Opinion: Mothers Against Drunk Driving fear a return to the normal


WASHINGTON — As businesses begin to reopen and Americans venture out of their homes, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging everyone to stay safe and never drink and drive.

For months, stay-at-home orders across the country have meant less traffic and fewer tragedies on U.S. roads. But drunk driving has not stopped. The law enforcement heroes putting their lives on the line to keep roads safe have reported horrific drunk driving crashes and the tragic loss of innocent lives, including children.

“Each precious life lost and every injury caused by drunk and drugged driving is 100% preventable, 100% of the time,” said MADD National President Helen Witty. “We know people are restless, but this is no time to get reckless. As we emerge from months of staying at home, make sure you always designate a non-drinking driver before you take the first drink — wherever you are. It’s very simple. If you drink, don’t drive. If you drive, don’t drink.”

Drunk driving is the leading killer on America’s roads, claiming more than 10,000 lives and injuring 300,000 people every year. Across the country, MADD is teaming up with law enforcement to produce anti-drunk and anti-drugged driving messages to help keep communities safe and show support for the officers whose work has not stopped.

“We recognize that there has been no pause for law enforcement and we are so grateful to them. We stand with them and support the work they do,” Witty said.

Since stay-at-home orders began in March, MADD has been providing supportive services virtually to victims of drunk and drugged driving. MADD’s helpline is always available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 877-MADD-HELP. Educational programs, Victim Impact Panels and annual Walk Like MADD events have been held virtually.

“Our staff and volunteers at MADD have been busy throughout this pandemic because we know isolation can add incredible stress to someone who is grieving,” Witty said. “Life might be returning to normal for some, but for victims of drunk and drugged driving, life will never be the same. When it’s safe, we will welcome the in-person contact we have missed with victims, law enforcement, volunteers and supporters. We will be back inside courtrooms and statehouses, fighting for justice for victims and stronger laws. Now, more than ever, we are determined to create a nation of No More Victims.”

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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Staff report

galnews@aimmediamidwest.com

 

 

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. For more information, visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.