MADD Announces First-Ever National Day of Remembrance

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Victims and survivors of drunk driving, drugged driving and underage drinking consequences to be honored at events across the country on December 3rd

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) today announced a first-of-its-kind National Day of Remembrance to honor those who have been killed or injured in drunk or drugged driving crashes or as a result of underage drinking consequences; as well as those who have been emotionally devastated by these violent and preventable crimes.

To culminate the organization’s 35th Anniversary, MADD will host a National Day of Remembrance on December 3rd with events taking place in cities across the country to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking.

"Over 10,000 people every year are killed and another 290,000 are injured as a result of drunk driving,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, whose 18-year-old son Dustin was killed in an underage drunk and drugged driving crash. “Countless loved ones are left behind to cope with these tragedies and rebuild their lives. MADD’s National Day of Remembrance is a chance for communities across the nation to come together and offer support and comfort to those who need it, during the holidays and beyond.”

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month and the deadliest month of the year for drunk driving crashes. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s in 2013, 846 people were killed in drunk driving crashes nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). New Year’s Day is the deadliest single day of the year for drunk driving – with 44 drunk driving fatalities on that day in 2013 alone. A total of 161 people were killed by drunk driving crashes during the New Year’s holiday in 2013 (New Year’s Eve and Day).

“We have a saying at MADD, ‘You Always Have a Place.’ When a loved one is killed because of this violent and completely preventable crime, a place setting at the family table may be empty, but that person will always have a place in our hearts,” said MADD CEO Debbie Weir. “By hosting a National Day of Remembrance, we’re letting victims and survivors know that they are not alone. That their pain and suffering has not been forgotten. And that those impacted and those injured from drunk or drugged driving will always have a place at MADD.”

Leading up to the event, drunk and drugged driving victims and MADD supporters are invited to post an image of their loved ones using the hashtag “#MADDremembers” via their social media accounts or on the MADD Facebook page or visit madd.org/placesetting to dedicate an online place setting tribute in their honor.

In 2014, MADD Victim Services provided a supportive service every four minutes and served a victim every 15 minutes. Drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors can find help free of charge through local MADD Victim Advocates, MADD’s 24-hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP, or with the live chat feature on madd.org. MADD Victim Services include emotional support, court accompaniment, criminal justice advocacy, educational materials, community referrals, and prevention efforts such as child endangerment and concerned citizen calls.

For more information about MADD’s National Day of Remembrance, or to find a local event, visit madd.org/dayofremembrance.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMSTM. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every fifteen minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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Heather Wedel
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