Annual report 2018 web version

2018 Annual Report


511 E. John Carpenter Frwy Suite 700 Irving, TX 75062

Mothers Against Drunk Driving National Office

Dear Friends,

Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to prevent the tragedies caused by drunk and drugged driving, the leading killer on U.S. roads. MADD provides services to victims of drunk and drugged driving, advocates for stronger laws, educates on the dangers of underage drinking and drug use, supports our heroes in law enforcement and advocates for technology that will block the wrong and dangerous decision to drive impaired.

We had a busy year, and we want to thank you for helping us advance our mission to create a nation of No More Victims.

These are just some of the highlights of the year’s mission achievements:  MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection on the growing problem of drug-impaired driving.  MADD held 62 Law Enforcement Recognition ceremonies and honored 3,621 officers across the nation.  Government Affairs helped pass all-offender ignition interlock laws in two more states, bringing the total to 32 states and Washington, D.C.  MADD held a Law Enforcement Summit in Virginia, bringing together the nation’s top leadership in law enforcement to discuss ways to make traffic enforcement a national priority.  The Power of Parents® program equipped almost 37,000 parents with tools they need to talk to their children about underage drinking.  The second National Court Monitoring Report revealed MADD’s diligent tracking of drunk driving cases. By the end of the year, MADD had monitored almost 30,000 cases.  Victim Services staff and volunteers provided supportive services to more than 15,000 victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking.  The Power of You(th)® program expanded its reach by 27 percent, empowering over 229,000 youth with tools to avoid underage drinking.  The Victim Services private Facebook Group grew to almost 4,000 members, providing a virtual connection for victims to communicate with each other. The pages that follow will describe in detail MADD’s impact on individuals and across the nation. Every one of these accomplishments is a reflection of the hard work by our dedicated volunteers and staff, our generous donors, our partners in law enforcement and you.

Together we are saving lives and serving those who need us most. With gratitude,

Adam Vanek, CEO

The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking.


Since 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has led the nation in the battle to end the 100% preventable crime of drunk driving. The tireless work by MADD’s extensive network of volunteers, advocates and staff has reduced drunk driving in America by over 50 percent, saved 380,000 lives and served nearly 1 million victims. Using data to drive policy positions and advocacy activities, MADD has helped change hundreds of laws that have made roads safer and increased accountability for the wrong and dangerous decision to drive while impaired. MADD’s compassionate volunteers and staff dedicate their lives to eliminating drunk driving, while also fighting drugged driving, an emerging problem on our roads, and preventing underage drinking through extensive education aimed at parents and the under 21 population. By uniting volunteers and staff, and by working hand-in-hand with state and federal agencies, law enforcement, the judicial system, elected officials and traffic safety partners, MADD is advancing our mission to eliminate drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking.

Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving

MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, the organization’s blueprint to create a nation of No More Victims, celebrated its 12 th year in 2018. Since the campaign was launched, drunk driving deaths have decreased by 22 percent.

The campaign is focused on four priorities:

 Support for high-visibility law enforcement. MADD recognizes that law enforcement is the first line of defense, and stands with law enforcement heroes who are on road patrol and at sobriety checkpoints as they put their own safety on the line to protect the public. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaigns provide critical resources to police departments, and MADD shows its support by strongly advocating for and participating in these efforts. In 2018, MADD attended 233 sobriety checkpoints, 432 roll call briefings, held 62 Law Enforcement Recognition events and honored 3,621 officers. MADD also convened a Law Enforcement Summit in December, bringing together the nation’s top leadership in law enforcement to discuss ways to make traffic enforcement a national priority.  Ignition interlocks for all offenders. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving has experienced tremendous success in getting laws passed to require ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers. When the campaign began in 2006, only New Mexico required interlocks for all offenders. By the end of 2018, 32 states had enacted all-offender ignition interlock laws. Iowa and Idaho passed their laws in 2018. MADD also evaluates the effectiveness of existing laws and works to ensure they are working, and defends against efforts to weaken them. In 2018, MADD helped to defeat efforts to weaken interlock laws in: Wyoming, Connecticut, Kansas, Virginia and West Virginia, and succeeded in making improvements to the interlock law in Alabama. In addition, MADD helped stop an effort to ban sobriety checkpoints in New Hampshire.  Advanced vehicle technology. Passive, alcohol detection in new cars has been under development for the past decade. MADD is working with legislators, federal agencies and the auto industry to support the deployment of this technology as soon as possible. One of those programs, the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), began testing in cars on Virginia roads in 2018 and is expected to be marketed commercially in the early 2020s. In addition to passive alcohol detection in cars, the eventual deployment of fully autonomous vehicles holds the promise of eliminating drunk driving in the future.  Taking personal responsibility to always designate a non-drinking driver . MADD made “designated driver” a household name in the 1980s. Today it is used to mean a non-drinking friend or family member, public transportation, rideshare app or taxi. MADD’s message is clear: For every decision to consume alcohol, there must be a coinciding decision to take personal responsibility for finding a safe and sober ride home.

