Archive for April, 2009

Today, here at MADD, there was a fair amount of conversations and e-mails regarding the large house party with underage drinking in Sarpy County as advertised on Facebook.  Most disturbing was the busing of attendees to and from the house party from a local parking lot. 

I hate to state the obvious but it is illegal to consume in our state if you are under 21.  Second it is illegal to drive after consuming alcohol, zero tolerence, for those under 21. Last, Nebraska has a Social Host Law that would allow for a civil law suit if anyone was to have been injured by a party goer at this event. 

Now I do have to restate the obvious just for a historical record:college-students

Underage Drinking and the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) Law


In July 1984, Congress and President Ronald Reagan enacted legislation that set the national minimum legal drinking age of 21. For those states that failed to adopt the 21 minimum drinking age as required by the new law, federal highway construction funds were withheld. By 1988, all states had adopted the new minimum drinking age. Since that time, the law has proven to be one of the nation’s most important and lifesaving laws to protect youth.


In our mission statement MADD states that we work to prevent underage drinking, why?  Because we care about our youth, because we know that drunk driving is a violent crime and most importantly it is the law.

Simera Reynolds

State Executive Director


When I first started with MADD in 1999,  it seems like a decade!  Nebraska had passed Victim Rights Legislation but no enacting legislation.  If you haven’t been around government or senators that sounds odd but if you have been in the rotunda it is not suprising  that there is a cart but no horse, so to say.

In 2004, many thanks to Senator Kermit Brashear for introducing and navigating the enacting legislation to ensure all victims have the right to be notified about court and  provide a Victim Impact Statement.  As we prepare for Crime Victim’s Rights Week, I want to reflect on how far we have come in our state to support those impacted by crime.  binoculars

I pulled up the MADD Press Release for your review. 

Sometimes we need to look through more than one lens to see the big picture!


MADD Lauds Unicameral For Leveling Scales Of Justice

Legislature passes Victims Rights Enacting Legislation, in LB 270, 41 to 4.



NEWS RELEASE                                                    Contact:

For Immediate Release                                            Simera Reynolds, 402-434-5330



Lincoln, NE (February 25,2004) – Mothers Against Drunk Driving applauds state senators for ensuring that crime victims have basic rights in the criminal justice system, including the right to be notified, the right to be present and to be heard at their defendents’ proceedings.

          “As a victim who has had the opportunity to speak in Federal Court in New Mexico, I am pleased that victims that have been affected by drunk driving will now be granted that opportunity in Nebraska,” state Jerry Beller.  Beller, the MADD State Organization, and its members have been advocating for the adoption of enacting legislation that grants victims the right to be informed about their criminal case.

“ There has been an inconsistency among county attorneys when it comes to providing victims’ rights and this legislation will go a long ways toward unifying the fairness and equitable treatment of victims across the state,” explained Reynolds, executive director for MADD Nebraska.  This is an important day for all crime victims.

This legislation will become law ninety days after the legislature ends April 15, 2004. Nebraska will join 32 other states that currently have similar victim’s rights provisions. 


#   #   #

On behalf of MADD and our 3,000 members across the state of Nebraska, I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation for our volunteers, our supporters and everyone who takes time out of their day to ensure that we, here at MADD, accomplish our mission: to stop drunk driving, support victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.

I am inspired daily by the volunteers that I have had the good fortune to meet through difficult situations and  I have watched so many individuals provide positive leadership in the face of utter darkness.  scott-olson-single-red-gerbera

However, many of our volunteers are not victims themselves but they just want to work to ensure that we all have a healthy neighborhood and community.  To each and every volunteer throughout the year – thank you for your inspiration!  

With true respect,

Simera Reynolds

State Executive Director



I have been thinking about all the famalies I have meet in my ten years with MADD.  So many great people impacted by a violent crime that is 100% preventable. victimserviceslogo96x68

The one thing that is hard for me to shrug off is that society doesn’t deem drunk driving (basically a 2,000 lb. bullet aimed at traffic on public highways) a violent crime. Wow!

Even though this press release is from last April (traditionally Victim’s Rights Month) I thought This was worth inserting now that we have our blog up so everyone can see.  Please read and thanks for coming and spending time with us here at MADD Nebraska

Simera Reynolds

Court Rules DUI Does Not Count as Violent Felony

  4/16/2008 12:00:00 AM

Contact Information

Misty Moyse, MADD National 
(469) 420-4558

Statement of Attribution to Glynn R. Birch, National President, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

(April 16, 2008) – MADD is deeply disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that DUI does not count as a prior violent felony for purposes of enhancing prison sentences associated with a current felony conviction. While this is a narrow interpretation, the precedent that it could set for future cases is dangerous. People do make a choice to drive drunk and that is breaking the law. MADD commends the dissent of the Court for their thoughtful arguments recognizing the “purposeful” “violent” and “aggressive” nature of a DUI offense, as well as their recognition that violent behavior, alcohol abuse, and driving while intoxicated are often intermingled. 

MADD continually monitors the use of violent crime in the courts as it relates to drunk driving nationwide in an effort to protect the thousands of victims/survivors killed and injured by drunk driving every year. MADD works closely with judicial and legislative leaders nationwide to eliminate drunk driving. Drunk driving is the nation’s most frequently committed violent crime killing more than 1,000 people a month and injuring countless others.

About MADD 
MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. MADD is a 501 (c) (3) charity with 2 million members and supporters nationwide. Founded in 1980, MADD has helped save more than 330,000 lives. For more information, visit


I am saddened that a sports figure in our state would go out and drive drunk  only 72 hours after a major sports figure, and two others, were cut down by a repeat drunk driver in California.  I know what everyone thinks  – it will never happen to them.  I don’t want to preach – I just know all too well drunk driving does not discriminate.  

Mr. Paul needs to take a step back and consider himself  fortunate that he didn’t seriously injure himself or somebody’s mom.

Don’t think the irony doesn’t hit home hard when you consider that Joba Chamberlain was just setenced  here in our state for drunk driving – a Yankee’s Pitcher.  When you make the choice to play sports, be it collegiate or professional, you make the choice to set an example – like it or not.

Simera Reynolds

Executive Director

Quick update on the staus of LB 497, introduced by Senator Fulton ,  it did pass on General File on Thursday with only 2  no votes.  This is a much needed piece of legislation to ensure that the ignition interlock law is harmonized with federal regulations.  Please take time to thank your state sentor for their support and encourage Senator Friend and Louden to support the bill on Select File.  To urge your senator to support our much need ignition interlock bill go to: and send your senator a quick note.  The only reason drunk drivers continue to drive drunk is because they can.  You have the power  – voice your support!

Simera Reynolds

State Executive Director

This time we are looking at a Major League Baseball player who had his life and career cut short because someone made the choice to drive drunk – it is that simple.  Our hearts go out to the family of Nick Adenhart – here at MADD we know all too well there was no time to say good by.

 A man got into his 2,000 pound bullet and aimed it right at  the oncoming traffic.  We should not overlook that one person took three lives and then tried to flee the scene.

Not long ago we, Nebraskan’s, had our own taste of sadness when Joba Chamerlain, Yankee pitcher, made the choice to drink and drive. 

The only thing to say here is I hope those impacted by the crash seek support from MADD.  That’s what we do –

In memory of Nick Adenhart

In memory of Nick Adenhart

 help survivors survive.

With respect,
Simera Reynolds
Executive Director