Five Stars

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

MADD released it’s Report to the Nation in honor of the fifth anniversary of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving on Wednesday. Each state was giving a ranking of one to five, based on it’s implementation of proven drunk driving countermeasures. And guess what?! Nebraska received a five star rating! If you haven’t yet seen it in the news, we got the chance to announce this rating with Governor Heieneman, First Lady Sally Ganem, and Colonel Sankey of the Nebraska State Patrol on Wednesday! We thank all of them and the amazing group that showed up to support us and Tie One on for Safety during the press conference!

The ranking was based on five different criteria, including the use of ignition interlock, enhanced penalties for driving drunk with children in the car and the use of sobriety checkpoints.  Check out this link (http://www.madd.org/blog/report-to-the-nation.html) for the full report and check out how the other states across the nation did! A five star rating was hard to come by and we are very proud of all of the work that went into Nebraska getting it! So many people worked hard for many years to put all of these measures in place to make Nebraska a safer place. The ranking is just a number, the real importance is the fact that these five things we were ranked on could save a life! We think it is important to thank all of our partners who worked so much over the past five years to recognize the danger of drunk driving and help put Nebraska on the right path for eliminating it! Law Enforcement, the state Legislators and government, all of our volunteers and supporters who we count on for so much, the MADD staff past and present who spend their days thinking about how we can work towards saving lives, and the highway safety partners across the state! It is truly a team effort, although the work each group does is important, no one of them alone could make Nebraska as safe as it is when we all work together!

All that being said, this five star rating is just the motivation to move us forward and continue the fight! It is just a stepping stone. Even with all of these measures in place, families have still had to mourn the loss of their family member to drunk drivers. So our job is not done, until there are no more victims. Until no family has to experience the tragedy of having someone taken from them in an alcohol related crash. That means our work has really just begun. We need to continue to work to make sure no one ever gets behind the wheel of a car after drinking, whether that is through education, fear of the judicial system and the punishment they may face, through designated drivers, hard working law enforcement and new technology we will someday have!

So we took this week and celebrated the work that has been done. All the while remembering the victims, the victims who bravely stood at our press conference and told the world of the loss they are feeling, the victims who show us that our work is not done. They show us that our five star ranking is just the start and our task will only be accomplished when drunk driving is eliminated. So we are done celebrating and back to working hard, because truly our work is far from done.

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