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A GOD-Story: From Death To Life
Patti Foster


Character can be formed, crafted, and shaped in so many different ways… Helen Keller, through her life-long adversity, learned: Character is not developed in quiet and ease. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success revealed. (Quote by Helen Keller)

Ah, the journey of life…. I invite you to step into my world and go back in time.

It was about 6:40 in the evening on that hot, summer’s night, June 18, 2002 – over 100 degrees! What I light-heartedly call “fry-daddy weather.” Four of us ladies were in a Tahoe, on our way to meet the others. Envision this with me, I was sitting behind the driver and all of us had our seatbelts on, being good law-abiding citizens.

Emily had completely stopped her Tahoe at the red light…all lanes of traffic were full. I had taken off my seatbelt to check on some flowers in a basket behind my seat. BAM! That’s when the impact happened!

A car-hauler truck pulling a trailer full of cars, barreling down the highway at 67mph slammed into the rear of our Tahoe with no warning. That’s when the life of this former radio personality came to an abrupt halt…much faster than “the blink of an eye.” 

The right side of my face and head were ripped back and crushed; my right eye was hanging out of its fractured orifice onto the highway; fractures were all over me, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes; and multiple bodily injuries inside and out. My “heap of flesh and bones” was lying in a rapidly growing pool of my own blood. I had already lost well over 60% of my body’s blood.

An eyewitness described the scene, I saw something lying in the middle of the intersection. At first I thought it was a bag of leaves or some kind of bundle that had fallen off a truck. Then, to my shock, I realized that it was a real person …in the road! So I walked right out to this pitiful heap of flesh and bones, while the people on the side of the roads just kept staring at me and the body.

An EMS worker searched for my pulse. No pulse to be found. So she pulled the white sheet over my life-less body assuming I was dead. As onlookers and eyewitnesses filled the scene, some of them formed a circle over the heap of flesh beneath the white sheet and started praying. As EMS workers raced against time to save lives, one of the eyewitnesses heard a gurgling noise coming from beneath that white sheet. 

An air-flight helicopter was contacted; it landed at the crash scene and flew me to the nearest trauma center of an acute hospital. My brain and body shut down and fell into a coma for 6 weeks.

I have had to re-learn every single, function of living…from the most elementary to the complex. In no time at all, that motor vehicle crash had stopped my dash of life and turned me into a 34-year-old infant. 

Today some of my long-term deficits include:

  • Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Short-term memory
  • Balance and equilibrium
  • Slower processing 
  • Second-guessing my confidence
  • Slowed reflex 

Through Jesus, I lean into my motto for living, M.A.D. Now! (Make A Difference Now!) and persevere through adversity.  #WeCanHelpEachOther #BetheHope 

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In Tough Times, the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department DUI Unit is Exceeding Expectations

By: Bill Sullivan
NHTSA Law Enforcement Liaison, Region 7

During fiscal year 2019, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department DUI Unit made 536 DUI arrests. While this number was impressive, the 6 officers in the unit and their supervisor, Sergeant Corey Carlisle, thought they could do better. In October of 2019 they decided to have a unit goal of taking 1,000 impaired drivers off the streets of Kansas City. At this time, no one was aware that a few months later there would be a world-wide pandemic and a time of social unrest.

When the Covid pandemic began, the Kansas City Police Department, like most law enforcement agencies, made a decision to make little or no self-initiated contact with the public unless it was an emergency. For two months the DUI Unit made few self-initiated traffic stop contacts. After a few weeks of little or no self-initiated activity, the DUI Unit saw a large increase in impaired driving crashes. The decision was made to begin making self-initiated traffic stops again, with the goal of getting impaired drivers off the streets. The unit took additional safety precautions in how they did their job. They wore Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and tried to keep social distancing when it was possible. According to Sergeant Carlisle, “no one would have said anything if we had just shut down completely, our guys are just not wired that way; I am so proud of them”.

Soon after the DUI Unit started conducting pro-active enforcement, Kansas City, like most urban areas, experienced a period of public protests and social unrest. Once again, the DUI Unit was unable to conduct impaired driving enforcement as they were re-assigned to help work these protests.


Sergeant Carlisle prepares the machine for a breath test.


After several weeks of reassignment, the unit went back to their new “normal” operations. In spite of the many challenges the officers had faced, by the end of fiscal year 2020, the DUI unit had exceeded their goal and had made 1,046 impaired driving arrests! The officers of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department DUI Unit are true heroes, dedicated to making the streets safer for the traveling public.


The Kansas City Missouri Police Department DUI Unit

Pictured Left to Right:
PO Nathan Magers, PO Jordan Infranca, PO Shawn Davis, Sgt Corey Carlisle, PO Jeremy White, PO Douglas Davidson, PO Ryan Kaighen.