Victim Services

The victims MADD serves are at the heart of MADD. Every 3 minutes, MADD and its team of dedicated staff and volunteers provide a supportive service to a drunk, drugged or underage drinking victim or survivor. Victims receive emotional support, advocacy and information through MADD’s certified victim advocates. Among the many services offered, advocates also accompany victims to court hearings, help them with impact statements and provide any other assistance needed to protect their rights as crime victims. In 2018, the number of victims served was 15,338 through direct services, with a total of 186,693 services provided. MADD offers a Victim Services private Facebook Group that has grown to nearly 4,000 members. The group offers an avenue for many new victims to reach out to MADD for the first time and receive support from others who have been impacted by these crimes. An essential component of MADD’s services to the victims of these horrific and preventable crimes is MADD’s 24-hour Victim Help Line, 1-877-MADD-HELP, or live chat at The Help Line is always answered, providing an emotional lifeline 365 days a year to people who don’t know where else to turn. Volunteers donate their time to make sure the phone lines are answered on nights, weekends and holidays. By the end of 2018, MADD had served 869,000 victims. 24-hour Helpline Victim Impact Panels are a healing opportunity for victims and help prevent offenders from choosing to drink and drive again. In 2018, nearly 200,000 offenders attended MADD VIPs. MADD offers an online class reservation system that accepts credit card payments for VIP fees to enhance efficiency and ease of access to this program. The addition of the online reservation system allowed for the option for those needing to attend the class to make a donation at the time of registration. This option resulted in over $90,000 in donations made through VIP in 2018 at the point of registration, almost twice as much as in 2017, the first year donations could be made through the reservation system. MADD’s Court Monitoring program grew to almost 30,000 new cases entered into MADD’s National Court Monitoring Database in 2018. A key component of court monitoring is promoting public interest in the justice system and creating awareness of the outcomes of drunk driving cases. MADD court monitors look for trends and inconsistencies, and when appropriate, present these findings to prosecutors and judges. Court monitors let prosecutors and judges know - in a nonadversarial way — that MADD is watching drunk driving cases and looking for trends in how these cases are handled. Through this process, MADD seeks to maintain strong partnerships with members of the judicial system. The program grew to include 12 states in 2018. Victim Impact Panel (VIP) Court Monitoring

Preventing Underage Drinking

MADD’s Power of Parents and Power of Youth Programs provide parents and people who are under 21 with education and tips to empower conversations about not drinking underage. The research-based Power of Parents program was developed in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University’s Robert Turrisi, Ph.D. MADD provides this preventive service to a parent or teen every two minutes. In 2018, MADD provided almost 272,000 handbooks to teens and parents, which includes more than 70,000 who attended workshops held by MADD staff and volunteers. As part of Power of Parents, MADD holds a PowerTalk 21 kickoff each Spring to remind parents and teens during the busiest time of year to beware of activities that may have the increased potential for access to alcohol. In 2018, MADD launched PowerTalk21 at Stub Hub Center before a Los Angeles Galaxy soccer game with an emphasis on role models for teen athletes. MADD’s Power of Youth activation takes place in October. In 2018, activation efforts focused on #ProtectUrSquad. With this campaign, we encouraged teens to encourage their groups of friends to not drink alcohol or consume drugs. Staff and volunteers across the nation spoke at schools, community events, and other community venues, and students were encouraged to take pictures with their “squad” and post on social media with the hashtag “ProtectUrSquad.” Since MADD expanded its mission to include the fight against drugged driving in 2015, we have continued to work closely with NHTSA and law enforcement agencies to educate the public that impairment is impairment, and the best course of action is to never drive while under the influence of any mind-altering drug. MADD supports specialized training for law enforcement officers as Drug Recognition Experts whose training and testimony will hold up in court. MADD also believes high- visibility law enforcement is the best defense against both alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. In 2015, recognizing a growing concern about impairment caused by drugs other than alcohol, MADD added “fight drugged driving to our mission statement. MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church testified in July 2018 on Capitol Hill, before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, about drug-impaired driving and the extremely dangerous mix of alcohol and other drugs, or poly-use. Impairment by drugs other than alcohol cannot yet be determined with the same certainty as alcohol. However, we do know that impairment is impairment and no one should ever drive impaired by any drugs. MADD continued to support specially trained Drug Recognition Experts as well as traditional countermeasures to catch and deter drunk driving, such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. Drug-impaired driving also was an important topic during the Law Enforcement Summit in December, where MADD pledged to support law enforcement however needed to help them fight drug-impaired driving. Fighting Drugged Driving

