Posts Tagged ‘21 law’

The other night MADD prestented to parents at Lincoln Southeast High School, the “Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence“.  It was an important opportunity for parents and MADD to share one common concern: how to prevent underage drinking.

Parents always worry about peers giving their kids drinks or a group of friends applying social pressure to one kid (their kid) to drink.

This does happen, but it is not the way that peer influence has the biggest impact.  Kids can learn skills to avoid or resist direct social pressure. 

The bigger influence from peers comes from the beliefs that teens hold about what they think other teens and their friends are doing as far as drinking alcohol.

Many kids believe “everyone is drinking” and that misperception influences the belief that it is normal to drink, the pressure to be like others, and then more drinking.

As parents, we need to direct our focus on what the real problem is….not protecting kids from the “bad” friend who tries to get them to drink but the false belief that “everyone is drinking.”

Take time today to start a conversation with your child about the dangers of underage drinking and about respecting the 21 law. Then revisit the conversation keep it going throughout high school and college.  Equip your child to make positive choices when it comes to alcohol.

Perhaps viewing the “Binge” airing on NETV will serve as a starting point for your “conversation”.


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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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).


Contact: Deb Collins 402-479-4985
September 24, 2009

 Father and Son Arrested for Driving Impaired 

(North Platte, NE)-  A 53-year-old Gothenburg man was arrested for driving under the influence after bailing his 19-year-old son out of jail for the same charge.images

Around 1:30 a.m., on Saturday, September 19, 2009, a trooper stopped a 1997 Buick Skylark for a broken taillight at 1st and Washington Streets in Gothenburg.  The driver of the vehicle, 19-year-old Trevor Brown of Gothenburg, was found to be intoxicated and was arrested for Driving While Impaired and Minor in Possession of Alcohol.   Brown was transported and lodged in the Dawson County Jail in Lexington.   While in jail, the younger Brown called his father to come and get him.

Shortly after 3:30 a.m., Saturday, September 19, 2009, 53-year-old Anthony Brown, of Gothenburg, arrived at the jail to bail his son out.   A trooper at the jail observed the elder Brown to be intoxicated and warned him not to drive.   About 45 minutes later, the trooper observed Anthony Brown and his son leave the jail and get into a 2001 Dodge Ram Pickup, with the elder Brown driving the vehicle.   The trooper stopped the pickup and arrested Anthony Brown for Driving Under the Influence.  The elder Brown was then lodged in the Dawson County Jail.jailbars

“These arrests show parental actions do have an influence on our children,” said Captain Jim Parish, Troop D Commander.  “I want to commend our troopers for continuing to work the situation.  By doing so, we were able to take two impaired drivers off our streets, and possibly save lives in the process.”



Today, here at MADD, there was a fair amount of conversations and e-mails regarding the large house party with underage drinking in Sarpy County as advertised on Facebook.  Most disturbing was the busing of attendees to and from the house party from a local parking lot. 

I hate to state the obvious but it is illegal to consume in our state if you are under 21.  Second it is illegal to drive after consuming alcohol, zero tolerence, for those under 21. Last, Nebraska has a Social Host Law that would allow for a civil law suit if anyone was to have been injured by a party goer at this event. 

Now I do have to restate the obvious just for a historical record:college-students

Underage Drinking and the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) Law


In July 1984, Congress and President Ronald Reagan enacted legislation that set the national minimum legal drinking age of 21. For those states that failed to adopt the 21 minimum drinking age as required by the new law, federal highway construction funds were withheld. By 1988, all states had adopted the new minimum drinking age. Since that time, the law has proven to be one of the nation’s most important and lifesaving laws to protect youth.


In our mission statement MADD states that we work to prevent underage drinking, why?  Because we care about our youth, because we know that drunk driving is a violent crime and most importantly it is the law.

Simera Reynolds

State Executive Director