advocated for Leandra’s Law, which makes driving drunk with a child passenger under the age of 16 in the car a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.   From December 18, 2009, when Leandra’s Law went into effect, through July 2011, 1,409 people were arrested in New York State for driving drunk with children in the car.  This equates to four people per day arrested specifically for that offense.   

Clearly, child endangerment has reached a crisis level in our nation. Each year our victim support line receives between 17,000 and 20,000 phone calls related to child endangerment.   States must act now to pass tougher laws and send messages that it is not ok to drive drunk, worse still with a child in the car.

If you know someone who drinks and drives, or worse, with children in the car, read our “Someone You Know Drinks and Drives” brochure where you will also find a section about what to do if your child may be at risk.     
We hope you will tune in this Friday to see the episode, and let us know what you would do on Facebook or Twitter.  


   

Comments

Submitted by Sarah at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2012
I think that children definitely need to be protected from Alcoholics. I know one girl a teenager is forced to sign her Dad's court papers saying that he went to an AA meeting. It is really hard to protect children from manipulative Alcoholic parents.
Submitted by mixerdriverm at 10:22 PM on January 27, 2012
What is your take on this ? 205.07 Violations by Colorado Legislators (1) Pursuant to Article 5, Section 16 of the Colorado Constitution, no member of the Colorado General Assembly may be arrested while in route to or from legislative sessions, except for treason or felony violations. (2) Traffic citations may be issued, however the legislator shall not be detained for an undue amount of time. (3) Should an officer have reason to believe a legislator is driving under the influence AND there is an accident with serious injuries or a fatality involved, the legislator will be arrested and processed for the suspected felony; DUI violation. (4) In the absence of felony violations, should an officer have reason to believe a legislator is driving under the influence, the officer may cite for a violation which caused an accident or was the reason for a traffic stop. For the safety and welfare of the public and the legislator, the officer will arrange for other transportation for the legislator and his/her vehicle will be parked and locked.
Submitted by goodnplentyjs69 at 08:44 PM on January 21, 2012
Ptivate club that has the police dept n thir pocket iv reported this club as others yet they get away with their tactics of underage drinking as drunks leaving the place ,,, the police has been called yet they do nothing ,, sumthign needs to b done , ,,,a few of us has tried yet it back fires n our faces hope sum 1 can help

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