If You Drink And Drive, You Lose

By Jennifer Dotson
Wednesday - December 30, 2009 Share

By Jennifer Dotson, Executive Director
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

Did you know the average age that kids start drinking alcohol in Hawaii is age 10?

Alcohol is the No. 1 drug choice among youths, and it kills more teens than all other illicit drugs combined. There are no age, gender or ethnic boundaries - we are all equally at risk of being impacted by a drunken driver.

MADD Hawaii was founded 25 years ago, and since then has played a prominent role in dramatically changing the attitudes and behaviors of the citizens of Hawaii by means of its educational and awareness campaigns, which have created better understanding of the tragic consequences of drinking and driving, or consuming drugs and driving.


MADD’s annual red ribbon program, the “Tie One On For Safety” campaign, has become a holiday season tradition whereby motorists are asked to tie a red ribbon to a visible place on their vehicles as a pledge of their commitment to drive safe, sober and buckle up. MADD supplies half a million ribbons across the state through multiple community partners (7-Eleven, Caesars Cleaners, Foodland, Longs Drugs, NAPA Auto Parts, Papa John’s, Safeway, Tesoro, Times, Zippy’s).

Damien students Dorian Cabinit, Richmond Wong and Andrew Augustin wave signs along Ala Moana Boulevard to remind motorists of the dangers of drunken driving

Drunken driving doesn’t just occur late at night after the bars and clubs close. Drunken drivers are on the road at all times of the day. For this reason, we look to deploy target-specific, cost-effective campaigns to deliver hard-hitting messages to 18- to 34-year-old males where they work and where they drink. These men constitute the highest drunken-driving offender group and are the hardest to reach with conventional media.

Another goal is to reach college kids by expanding our current UMADD programs on campuses with the very high-risk 18- to 25-year-old age group. We look to do this through special events like our Candlelight Vigils, community awareness booths and health fair booths.

MADD’s greatest challenge is finding the resources to strengthen our mission of saving lives in the Islands. Like almost all nonprofits, we’ve been hit by the economic crisis. MADD needs the financial support of the business community now more than ever.

Readers who feel they can help are invited to visit our 25th anniversary Web site at http://www.maddhawaii.com and donate online with a credit card or call 532-6232. You can also follow us on Twitter @maddhawaii or e-mail me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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