Archive for October, 2009

As you may well know by now, Halloween is on a Saturday and this causes MADD to pause with some concern.  Law Enforcement will be on their toes and that includes Lincoln Police Department as the will hold sobriety checkpoints across Lincoln.

gfxThere is nothing scary about the checkpoints unless you are driving impaired, under suspension, have an outstanding warrant, etc. For our readers I just wanted to outline the basics of sobriety checkpoints:

  • What is a sobriety checkpoint?
  • In a sobriety checkpoint, law enforcement officials set up clearly visible checkpoints at certain points on the road where typically high rates of drunk driving crashes occur. Vehicles are stopped in a specific sequence, such as every other vehicle. Police evaluate the driver for signs of impairment, and if they suspect the driver is intoxicated, the driver must take a breathalyzer test. If drivers’ BAC measure the illegal limit of .08 or higher, they will be arrested immediately. Checkpoints deter drunk driving and save lives.
  • How effective are sobriety checkpoints?
  • Sobriety checkpoints work. Research shows that highly publicized, highly visible and frequent sobriety checkpoints reduce fatal drunk driving crashes by an average of 24 percent. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving supports this crackdown using sobriety checkpoints to stop drunk drivers, and ultimately deter drunk driving.buzzedlogo
  • Aren’t sobriety checkpoints unfair to safe drivers?
  • The public doesn’t think so. Public opinion survey data indicates that virtually all (87 percent) of Americans support sobriety checkpoints to find and arrest drunk drivers.
  • How do Americans feel about tougher enforcement?
  • An overwhelming number of Americans agree that drunk driving must be eliminated and that strong law enforcement is the solution. The public demands action. Support for sobriety checkpoints has increased from 79 percent in 1993 to 87 percent in 2005. Americans view drunk driving as one of the greatest threats to themselves and their families on the roads. They fully support efforts to decrease this crime.
  • What is the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving? MADDLOG2
  • MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving in November 2006, to revitalize national efforts to combat drunk driving and raise the fight to a new, unprecedented level. The Campaign calls for high-visibility law enforcement, mandatory ignition interlock for all convicted drunk drivers, the development of advanced vehicle-based technology to detect and stop drunk drivers, and mobilization of community support. The Campaign is working you can support a nation without drunk driving!

Wishing everyone a Great Saturday!The%20Great%20Pumpkin%20Patch

Simera Reynolds

State Executive Director


This is a tough pill to swallow.  Sarpy County District Judge Arterburn issued a 14-page ruling agreeing with the defense attorney that the golf course (where a golf cart crash killed a woman) was not open to public access at the time of the fatal wreck.  Hmm, does thisgolfcart imply if the golf cart crash had taken place in the open hours it would have meant that felony motor vehicle homicide did take place?  The offender, Kimberly McIllece had a blood alocohol content of .198 more than twice the legal limit.

 “Clearly an individual who is twice the legal limit and driving a motorized vehicle is a public health issue for all of us” stated Senator Tony Fulton, District 29.

Nebraska Unicameral

When a person gets into any recreational vehicle and drives over the legal limit resulting in a death they need to be held accountable.  Each of us has a duty to call on our state senator and let them know that we are concerned for our public safety. This is an issue that will not cost the tax payer any money to clear up and will result in stronger and more consistent treatment of those who make the choice to break our state laws. 

You have the voice – – and now you have the resource.  E-mail your state senator and let them know that we want to make sure that those who drive drunk are held accountable and especially at night!  It does not matter if you are operating a boat, a motorcycle or a golf cart.  Here in Nebraska we have standards and that standard is .08.

There is no time like the present.  With a Special Session around the bend your state senator will be in Linclon.  The tax revenues may be low but our standards can still stay high.  Thank you for taking time to voice your concern – every victim deserves a voice.  Thanks for yours!


The Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence by MADD ™ provides lifesaving conversation tools  about the No. 1 Youth Drug Problem in America

 DALLAS, TX & COLUMBUS, OHIO—Oct. 27—Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Nationwide Insurance launched “The Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence by MADD™” today to give parents of high school students the communication tools they need to stop teen alcohol use.  The program features resources at    A GfK Roper Youth Report showed 74% of kids (age 8-17) said their parents are the leading influence on their decisions about drinking.  Data also shows that a zero tolerance message from parents to teens is the most effective in deterring underage drinking and it also supports the lifesaving 21 drinking age law, which is in all 50 states.

friendsThe website is a clearinghouse of knowledge on the topic of teen alcohol use with everything from conversation tools, an “ask the expert” section and parenting tips to help parents deal with the No. 1 youth drug problem.  In addition, the website offers parents, or caretakers, tips for communicating at home and information on how to keep their community safe along with help in identifying warning signs with their kids.   Parents will find suggestions for answering tough questions such as,  “Should I drink in front of my teen?” or “How do I address my own underage alcohol experiences?”  

