Franklin County schools get MADD
The Alabama chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) presented Franklin County students with information to help them make good, healthy decisions Friday.
Seventh, eighth and ninth grade students at all county schools attended a 45-minute program designed to deter them from drinking alcohol while under age.
MADD Regional Assembly Presenter Marco Molina introduced the film to the students and followed up with brief information about the dangers of drinking and driving.
"There is a reason they [law enforcement and MADD] call the cause of death a crash, not an accident," Molina said. "That's because it's not an accident when you drink and drive. It's a decision."
Molina said the decision to drive drunk could have lasting affects like those in the film.
The film told the story of Nathan Coffman, a teenager killed in a crash caused by a drunk driver – his friend.
In addition to killing Coffman, the story told of one other teen that suffered near-fatal brain trauma. The story showed family members and friends of Coffman who described how they are coping with the loss of their loved one.
The driver, David Todd, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault with injuries, and was sent to prison because he decided to drive while under the influence.
Last year, the Red Bay Police Department made 35 DUI arrests. The Russellville Police Department responded to 228 drunk driver calls and 84 pedestrian under the influence calls.
From its humble beginnings 25 years ago, MADD has evolved into one of the most widely supported and well-liked non-profit organizations in America. Learn about how MADD first started, the history of our fight against drunk driving and for victims' rights, and some of our victories along the way.
When MADD celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005, the organization looked back at how it all began. Read the story of how an organization went from a handful of mothers with a mission to stop drunk driving to one of history's greatest grassroots success stories – and helped save thousands of lives along the way
Candy Lightner founded MADD in 1980 after her daughter, Cari, was killed by a repeat drunk driving offender.
Cindy Lamb – whose daughter, Laura, became the nation's youngest quadriplegic at the hands of a drunk driver – soon joined Candy in her crusade to save lives.
In the early 1980s, the group managed to attract attention from the United States Congress. The group had its greatest success with the imposition of a 1984 federal law that required states to raise the minimum legal age for purchase and possession (but not the drinking age) to 21 or lose federal highway funding.