Archive for the ‘Campaign Against Drunk Driving’ Category

On behalf of MADD and our membership across the state, I want to thank those that supported LB 667 on General File and ask for your continued support of this bill on Select File.

 First and foremost MADD supports the provision for mandatory ignition interlocks upon conviction on all offenders at .08 or above. We all know drunk driving is a violent crime and one person dies, on average, every five days in an alcohol-related crash in our state. 

Despite the fact that life saving technology exists, it is not uncommon for the courts to ask the offender if he/she wants it installed.  The law requiring ignition interlock, in its current state, is an optional law.  MADD is concerned about the disparity of treatment of offenders and MADD believes mandatory ignition interlock would provide for equitable treatment of all offenders.

 In 2009, there were more than 13,000 arrests for DWI, our state conviction rate stands at 86 percent and yet in 2009 there were only 1,800 ignition interlocks in use. Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released that ignition interlocks work to stop drunk driving and reduce recidivism.   

However, it is clear that judicial discretion is not providing for equitable treatment of offenders across the state. From our MADD Court Monitoring Program, we can see that there is clearly an inconsistent use of ignition interlock (1 out of every 6 offenders).

LB 667 will provide for a more consistent use of ignition interlock across the state both as an administrative measure and as a post-conviction measure.  The use of this technology will help to ensure safe passage on our roads for all Nebraskans. 

Last, MADD strongly supports acknowledging the transportation of a child while under the influence as distinct crime.  Two-thirds of all children ages 14 and under killed in an alcohol-related crash are killed while riding with a parent, caregiver or guardian (JAMA, May 200).  These children have no voice and they have no choice.  In Nebraska, over the last five years, more than 260 children have been put at-risk and 19 have died in an alcohol-related crash involving an adult  driver with a BAC of .08 or higher (NOHS). The lives of our youth deserve to have a policy in place to protect them from harm.

Thank you for your continued support. Contact your state senator


Our university towns and state college towns are growing this week with the onset of classes and the student population back in town.   There are the traditional challenges : parking space is limited and more cars, all the grocery stores seem to be buzzing and the empty nest is a reality once again! 

Our kids are now young adults. That is my point here.  The first six weeks of school could very well make or break the next four years ahead for your student.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the first 6 weeks of the first semester are critical to a first-year student’s academic success. Because many students initiate heavy drinking during these early days of college, the potential exists for excessive alcohol consumption to interfere with successful adaptation to campus life. The transition to college is often difficult and about one-third of first-year students fail to enroll for their second year.  

As parents we want our young adults to succeed but it is important to maintain some contact to ensure that your student gets acclimated into a healthy and happy life style.

One way to support that from a far is to check in with the kids to see how their classes are going and set a planned time to call – that way you can reach them and stay connected. 

During these crucial early weeks, as parents you can do a variety of things to stay involved. Parents you may want to inquire about campus alcohol policies, call your sons and daughters frequently, and ask about roommates and living arrangements.

Also discuss with your young adult the penalties for underage drinking (both on and off campus) as well as how alcohol use can lead to date rape, violence, and academic failure.


Your involvement will secure for your young adult a happy and healthy academic life on campus!

I am going to depart a bit from our mission to share with you the importance of taking time out for yourself and those whom you love.  Often at work, not just at MADD either, many of us get sooo darn busy we forget to hear the sounds of life that are sprinkled all around us. 

Trust me, I have learned from others that spending time on yourself, even if it seems indulgent, is important.  Equally important is spending time with family, friends and neighbors.  Our sense of community is what keeps us grounded as work takes a toll, kids keep us on our toes and another telemarketer calls!

I am lucky enough to spend a few days with my great nieces and we are going to Oceans of Fun. I have never been there – can you believe it? There is nothing so uplifting as the chuckle of a youngster – just being around them rejuvenates me and reminds me of why the work I do IS so dang important.  The next generation.

Happy Birthday Girls!

Happy Birthday Girls!

So I am off to Celebrate Birthdays in a BIG way with the next generation.  Next week my mom will celebrate her 78th birthday and it is extra special as she survived a drunk driving crash two years ago and now my parents are here in Lincoln with me.  A special comfort to know I can see them daily!  Life is precious take a day off for yourself…………..

The grand essentials for happiness are: somethng to do, somehing to love and something to hope for.   ALLAN K. CHALMERS

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.