MADD January 2021 Officer of the Month
Deputy Jason McLaughlin
Washington County Oregon Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Jason McLaughlin was hired by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in 2004. He immediately
took an interest in traffic safety, and more specifically, in DUII enforcement. Since his hiring, he has
devoted nearly his entire career to the enforcement of impaired driving and serious injury and fatal

He has been a tireless champion of impaired driving enforcement in Oregon, as both a deputy.
and an instructor. On August 21, 2020, Deputy McLaughlin arrested the 2,000th impaired driver of his
career. As of January 4, 2021, his total has increased to 2,027 arrests. That is an average of 127 arrests per year! Deputy McLaughlin’s dedicated service and passion to remove impaired drivers from Oregon’s roadways has no doubt saved many lives.

Along with his DUII enforcement efforts and his mentorship as an instructor at Oregon’s Public Safety
Academy, he is a crash reconstructionist with Washington County’s Crash Analysis Reconstruction

Deputy McLaughlin has twice been named Oregon DUII Enforcement Officer of the Year, in 2008 and
again in 2012. In December 2020, he received a Meritorious Service Award from the Oregon State
Sheriff’s Association when he was recognized for his career achievements in impaired driving
enforcement. To this day, Deputy McLaughlin remains a member of WCSO’s Traffic Safety Unit as a
dedicated DUII-enforcement deputy.

MADD is proud to select Deputy Jason McLaughlin as the January 2021 Officer of the Month. We thank him for his dedicated service and wish him safety and the best throughout his remaining career. Thanks to Cate Duke, Program Specialist, from the MADD Oregon State Office for her nomination of Deputy McLaughlin.

Strong drunk driving laws are key to saving lives. That is why we’re so grateful to our legislative partners who have championed MADD’s mission to end the No. 1 killer on our nation’s roads. It is why, each year, we honor lawmakers whose outstanding work has put us closer to a future of No More Victims.

MADD recently recognized five members of Congress for their lifesaving efforts, which include introducing legislation that would require alcohol detection technology in all new vehicles and a lifetime of work championing motor vehicle safety.

These are MADD’s 2019 legislative heroes in Congress:

The RIDE and HALT Acts introduced in 2019 would require alcohol detection technology in all new vehicles.

The RIDE and HALT Acts introduced in 2019 would require alcohol detection technology in all new vehicles.

Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan introduced legislation to require drunk driving prevention technology in all new vehicles days after the Jan. 6, 2019 drunk driving crash claimed the lives of an entire Northville family. Dingell proposed a more wide-ranging measure in September. The Honoring the Abbas Family Legacy to Terminate (HALT) Drunk Driving Act requires federal regulatory action by 2024 to install drunk driving prevention technology in all new vehicles. The HALT Act is named for the five members of the Abbas family killed in this unthinkable tragedy: Issam and Rima Abbas and their three children, Ali, 13, Isabella, 12, and Giselle, 7. Thanks to Rep. Dingell’s leadership and tenacity on this issue, there is now momentum behind taking action to require life-saving systems in all vehicles.

MADD meets with Representative Nita Lowey, one of MADD's 2019 legislative champions for her work to end drunk driving.

MADD meets with Rep. Nita Lowey, a 2019 MADD legislative champion for her work to end drunk driving.

Representative Nita Lowey of New York has worked for decades to end the 100 percent preventable crime of drunk driving. Throughout her career, she has been a genuine force in this ongoing fight, including championing the successful effort to establish a national standard of .08 BAC, which has saved thousands of lives. Recently, Rep. Lowey proposed legislation to encourage more states to pass laws requiring ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders. Thirty-four states, including New York, currently have these laws, which have prevented more than 3 million attempts to drive drunk in the last 12 years. Additionally, through her position as Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Lowey has worked to accelerate the development of in-vehicle technologies to prevent a drunk driver from operating a vehicle.

Senator Rick Scott of Florida introduced a bipartisan measure in October that could ultimately end drunk driving in America. The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act by Sens. Scott and Tom Udall of New Mexico would require the installation of passive advanced drunk driving prevention technology in all new vehicles within four years. This technology would prevent a drunk driver from operating a vehicle and save 7,000 lives a year. Sen. Scott is also a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which is responsible for motor vehicle and highway safety programs and legislation. He has quickly emerged as a national legislative leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving.

MADD has recognized Rep. Jan Schakowsky for a lifetime of work to end drunk driving.

Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois chaired a March 2019 hearing of the Consumer Protection Subcommittee that focused on the government-auto industry research program supported primarily by government funds for more than a decade. At that hearing, MADD National President Helen Witty challenged the auto industry to move drunk driving prevention technology development out of the research labs and make it available to consumers as soon as possible, where it could save as many as 7,000 lives a year. Rep. Schakowsky is committed to motor vehicle safety and a true advocate in the fight to end drunk driving.

Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico has consistently taken a leadership role in the fight to reduce drunk driving, including leading efforts to provide funding for a research program to develop a passive system for preventing a drunk driver from operating a vehicle. Now Senator Udall is working with Senator Scott of Florida on bipartisan legislation that would take the results of that research out of the laboratory and make the technology standard equipment in all new vehicles, like many other life-saving safety systems. The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act has the potential to save 7,000 lives a year and will add to Senator Udall’s legacy of advancing meaningful measures to save lives and prevent injuries.

In addition to the five Congressional recipients, MADD also named three governors, a lieutenant governor and 44 state lawmakers as 2019 legislative champions. Their work in state houses across America will help eliminate the senseless, preventable tragedies caused by drunk driving.




Vermont Proposed .05% BAC Legislation


Missouri Legislator Proposes House Joint Resolution to make Sobriety Checkpoint unconstitutional


California legislative proposal for all offender ignition interlocks


MADD extends our deepest condolences to the agencies and families who have lost officers and loved ones in the line of duty

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For a complete listing of Officers lost in the line of duty, please visit

All Drunk Drivers are High Risk

This year Mothers Against Drunk Driving is celebrating our 40th anniversary. MADD’s impact since our founding in 1980 is undeniable. MADD started a cultural revolution that made drunk driving unacceptable. MADD was THE grass roots organization who lead the way reducing drunk driving deaths in half from approximately 22,000 deaths in 1980 to 10,511 fatalities in 2018. MADD achieved this result thanks to our ardent network of victims, volunteers, traffic safety partners, and law enforcement officers like you. But our work is far from over. MADD will not be satisfied until we have a nation of No More Victims.

You are MADD’s Heroes, a title we give to the most dedicated enforcers of traffic impairment laws. Drunk driving is no accident. It is a choice. Anyone who is impaired, regardless of the reading on the breathalyzer, is a high-risk threat to every officer on patrol and every driver, every pedestrian, every life, they encounter. We know that every time you leave your home, every time you perform a traffic stop, your life is at risk. MADD supports you. MADD is here for you. MADD will fight for you and work to get the resources you need to do your jobs.

Unfortunately, we still fight misperceptions perpetuated by the alcohol industry that threaten the progress we have made toward ending this crime. Most recently, the alcohol industry funded a report released in December 2019 that calls for an emphasis on rehabilitating drunk drivers who are convicted with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 and above. The report labeled those drivers as “high risk.” Specifically, the report recommended “moving away from a conviction-centered approach” for the worst of offenders, which it called “cookie-cutter justice”, and instead dedicate resources to treatment and aftercare.

I don’t have to explain to patrol officers who work the streets and highways every day that ALL drunk drivers are high risk drunk drivers. MADD’s former National President, Jan Withers, lost her daughter, Alisa Joy, to a drunk driver with a BAC of .08.

Classifying drunk drivers as “high-risk” or “hard core” is a tired debate that was settled nearly 15 years ago. In 2006, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a report, which said “… the hard-core group isn’t the whole DWI problem or even the biggest part, so it doesn’t make sense to focus too narrowly on this group. The result is to overlook a lot of other impaired drivers who escape the definition of hard core.” The December 2019 report even acknowledges that its rebranded thesis was originally argued by the alcohol industry two decades ago. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past.

America does not require definitions. We need solutions. Drunk driving is the Number 1 killer on America’s roads. We must remove the impaired driver from the road. Patrols save lives. Traffic stops save lives. DUI arrests save lives. If District Attorneys and Courts recognize drunk driving as a violent crime, then there would be no discussion about “high-risk” offenders. Arresting impaired drivers is not “cookie-cutter justice”, but rather a moral and just cause, saving innocent lives by enforcing the law to its fullest extent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average drunk driver has driven drunk at least 80 times before they are caught. You know this, because you’ve seen it. Drunk driving killed 10,511 people in 2018, which is 29% of all traffic fatalities. Drunk driving is THE leading cause of traffic fatalities. Furthermore, a shocking number of law enforcement officers are killed by drunk drivers while performing routine traffic stops. Ask the nearly 1 million victims of drunk driving and they will tell you, a driver with .08 BAC is just as dangerous as a driver with a .15 BAC. Impairment is impairment and impairment kills.

MADD’s mission is to eliminate the 100% preventable, violent crime of drunk and drugged driving. Senseless debates over “high-risk” drunk drivers were resolved 20 years ago when America adopted .08 as its national standard.

MADD is committed to creating a nation of NO MORE VICTIMS, but we cannot do it alone. MADD, its victims, volunteers, and constituents need you. MADD can pass great laws, but without you, it is all wasted effort. Patrols prevent crimes. Patrols matter. DUI arrests matter. MADD needs you to stay vigilant and to keep the pressure on ALL drunk drivers through high-visibility enforcement and DUI checkpoints. MADD is back and MADD has your back. Now and always. Thank you for keeping our communities safe and stay safe out there