We are very excited to announce that we will be a Milestone Sponsor in this year’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) signature walk event! “Walk Like MADD” is a non-competitive, family and pet friendly 5K Walk and also a MADD Dash, certified 5K Run which seek to raise awareness and funds for MADD. This organization has a simple mission; they seek to stop drunk driving, support the victims of it, and prevent underage drinking.
Drunk driving not only risks the life of the driver and any passengers in their car, it also risks the lives of everyone else on the road. The scary thing about that is that drunk driving and underage drinking are more common than you would think. For example, did you know:
If all 17 million people who admitted to driving drunk in the past year had their own state, it would be the fifth largest in the U.S.
On average, one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.
Every 90 seconds, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.
Every day in America, 30 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.
Teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.
An average drunk driver has driven drunk 87 times before a first arrest.
One in three 8th graders has tried alcohol.
Drunk driving remains the primary cause of deaths on our highway.
If these statistics surprised you as much as they surprised us, you’ll understand why Mothers Against Drunk Driving is such a worthy cause to support. Victims of drunk driving are more common than you think, they could be your neighbor down the street, a friend’s parent, or perhaps someone in your own family or group of friends.
We at MassDrive are proud to sponsor MADD’s event this year because their mission of keeping families and communities safe is one that we support as well. We want everyone to drive responsibly, and if you plan on drinking alcohol make sure that you have a designated driver to get you home safely. That’s a mission we can all support right? If you want to join this year’s event, there are a few ways you can do it. You can either register to walk, donate to MADD’s team, or volunteer!
The walk will take place on Sunday, April 26th at Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. Registration begins at 10 AM and the opening ceremony will take place at 10:45 after a warm-up with Fitness Together. Runners will take off at 11 AM followed by the walkers, and everyone is invited to join in on the fun and entertainment taking place after the 5K.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 108 people were killed in Massachusetts due to drunk drivers in 2009. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has initiated a fight for legislators to support an extended reach of ignition interlock devices and monitoring. An interlock device prevents a driver from operating a vehicle if they do not pass the breathalyzer test. If the driver passes the interlock the vehicle will start however if their BAC is not up to par the vehicle will remain as it is.
In Massachusetts repeat drunk driving offenders are required to have the systems in their vehicles for the first two years. MADD is asking to reach further and include the requirement for first time offenders during the first 6 months their licnese is reinstated. Drivers will gain training in how to use the device to ensure proper use. The ignition interlock system typically costs $100 – $200 for installation with a monthly rental fee of approximately $70 – $100. The device is programed to prevent a vehicle from starting should you have too high BAC, have a friend blow into the device, use a mechanical device to blow into the system or tamper with it in any way. Drinking and driving is a serious matter. MADD is working along side Senator Robert Hedlund, sponsor of the bill, to ensure drunk driving recognized as such.
Yesterday MADD Massachusetts honored more than 30 state troopers, 45 local police officers, five assistant district attorneys and 10 local police department for their commitment to enforcing drunk driving laws. The local police departments received the Drive for Life award for holding sobriety check points in 2010. The honorary breakfast speaker this year was Chris Doyle, a former Wilbraham Police Officer. Doyle was seriously injured sustaining a traumatic brain injury among others while on duty August of 2006 when he was struck by a three-time offender at a construction roadblock. The combined efforts of this year’s honorees worked together making over 2,800 drunk driving arrests in 2009 averaging almost eight drunk driving arrests per day!
“Drunk driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in the United States, affecting three out of every 10 Americans. In Massachusetts, 124 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2008 representing 34% of all traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth.”
Taking the fight against drunk driving to another level the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles shares drunk driving statistics with the public. The RMV has also released that over 4,000 repeat drunk drivers have ignition interlock devices installed on the vehicle. Only 27 of the 1,600 repeat offenders who’ve already completed the interlock program have re-offended after the interlocks removal.
MADD is non-profit organization with more than 400 entities nationwide. MADD proclaims their mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. The organization was founded in 1980 by two mothers who transformed their losses into a national movement putting a stop to drunk driving. MADD works to provide critical emotional support for survivors, family members and friends coping with the death of a loved one caused by a drunk driver.
MADD’s website claims in 2007 almost 13,000 people died in drunk driving crashes, representing 305 of all highway fatalities in the Commonwealth. Reiterating the fact found in the WNYT article above, MADD cites the National Highway Safety Administration to estimate during one’s life time three in ten people will be killed or injured by a drunk driver. Drunk driving is NOT something to take lightly, for more information on how to become involved with or seek help from MADD please visit their website at: www.maddmass.com.