Archive for January, 2010

Burger King is going to sell beer at a few of their selected chains.  

First and foremost, MADD is not against the sale of alcohol.  MADD is against the misuse of alcohol when it is over served, served to minors or people make the choice to drive impaired after drinking.  Remember Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving. 

Second, a point a parent brought to my attention, if the Burger Kings are going to sell beer will they employee only those over 21?  Now that is food for thought – no pun intended! 

Last, I want to go back to one of MADD’s programs and that is “Every Child Deserves a Designated Driver”.  So when you do go out please have a plan in place to have a sober driver when transporting your friends, family and our next generation.  

Children are our greatest resource and our future.

Well, if you want more on this topic all you have to do is Google and you will find over 400 news-related items just a click away.

OK last thing, I think it is somewhat contradictory that BK introduces a gluten senstive menu along with beer?!  Hmmm – have to ponder on that.


There is little doubt from the literature that what we do, day in and day out, as parents does make a difference to our kids, family and even their friends.  Take time to have dinner and a conversation about not using alcohol before you are 21.  I did – you can too!  I found those rides in the car to and from activities, the store, to go pick up a friend – those were the best times to talk & listen.

Each week take a moment to talk about the importance of not breaking the law, making the right choice today and hanging out with peers that make the right choice too.  As parents, aunts and uncles we spend tons of time with them when they are toddlers: to the doctors, to the dentist, to music lessons, softball games.  Don’t let that time be more important than them coming home.

Make time today!


In 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater). These deaths constitute 31.6 percent of the 37,261 total traffic fatalities in 2008. (Source: NHTSA, 2009)


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On behalf of MADD and our many members, I want to take a moment to highlight the fantastic work that Cooper Racing has done in 2009.  Gary and Donna Cooper have been solid supporters/volunteers and activists for almost 10 years. 

Last year, like each prior Gary & Donna feature the MADD racecar project and their Race Against Drugs.  During 2009 Cooper Racing had a record 3,156 youth visit their booth and sign a drug free pledge.  Their total pledge count now stands at 11,562! Thanks to the communities for inviting the MADD Racecar to their community to highlight the dangers of underage drinking and drinking and driving.  More importantly a BIG thanks goes to the Cooper’s for making a psoitve impact in 2009 and for the past ten years by reaching our youth through a creative and positive approach.

The Copper Racing Team has an alcohol free pit during the racing season.

You can find out more about the MADD racecar project go to:

All I know is that this year I am getting to the racetracks and I am grateful for the hard work and support Gary & Donna show MADD and our communities across the state – here’s to 2010! 

Fred Zwonechek, NOHS and First Lady Sally Ganem

 To read more about the Cooper racing see the article on page 10.

Lincoln Police Department released their numbers for DUI arrests and they hit an all time high. On behalf of MADD, we applaud LPD and the efforts of all the officers as they ensured that our roads were safe to travel. 

Thankfully the Lincoln Police Department is not unique and many agencies across the state have had record arrests.  There is a concerted effort by many highway safety advocates (including MADD) to support the Nebraska Highway Safety Plan .  You will want to look at Appendix II and see High Priority areas and it should come as no surprise that enforcing DUI laws ranks HIGH.  As Nebraskans we should care about the fact that:  one person dies every five days due to an alcohol-related crash in our state. A 100% preventable crime and thanks to enforcement we have seen lives saved! 

Nebraska ranked among the top for the least amount a fatalities due to alcohol-related crashes in 2008.  I am proud that we have 30 more individuals with families and friends still intact.

Checkpoints and heavy enforcement during high traffic times have worked to save lives  and not just in our state but in almost all 50 states.  It is an easy message “if you drink and drive you will get caught.” 

Bringing me back to the Lincoln Police Department’s, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department and  the Nebraska State Patrol holiday enforcement resulted in zero alcohol-related deaths in December in Lancaster County in 2009.  Thanks to all for your hard work and keeping us safe as we navigate our way to and from our everyday activities: work, kids, movies, family, errands, grandparents, and the grocery store.

MADD is on the Ribbon but Saving Lives is on Our Minds.