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Get Ready to Walk Like MADD to Eliminate Drunk Driving

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2009-08-02 04:58:37     
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Colorado

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) hosted Walk Like MADD 5K, a noncompetitive fundraising walk in Denver on Saturday, August 1st. The walk began at 9 a.m. at Sloan's Lake and raised funds and rallied support for MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

"We aim to eliminate drunk driving and we needed support from the community today to do just that," said Emily Tompkins, State Executive Director.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that one in three individuals will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lifetime. Walkers at today's Walk Like MADD event who raised $100 or more earned a red Walk Like MADD t-shirt that bears the words "One in Three" as a walking reminder of the people, families, and faces behind these grim statistics, and a reminder of why we walk; to eliminate drunk driving.

Funds raised help further MADD's life-saving mission and the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which calls for alcohol ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders; highly-visible, highly-publicized law enforcement; community support; and the development of advanced vehicle-based technologies. Approximately 1500 attendees signed the pledge to support the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving after Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, signed one during his keynote address to the Walk Like MADD participants.

"The Colorado State Patrol salutes MADD Colorado for their determined fight to stop drunk driving," said Colonel Wolfinbarger. "Drunk driving threatens every one of us, and the fact that one in three people will be personally involved in an alcohol related crash in their lives is a very sad statistic. However, all of us can change that statistic by being a role model for each other and our children by never drinking and driving. And, by not letting our friends and family drive drunk. If celebrating with alcohol, always have a designated driver. And, remember to always buckle up. You rock MADD Colorado!"

According to the NHTSA in 2007, Colorado had 170 people killed in traffic crashes involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Nationally, NHTSA reported that 12,998 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver at or above .08 BAC in 2007. Each year, nearly half a million others are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

On May 15, 2006 Jonni Conant came home from work to find her 20-year-old son in a hurry to go to softball game with his co-workers from Champ's Grill. Justin loved to be with people and was always on the move. He was a business student at the University of Colorado, Denver, a Denver Public Safety Cadet, a rock climber, a soccer player and an avid snow boarder. "At 11:30 that evening, the doorbell rang," said Jonni Conant, Walk Like MADD Steering Committee member. "It was the beginning of any parent's worst nightmare." A policeman, a victim advocate and a coroner's office representative stood at the Conant's door to let them know that their family had changed forever. Justin had been killed in a drunk driving crash. He would have been 24 this past Tuesday.

Jonni, her husband Kirk, and their son Tyler have made Walk Like MADD a family effort. "It is our goal to support MADD so that one day no other family will have to experience the loss of a loved one because of the choice of a drunk driver," Conant said.

This year, Walk Like MADD events take place in over 30 cities across the country. Walk Like MADD is an opportunity for individuals and teams to improve their health and help their community at the same time by raising funds and awareness for MADD Colorado's efforts to eliminate drunk driving and support the victims of drunk driving crashes. Corporations and families formed teams or participated as individuals and were asked to raise at least $100 each through donations. All funds donated through the Denver Walk Like MADD event stay in Colorado for MADD's programs and services.

Specialized in: Madd - Mothers Against Drunk Driving - Drunk Driving Victims - Underage Drinking - Binge Drinking - Ignition Interlock - Campaign To Eliminate Drunk Driving - 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age
URL: http://www.madd.org
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