From press reports
As families and friends make plans to celebrate the Fourth of July, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Tri-County is reminding adults to plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver — whether on the road or on the water — if alcohol will be a part of the festivities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 161 people were killed in drunk driving crashes nationwide over Fourth of July weekend in 2011 (the most recent year for which there is data), which represents a 70 percent increase over the average number of drunk driving deaths per day.
In addition to the dangers posed by drunk driving on roadways, the United States Coast Guard reports that alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in boating fatalities last year; in fact, it was the leading factor in 17 percent of boating deaths.
“The dangers of drinking and driving are the same, whether you’re on the road or on the water,” said Jimmie and Ruth Mangrum, victim advocates, MADD Tri-County. “MADD wants area residents to know that preventing tragedy can be as simple as planning ahead for a non-drinking designated driver on the Fourth of July and year-round.”
“As parents, my wife and I know personally the horrible effects of drunk driving. The pain of losing our 21-year daughter Karen Denise Mangrum, who was still living at home, in 1995 because of a drunk driving crash still hurts after 18 years. With the open sale of liquor, and the 4th of July, we shudder to think about how many other people may suffer like we do. Please, don’t drink and drive! Think and plan ahead. The life you save may be your own, or one of your loved ones.”
MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving includes support for high-visibility law enforcement efforts, and as part of the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown around the Fourth of July, law enforcement agencies across the country will be intensifying their efforts to deter and detect drunk driving.
For more information about MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, visit www.madd.org/campaign.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents® to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.