Archive for May, 2009

(Lincoln, NE)- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will recognize 18 outstanding law enforcement officers, including 2 prosecutors at their 10th Annual “Outstanding Law Enforcement Award” ceremony, Thursday, May 28th at The Cornhusker Hotel at 4:00 p.m.

Awards will be presented to: Deputy County Attorney Stephanie Hansen, Sarpy County Attorney’s Office, Deputy County Attorney Mandy Trout, Colfax County Attorney’s Office, Trooper Glen Waddle and David “Matt” Ramsey, Troop B, NSP, Headquarters Troop, Nebraska State Patrol, Troop A, Nebraska State Patrol, Lexington Night Shift, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement, Nebraska State Patrol, Midnight Accident Unit, Omaha Police Department, Trooper Doug Petty, McCook Sergeant Area, NSP, Trooper Mike Thorson, Troop B, NSP, Trooper Dave Hunter, Troop E, NSP, Trooper Kaleb Bruggeman, Headquarters Troop, NSP, Trooper Jason Morris, Troop B, NSP, Trooper Brandon Viterna, Troop B, NSP, Deputy Jeremy Jones, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Kyle Coughlin, Saunders County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Joseph Martinec, Jr., Douglas County Sherriff’s Office, Officer Adam Turnbull, Omaha Police Department.

One of the most impressive winners is: The Midnight Accident Unit of the Omaha Police Department who worked as a team to make an astounding 945 DUI arrests from January 2008-December 2008. “Their work no doubt saved lives in the greater metro area”, add Simera Reynolds, Executive Director.

First Lady Sally Ganem, MADD State Chair, stated “It is always a pleasure to recognize those individuals who work tirelessly to ensure that our roads are safe to travel on a daily basis. We continue to see the number of alcohol-related deaths decline and we owe much to those who consistently enforce our DWI/MIP laws”.

“This award ceremony is a special time to let family and friends know how much MADD appreciates the diligent work done by the award winners”, commented Reynolds. There are many times when law enforcement put work in front of family. Today is a day to thank the families for their support continued Reynolds.reynoldsimg_0004-1

In 2008, there were 65 alcohol-related fatalities in the state, one of the lowest numbers recorded.  For MADD, one alcohol-related crash is too many but it is a welcome trend to see the numbers decline. MADD encourages everyone across the state to drive safe, sober and buckled up during the 100 days of summer.

Simera Reynolds

State Executive Director

Advertisements

On this Memorial Day, I just want to take time to reflect on life with friends, family and neighbors.  There is much to be grateful for and today is the day to extend our gratitude to veterans, law enforcement, first time responders who work as we go about our life in the sun.

The little things in life!

The little things in life!

A day to reflect, live in the present and dream about what the future holds no matter how small.  Remember if you can think of it you can achieve it.

No dream is ever too small to realize.

Simera Reynolds

The war against drunk driving continues on, in Nebraska, 65 people were killed by drunk drivers with an illegal alcohol level of .08 BAC or higher, in 2008. Despite a tremendous decline – here at MADD, even one more death is unacceptable. 

 The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is exactly what it says it is. New, smart technology is in development that would detect if a driver is drunk and prevent the car from starting.  In our state we are fortunate enough to have a legislative body that stands behind this Campaign and supports policies to reduce drunk driving, LB 497.

 When you think about how far technology has come from anti-theft sensors to a car that parallel parks itself, it’s highly conceivable that in years to come cars will have alcohol sensors to stop drunk driving all together.

In the meantime, the Campaign calls for stepped up efforts to stop drunk driving – high visibility law enforcement crackdowns, and mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. Both of these tools are utilized in our state and prehaps that may be one reason our alcohol-related deaths are at an all time low.

 We believe we can eliminate drunk driving once and for all. But we need the public’s support so MADD will work to mobilize our grassroots to fight to eliminate drunk driving.  Please take a moment to thank your state senator for voting for LB 497, http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_list.phpnd   and

the Governor,http://www.governor.nebraska.gov/contact/index.html for signing the bill as it arrived on his desk.

Nebraska State Capitol
Nebraska State Capitol

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

State Executive Director

I just cringe when I hear the media talk about an offender as an “accident”  suspect.  Drunk driving, red light running and driving under suspension are ALL 100% preventableThat is the whole painful reality for the family in Omaha.

