Archive for the ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving’ Category

Trooper Downing and First Lady Sally Ganem

Wow what a week last week was for our MADD State Office!  On Tuesday we held our 12th annual “Outstanding Law Enforcement Awards & Recognition” in LaVista and Iowa law enforcement joined our event too.  It was a pleasure to see more than 25 awards handed out to deserving individuals that work tirelessly to ensure that we have safe roads to travel home on each and every day.
MADD appreciates the  financial support from Bob Batt to make this event a reality and we really appreciate the support of the family members of the winners as they pay a price that we, the public, will never understand but we do appreciate.  There was much fun to be had on Tuesday and the Candy Bar was a hit again. Thanks to our signature sponsor No Frills.
Next, there was the signing of LB 667 into law by the Governor.  A comprehensive piece of legislation brought to the state senators by the Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, manged by the Speaker of the Legislature, Mike Flood and prioritized by Senator Wallman.  Additionally, there was considerable victim input by several families and MADD was pleased to see more ignition interlock put into use, boating under suspension, and a separate offense for transporting a child while intoxicated. The bill went through all three rounds of debate without a single NO vote.  That is a testament to the legislature’s support to stop drunk driving and support victims/survivors impacted by this violent crime.
Last, we all kicked off the 100 days of summer with Memorial Day weekend.  A time for reflection, family and gratitude for those that serve our country to ensure we all have our freedom to live life to the fullest.
Several different agencies were conducting DUI enforcement and  seat belt enforcement. Naturally, there was some of concern around the Nebraska State Parks as this is the first year it has been legal to consume alcohol in our state parks for some while.  However, at first glance it seems all went well despite the fact it has put some additional burden on our law enforcement agencies.
That about wraps it up – busy week!  Thanks to our supporters, our victim families and the community for supporting our mission.

 Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) joins with the numerous Attorneys General across the country who are asking Pabst Brewing Company to significantly reduce the number of servings of alcohol in a single container of Blast by Colt 45, since one 23.5-ounce can of Blast contains nearly 5 servings of alcohol. MADD is concerned that Blast may encourage dangerous binge drinking—which can lead to drunk driving—by those over 21, as well as those who are underage, posing serious health risks and greatly impairing these individuals’ decision-making abilities. MADD also urges Pabst Brewing Company to examine the marketing of this beverage in order to clarify its high alcohol content. Nearly 11,000 Americans are killed and more than 350,000 are injured each year in drunk driving crashes — a 100 percent preventable crime. In addition, teen alcohol use kills 6,000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.

Therefore, MADD is committed to keeping drunk drivers off the road, serving victims of drunk driving crashes and preventing underage drinking.

PowerTalk 21™ day is the first annual day for parents and teens to start the conversation about alcohol. Governor Dave Heineman will be officially declaring April 21st PowerTalk 21day in Nebraska.

Governor Heineman and his wife, First Lady Sally Ganem, have made the health and safety of young Nebraskans a priority. Ganem, a MADD National Board Member, has worked throughout the state on initiatives that aim to reduce underage drinking. “The youth of Nebraska are one of our greatest resources, and it is our job as parents to keep them safe,” said Ganem. “I encourage parents to use PowerTalk 21 Day to have a conversation with their kids about alcohol.”

PowerTalk 21 day is intentionally positioned in advance of prom, graduation and other events around which teens may encounter alcohol, providing families with an opportunity to have an important conversation at what may be a critical time.

MADD, along with presenting sponsor Nationwide Insurance, trusts that April 21 will become widely known as the national day to talk about teens and alcohol. To that end, parents across the U.S. will be participating in Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence workshops and events held at community gatherings, schools, churches, partner organizations and various other groups leading up to and around April 21. 

 For more details on these workshops or for more information on how to schedule one in your community, please contact MADD Nebraska at (402)434-5330.

  Well the day finally arrived!  Here at MADD we are excited to show off our refreshed and revitalized brand.  All of us with MADD hope you are excited about the new look as we all are here in Nebraska.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Kimberly Earle, stated ” Elevating and engaging others in our mission is the first and foremost reason for all of these efforts. For nearly 31 years, MADD has worked hard to keep families safe. But our work is not done. Another 30 people die in drunk driving crashes every day in America, while one in three eighth graders has tried alcohol. And we continue to serve victims of drunk driving crashes, one every 10 minutes”.

Here at MADD we want to bring heightened awareness to the devastating effects of drunk driving and underage drinking; we shine a light on our victim services, ensuring it no longer remains our best kept secret;and we let the public know that we’re still here, still relevent and still working hard to keep families safe and together.

The brand refresh will help ensure our life saving work of serving people goes on in an upbeat and positive form. Including everyone and excluding no one.  Here at MADD we want to serve you and protect your families from the impact of drunk driving, underage drinking and stand stong on strong on policy initiatives that hold offenders accountable.

To all enjoy – the brand new day!

Top Ten Reasons

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Mothers Against Drunk Driving
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10)     Changing Seasons, from falling leaves, blankets of snow, spring showers and glowing sun rays

9)       Grocery Shopping, my favorite week-end past time always knowing that the aisles are full of new items we never saw as kids growing up in the 1970’s

8)       The Telephone, staying connected with friends and family by talking and listening and  always making plans what an invention – Thank you Mr. Bell!

