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MADD launches program to curb holiday drunken driving

Posted November 25, 2009

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— Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) launched their Tie One on for Safety holiday ribbon campaign Tuesday. The 21st annual crusade coincides with the Booze It & Loose It initiative, both aimed at reducing drunken driving.

Elizabeth Manis, who lost her 17-year-old daughter, Lilli, in a drunken driving crash on July 12, 2008, spoke at the kickoff ceremony, held at the State Farm Insurance Office, 9630 Falls of the Neuse Road, in Raleigh.

“Lilli was just one of over 400 people killed in North Carolina by drunken drivers in 2008,” Manis said. "This is an epidemic of criminal behavior that should not be tolerated, and it can be prevented."

Red ribbon campaign calls attention to safety Red ribbon campaign calls attention to safety

Last year, more than 75,000 citations were issued for driving while impaired across the state.

As part of the campaign, MADD asks motorists to tie a red ribbon to their vehicle as a pledge to drive safe and sober over the holidays, one of the deadliest travel times of the year.

“It takes courage to stop and think, ‘I don't need to drive. There are other people out there that can be affected by my actions,’” Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. “It's just like shooting a pistol. Once it happens, we can't stop the bullet.”

Last year, 25 motorists were killed and 1,870 were injured on state highways during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the Highway Patrol. That number is down, however, from previous years.

“We are seeing a trend over the last couple of years. We are decreasing in our collisions, as much as 10 percent so far this year,” said Col. Randy Glover, commander of the state Highway Patrol.

The decrease is due, in part, to campaigns that crackdown on speeding and drunken drivers. Law enforcement officers are using motorcycles, patrol cars, unmarked cars and helicopters to monitor the interstates and major-four lane highways during the long weekend.

Drunken and dangerous driving can be reported to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on cell phones from anywhere in the state.

Booze It & Loose It and Tie One on for Safety both run through December.

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  • RMC10 Nov 25, 2009

    MADD lady was making it sound like there were 75,000 Holiday tiks. Here's the problem with people getting sentences for DWI, they get a good lawyer and get off with maybe a license suspension and a reduced sentence (so it's doesn't hit their insurance). Then they drive drunk without a license anyway. What good is that. No reduced sentences and maybe a tiered strucutre would be good. MADD, which started out as an activist group is now incorporated, and is big business, lots of money. Donations and government grants buys them a lot of power. They are not giong to give up until everyone stops drinking outside their home altogether. Have a glass of wine or beer for dinner at a restaurant and their highly paid .3 breathalizer reading (about a glass of wine or a beer) will get ya a ticket. In a Holiday Campaign bought with MADD money, police will ticket 36,000 folks and only 1062 of those are DWI. They are not going to stop until everyone is punished for their relative getting killed.

  • moonpie Nov 25, 2009

    "moonpie your on crack"

    naw....nanner puddin'

  • Patriot1 Nov 25, 2009

    moonpie your on crack

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 25, 2009

    RMC10, MADD's stats are correct. I think the 1,029 were just from a particular time. Their stats appear to be for the entire year in NC. It is impossible to know for sure but I wonder how many more people would have been killed had those 75,000 drunk drivers not been stopped by law enforcement and continued on their way at the time? Scores more innocent people would ahve been killed. Now what were you saying, oh yeah, you are all broke up about them having to pay fines.

  • dougdeep Nov 25, 2009

    I'll be riding the bus home tonight. Oh wait, it doesn't run after 11.

    The R line is already popular for moving between downtown nightspots. Why not provide another alternative for getting home from downtown.

  • Common Sense Man Nov 25, 2009

    "Good for filling up those state coffers...the sting operations should stop."

    I could care less about numbers and money. I always get more DWIs in December than any other month, and I don't participate in any of the "campaigns," I do it just from patrol. I could care less about anything other than making the streets safer. Got a problem with it? Don't drive impaired and you won't have to worry about it.

  • Da Toy Maker Nov 25, 2009

    Don't know about you, personally, one person killed by DUI is one too many. If you don't want to pay the price, just follow the law:

    Don't drink and drive.
    Buckle up your seat belt.
    Keep your registration current.
    Keep your vehicle in good working order.
    Have proper insurance.

    Simple enough, right???

  • Schpartacus Nov 25, 2009

    Why not ban drinking in bars? It makes as much sense as banning smoking (perfect sense or none at all, depending on your priorities). Both habits have destructive consequences but because drinking is popular it enjoys a privileged status.

  • Common Sense Man Nov 25, 2009

    "The emphasis should be on drivers with high blood alcohol levels, i.e. greater than .15. They are the ones who cause the fatalities."

    Not necessarily; I recently saw a 16 year old passed out at a .07. Teenagers and inexperienced drinkers can be just as deadly at lower BACs.

  • kikinc Nov 25, 2009

    Here's a clue. Don't want to pay the fine, don't drink and drive. It's not rocket science.

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