 “It makes a big difference when you can talk to your teen equipped with the best information and the understanding that drinking alcohol underage can lead to binge drinking, sexual assault, homicide, suicide, driving drunk and dependency,” said MADD National President, Laura Dean-Mooney.   “I have an 18-year-old daughter and understand the difficulties of talking to teens about alcohol in a culture that often condones underage drinking.“

 Bill Windsor, Nationwide Insurance, Associate Vice President of Safety, added, “The website is car accidentan excellent resource for parents like me to learn what works and doesn’t work to keep our children alcohol free.  And working for an insurance company, I see the human costs of underage drinking all the time, and the financial and emotional impact it has on the family.” 

7 Tips for Getting Through To Your Teen
 1)    Communicate before a problem starts

  • Have important discussions now, before there’s blaming, anger, or punishments.
  • Agree on a time to start talking together about alcohol’s dangers.

2)    Discuss rules and consequences

  • Explain how you expect your son or daughter to act, and why.
  • Tell your teen plainly that you don’t want him or her drinking. 
  • Agree on consequences of broken rules.

3)    Show you care

  • Gently touch your teen on the arm or back to show affection. 
  • Tell your teen, “You love them and want them to be healthy and safe. Explain that’s why you need to talk together about the dangers of underage drinking.” 
 4)    Pay attention

  • Even when life gets hectic, take time out to listen to your teen.
  • Monitor where your teen is and what your teen is doing, constantly.

5)    Share family activities

  • Have dinner together at least three times a week.

6)     Give and get respect

  • When your teen talks to you, listen and reply respectfully.
  • Insist that your teen treat you with respect, too. 

7)     Enforce consequences consistently

  • If your teen breaks the rules, stay calm and enforce the consequences.
Call MADD 24/7 800-444-6233

Call MADD 24/7 800-444-6233

Whenever I want to talk about underage drinking prevention and I am in a large group I can see eyes starting to roll “Oh no not again”.  Yet today, as I sat typing this article, we had a call here at the State Office from a mother who has strong concerns about her daughter’s underage drinking, sincere concern for her actions and questions for me on how to “reach her”.  Kudo’s to the Mom for picking up the phone and trying to find out how to help her daughter.

Here at MADD we want to prevent underage drinking and support families so we don’t have to come in after the crash.  No one wants to be the tertiary agent! 

I applaud First Lady Sally Ganem for hitting the trail and going out west to speak to small rural schools about underage drinking prevention.  We are fortunate to have a wonderful spokesperson, such as the First Lady, willing to work with schools, willing to share her knowledge and passion to ensure that lives are saved.  MADD Nebraska is grateful for Ms. Ganem’s work. 

The cost of underage drinking  to us here in our state is something we should all be concerned about!

Alcohol consumed by minors is a critical problem across the country, Nebraska included. Consider the following:

  • Alcohol is a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes, nation-wide, involving drivers 15 to 20 years of age.
  • Each year, more than 4,300 young people in this age group are killed in car crashes while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Underage drinking costs Nebraskans $447-million dollars each year. That total includes costs associated with hospitalization, law enforcement, and funerals.
  • 90-percent of sexual assaults on college campuses involve underage drinking by either the victim, the perpetrator, or both.
  • 40-percent (70-percent) of alcohol consumed by underage drinkers is provided by adults (including parents).
  • 22-percent of all alcohol consumed in Nebraska is by people under 21 years of age.
  • One out of five automobile accidents in Nebraska is tied to drinking involving drivers under 21 years old.
  • In Nebraska, high school girls are just as likely to drink as high school boys.
  • Approximately one of five crimes, where alcohol is a factor, involve young people 18 years old or younger.
  • The largest numbers of drunk drivers arrested in Nebraska are between 16 and 24 years old.
  • Approximately 3 out of 4 high school students in Nebraska reported they have consumed alcohol.
  • In Nebraska, 40-percent of high school seniors report binge drinking (4 or more drinks at a setting).

I am all about treats and NO tricks!  Remember the days of walking hand in hand with your folks down the neighborhood to visit friends and knock on doors.  I loved going out and coming home to warm cider, donuts and popcorn especially on a school night – that was a treat in itself.

As I fondly think of my times in Wahoo going about with friends, I also think about where we are today and that this year Halloween is on a Saturday – EEKKK!!!

To me that spell’s trouble with a capital “T”. Little ones will scurrying about, while young adults are out traveling in cars and everyone in between being festive & enjoying a good old Husker Game Day.images

I know I have said it before but it can never be stated too many times. Your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver.  Staying in the car during a crash increases your survival rate by 65%, any coach would welcome a figure like that for their defense come game time. So when you and the little ones travel to see family and friends – buckle up each time every time.  When the twenty something’s head out the door for the costume party remember – buckle up each time every time. And be a sport when you and your friends head for home after the Husker game Saturday – buckle up each time every time.

buzzedlogoIf we all do our part by: wearing our seat belts, making sure kids are in costumes that reflect light, young adults don’t drink unless they are 21,  and always have a designated sober driver.

Make sure your Halloween isn’t scary and make sure your home is filled with treats! trick_or_treat_cover_lrg 

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.
State Executive Director