M.A.D.D. launches Tie One On for Safety Campaign, stresses importance of designated driver

Photos were displayed of South Carolinians who have lost their lives due to drunk drivers. Images provided.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) of the Midlands held an event Tuesday evening at the Columbia Fire Department headquarters to launch the 2018 “Tie One On for Safety” campaign. Speakers reinforced the importance of having a designated driver every time of year, especially the holiday season.

Law enforcement officers and students from the University of South Carolina provided a powerful visual to show the crowd. A large presentation board was displayed with images of South Carolinians who have bee killed by drunk drivers.

Both students and officers handed out red ribbons, in support of the MADD campaign. Drivers can show their commitment to designating a non-drinking driver and support law enforcement’s efforts to protect the roads by displaying a red ribbon or decal on their vehicles.  The ribbons are available at local MADD offices across the country.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the holidays are one of the most dangerous times on the roads with more people traveling, and an increased number of festivities where alcohol is served.  Between 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Eve in 2017, there were 1,143 drunk driving fatalities across the country.

National MADD President Colleen Sheehey-Church spoke to the crowd, addressing the importance of assigning a designated driver when others will be drinking.  Sheehey-Church’s 18-year-old son drowned in a car accident when the driver, who had been drinking, crashed into a river in 2004.

After the presentation was done, guests enjoyed live music, a silent auction, and non-alcoholic drinks that were created in a “mocktail mix-off” from local restaurants.

Categories: Columbia, Education, Richland County