MADD Names New National President Helen Witty

At the end of 2018, MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Churched turned over the “keys” to the position to Helen Witty, a longtime volunteer and employee. Colleen served four years as national president, and MADD appreciates her dedication, advocacy and the compassion for victims she showed during her tenure. We will always remember and honor Dustin, her 18-year-old son who was killed in a drunk driving crash on July 10, 2004. “Being the voice of our victims and traveling the country for four years has been the honor of a lifetime and I will remember every moment with MADD,” Colleen said. In December, MADD welcomed Helen to her new role and learned more about what brought her to MADD. Helen’s daughter, Helen Marie, was killed while rollerblading on a bike path on a sunny afternoon on June 1, 2000. Helen Marie was 16.

Outgoing MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church hands the "key" to MADD to incoming National President Helen Witty in December 2018.

“I came to MADD in the months after Helen Marie died a sudden, violent death

by an alcohol- and marijuana-impaired teen driver. We faced a grief so profound it hardly seemed survivable,” Helen said. “I cannot fully explain all that MADD gave to me. At the most basic level, they provided information. At the most profound, the inspiring men and women who walked ahead of me showed me that I would survive the pain. They showed me that one day, I might even smile again. They gave me the priceless gift of hope.” MADD’s National Presidents are the spokespeople for the organization. They travel across the country to honor law enforcement officers at recognition ceremonies, participate in Walk Like MADD events, advocate at the state and federal level for stronger laws and represent the nearly 1 million victims MADD has served since 1980. They share with us their darkest days and show us what survivors look like. We are forever grateful.

Former MADD National President Karolyn Nunnallee shares a moment with survivors of the Kentucky bus crash. Karolyn’s 10-year-old daughter Patty was the youngest victim killed in the crash.

Honoring Victims of the Worst Drunk Driving Crash in U.S. History

Thirty years after the worst drunk driving crash in U.S. history, MADD gathered with survivors, family members and the community of Radcliff, Kentucky to remember the 24 children and three adults killed when a drunk driver slammed into their church bus on their way home from a day at Kings Island amusement park in Cincinnati.

The children who survived the fiery Carrollton bus crash are old enough to have children of their own, or even grandchildren. Some have spoken publicly over the years about life after the crash. Others have chosen to keep their stories private. Reunited in the gymnasium at North Hardin High School, they remembered the unimaginable horror the 40 survivors have carried with them since May 14, 1988. Quinton Higgins was 15 at the time. He suffered second and third degree burns and lung damage. His physical injuries have healed, but the memories of fighting his way through thick smoke and fire to escape through the back door of the bus are still vivid. He wonders why he made it and others didn’t. Quinton has emerged as a spokesperson for the survivors of the Carrollton bus crash. He keeps the memory alive of the Carrollton bus crash. He maintains contact with the families who still live in the area and those who have moved away, hosting barbecues at his home on the anniversary of the crash.

The memorial in Radcliff, Kentucky, the hometown of the crash victims.

Now a father of three, Quinton drives a school bus in his hometown of Hardin County, Kentucky. Quinton’s conversations with students go beyond the typical exchanges between driver and passenger. He tells the story of the crash that impacted his teen years,

explaining the details of what happened to him and his friends when he was their age. He tells them why they should never drink and drive.