Many of those that responded to the WOWT story expressed the pain and grief at a sudden loss: http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/44779332.html

Here at MADD we know all too well that pain is something that none of us can even quantify, it is  a huge loss. 

In memory of Josie Bluhm

In memory of Josie Bluhm

Our hand goes out to those impacted by this crash and to every victim impacted by a violent car crash.  Remember, here at MADD we want to help survivors survive – 800-444-6233 or www.maddnebraska.org

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

State Executive Director

It may be Mother’s Day, but all of us have little ones that we care for whether they are nieces, grand children or the neighbor kid next door.  You don’t have to be a mother to have compassion; I have learned that from my sister-in-law.  At every family event she is always there to help me with the kids, food, and a loving smile.  This Mother’s Day I want to extend a thank you to every woman who supports us, shows up to volunteer, and ensures that we push our mission forward.

You don’t have to be a mother to know that drunk driving is unacceptable, that victims need care and support during a tough time of unexpected impact, and that our youth need to be told that underage drinking is illegal. 

My Niece's Make Work at MADD a Gift.

My Niece's Make Work at MADD a Gift.

For all of our loved ones young and old, I thank the women that support us here at MADD on a daily basis we may not always see you but we always know we can count on your support.  That is the biggest gift of all!

With true respect,

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

Aunt, Mom, Daughter

Children are our greatest resource and our future.
Children are our greatest resource and our future.

If you see an adult who is visibly impaired attempting to drive with a child in the car:

  • Calmly suggest alternative transportation, recommend the driver postpone travel.
  • Call 911 with as much information as possible (name of driver, vehicle description, license plate, destination).
  • Document situation so that your notes can be used later.
  • Notify another parent or caregiver of the situation.
  • Teach children techniques for keeping themselves safe if they are ever forced to ride with an impaired driver.
  • Report your concerns to the appropriate agency.

Here at MADD we often get calls from concerned parents, family members and neighbors about witnessing a child riding with a drinking driver. 

In May 2000, JAMA reported that “66% of the children 14 years of age and younger that died in an alcohol-related crash died while riding with a parent, caregiver or guardian”.

MADD feels that is unacceptable.  We can do better and MADD is working hard to educate everyone that “Every Child Deserves a Designated Driver“.  As summer fast approaches, make your plans and sitck to them for the child’s sake.

 Simera Reynolds

State Executive Director

Today, I will take a break and make sure that everyone has a chance to read the response from MADD regarding The Washington Times editorial on Friday, April 24, 2009.

Back again Tuesday –  Until then Stay Safe!

The Washington Times

MADD National President, Luara Dean-Mooney

MADD National President, Luara Dean-Mooney

May 1, 2009

 Commentary:

 In response to “MADD about regulation,” let me be clear–MADD does not support lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for the general public and does support ignition interlocks and checkpoints for good reason:  they save lives and prevent needless injuries due to drunk driving. 

 The illegal BAC for the general public is .08 because that is the level everyone has been found to be impaired behind the wheel of a vehicle.  The .04 level seems to be getting some limited play in certain media because some segments of the alcohol industry, as well others intent on arguing fiction versus facts, want America to believe that MADD aims for no alcohol use.  That is not true.  It appears that the only way in these tough economic times these groups can try and protect profit and politics is to attack a victim-centered, mother and father-driven, child and family protecting organization that literally put drunk driving on the map.  Unfortunately for us the map is a lot more crowded than it used to be.  We support responsible drinking by those 21 and older and believe the safest choice is to never drive after drinking.  That doesn’t mean you’ll likely be arrested after one or two drinks, but it is the safest choice.

MADD is hurting too during these tough economic times.  We understand protecting jobs.  We employ people too.  With drunk driving sometimes being perceived as a “solved problem,” we are working diligently to let the public know it is not solved when nearly 13,000 people die in the U.S. and over a half million are injured in crashes involving alcohol. .

 MADD is nearly 30 years old–old enough to be wise, still young enough to be working hard to improve the quality of life for all Americans.  We have helped save more than 330,000 lives since 1980.  We served more than 50,000 victims/survivors last year at no charge to them and our efforts are leading to safer roads.  We hope MADD’s supporters, won’t be misinformed by those that do not check their facts.  If naysayers would focus all of their energies into supporting the best tools available to combat drunk driving—ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers (not all drivers) and sobriety checkpoints, we would see lives saved and  injuries prevented due to drunk driving. 

 Laura Dean-Mooney

MADD National President