7)         Paper, love paper, making paper, writing on paper, notebooks, stationary,  sticky notes – gotta love 3 M

6)       The Kitchen, I know but it is true the kitchen is my personal sanctuary where  music brims, coffee simmers and real work does get done!

5)       Laughter, it comes in so many forms from a chuckle to a smile to a full belly laugh that  brings tears to your eyes. Even the laughter of others as you pass by the play ground, a coffee-house or the neighbors visiting in the yard

4)       Kid’s Birthday’s, love watching the little tykes eat cake, watching eyes light up with the perfect gift and getting my exercise chasing them all!

3)       Passion for life, knowing that a new friend is just around the bend  and that the friends in my life are there for me, support my passion and always lend me their shoulder.

2)      Home, there really is no place like home and my heart is always planted deeply in my home (including house, city and state)

1)       Family, a million thanks to my family for standing by me, being the love of my life  and for their never-ending forgiveness when I take them for granted. Barbara Bush said it best “ To us, family  means putting your arms around each other and being there”.  

Well there you go!  My top ten reasons I am glad people make the choice not to drink and drive.  We all want to live to see another day and not have the joys of life snatched from us.  I know that these are many of the reasons victim families are impacted by drunk driving. None of us want to rearrange our “Top Ten” because of an alcohol-related crash.

Thank you to all that always makes the right choice. Never drink and drive and hold your family close!

  Transportation Committee

LB 625 – Support

Feb. 28, 2011

Simera Reynolds, Executive Director, MADD NE   

First, MADD would like to thank Senator Fulton for his leadership in introducing LB 625 mandatory ignition interlock for all offenders arrested at .08 and above and recognizing the transportation of our children while over the state legal limit (.08) as a felony offense.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving commends Senator Fulton for bringing this issue to the legislative body once again.  We all know drunk driving is a crime and a violent crime that kills one person in our state every five days.

Despite the fact that life saving technology exists, it is not uncommon for the courts to ask the offender if he wants it installed.  The law requiring ignition interlock, in its current state, is an optional law. For MADD optional = offender friendly. In 2009, there were more than 13,000 arrests for DWI, our state conviction rate stands at about 86 % and yet in 2009 there were only 1,800 ignition interlocks in use.

Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released that ignition interlocks do cut drunk driving and reduce recidivism.  Nebraska policy makers already knew this and acted when they passed LB 736.  However, it is clear that the use of ignition interlock has not been adopted at the county court level.  From our Court Monitoring Program, we can see that there is clearly an inconsistent use of this life saving device at best.

As a state, we have the duty to provide lifesaving technology when an offender has been found guilty of driving while intoxicated.  Not just for some but for every offender at .08 and above.

Additionally, the cost of this device is carried by the offender and does not cost the state monies.  MADD wants to see those that make the choice to drive drunk held accountable. Ignition interlock will do just that.

Second, MADD wants to articulate our strong support for a felony offense provision for those that make the choice to drive over the legal limit (.08). Adults that drink and drive with children in the vehicle are child abusers.  Child endangerment laws serve to protect innocent children from child abusers, not only those that are physically or emotionally abusive, but also those who victimize a child by driving impaired.

Currently, in our state, a DWI offender that is transporting a child can be found in violation of child endangerment law.  However, they are typically charged as two  separate offenses and one is all too often plead away. 

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.

MADD would ask that you support LB 625, with the appropriate amendments, and send it to the full floor of the legislature for full debate.  Thank you for your time today.

Contact your state senator today to give our youth a voice.  Together we can protect our children and support lifesaving technology.  You voice will make a difference!

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is on Facebook, Twitter and MADD Nebraska has a Facebook fan page too!  This is a great way to stay connected to what is going on across the United States and also a way to connect locally to what is happening here at the local level. 

Here at MADD, we always try to provide informative updates about our stand on issues as they arise, acknowledge the human element and tragic toll alcohol-related crashes take on our communities, families and friends and strive to provide  education regarding the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of maintaining the 21MDL in the every state.

Also, it is just a great way to connect with others, offer your volunteer time and/or financial support so we can keep our mission moving forward.  Thanks to the many that have already provided their support in numerous ways – be it time, resources or dollars!

Your Donation this Holiday Season will Make A Difference Daily!

For MADD Nebraska, Facebook is kind of like a neighborhood newsletter and it enables us to all stay connected.  Allowing each one of us to know that we have the ability to make a valuable contribution to the organization, we can provide support and understanding to those that are in need and we can work collectively to eliminate drunk driving bit by bit.  MADD’s mission is: to stop drunk driving, support victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.

If you have not found us on Facebook or Twitter yet I want to encourage you to connect with us and others like you that want to see the elimination of drunk driving across the Untied States and here at home in Nebraska. 

First Lady Sally Ganem, MADD National Board Member, often says, “Nebraskans want to be No. 1 in football but, not in underage drinking, binge drinking or drunk driving deaths”.  Take time to be a friend today!