“Once I started dealing with it in my 30s, the magnitude of that crash, it just really hit me: Why would I not use my voice to speak about it and save lives, especially young people?” says Higgins. “The biggest lesson now is just hearing all the stories and the people who reach out to me, especially coming from youth, saying ‘Mr. Higgins, I never thought of something that way, and you’ve helped me change my mindset.’ Just knowing our story continues to touch and change people.” Quinton rehabbed an old school bus into a rolling memorial to the 27 lives lost in Carrollton. Inside the bus, pictures and names of each victim is attached to the seat they occupied the night of the crash. When Quinton is invited to speak at schools and events, which happens often, he drives the bus, parks it nearby and invites people to walk through it. The invitations Quinton receives to share the story of the Carrollton bus crash — all through word of mouth — tell him he is doing something positive for his community. In October 2018, he was recognized by WLKY, a Kentucky news station, with a “Bell Award” for his volunteerism related to his work toward preventing the tragedies caused by drunk driving.

Quinton Higgins has turned his grief from the bus crash tragedy into a mission to educate the students he interacts with as a school bus driver. He has converted an old bus into a memorial to the 27 people killed in the crash.

Quinton says his busy speaking schedule is evidence that over 30 years later, when drunk driving deaths are on the rise, people still need to hear about the worst drunk driving crash in America. And he needs to talk about it. “The work is a continuing healing process for me because I deal with it every day,” he says. “All of us do.”

A Survivor’s Story: Sarah Carmichael’s Healing Journey

Sarah Carmichael has no memory of the crash that nearly killed her on February 8, 2008 when she was 26 years old. She knows from police reports, a crash reenactment and witnesses that a drunk driver ran a red light and T-boned her car on the driver’s side. She knows that the seatbelt she wore saved her from being ejected into the street and run over by her own car. And she knows she was in a medically induced coma for two weeks before she slowly awoke to the horror of what had happened to her and the long recovery ahead. What she can remember are the many fractures that took years to heal — the C1 and C2 of her spine, the base of her skull, both sides of her collar bone, every rib except for one, her tailbone, the six or seven fractures in her pelvic bone. She remembers that she had bleeding and swelling on her brain, a bruised heart, collapsed lungs and that her liver, pancreas, bladder and one kidney were all punctured and needed to be repaired.

Sarah has undergone multiple surgeries since a drunk driver hit her car and nearly killed her in February2008.

Sarah is a survivor. And she wants to be the voice for people who cannot speak.

“Being involved with MADD really helps bring me back to the positive things and not get sucked into the rabbit hole of negativity,” she says. “I have this voice. I have this story and I have to use it. What drives me is that not everybody’s story is going to end up as good as mine, and they need a voice too.” Sarah got involved with MADD Massachusetts about a year after her crash. She started with Victim Impact Panels, sharing her story in small groups with drunk driving offenders. She chose a larger public stage a few years later, during a fashion show fundraiser for MADD at Gillette Stadium in Boston. With her family in the audience, Sarah told the crowd what had happened to her — the crash and her injuries. That she couldn’t work for three years and had to go back to school to change careers because she was no longer physically able to return to her former job. That her spleen was removed and a portion of her small intestine removed because they were both badly damaged. That she has been hospitalized six times since the crash because scar tissue forms obstructions in her small intestine. And that because of her injuries, a pregnancy would be high-risk, or maybe impossible. “There are some points over the past 11 years where I’m kind of OK with it and others where I cycle through being mad, and to being ‘poor me,’” she says. “At some point, I made a conscious shift from being a victim to being a survivor.”

For the past three years, Sarah has been working with MADD to advocate for a new law in Massachusetts that would require ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers. Without hesitation, Sarah has traveled to the state Capitol to tell legislators and the media what happened to her and why Massachusetts needs to improve

Sarah works closely with MADD and legislators to advocate for stronger drunk driving laws in Massachusetts.

its drunk driving laws. She has found her passion.

“It feels like something natural for me to do, so I am going to keep doing it,” she says.

Sarah is working full time now and has not been admitted to the hospital for a complication from the crash since 2015. She fights every day to recover from the physical, emotional and financial setbacks caused by the crash. “I’ve tried to use the kind of crappy hand I was dealt to the best of my ability,” she says. “I can’t imagine what other families go through when they lose someone. It drives me to use my voice and do what I can do.”

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