FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was joined by community leaders to kick off a safe 2021 holiday season and celebrate 35 Years of the Designated Driver.
The campaign is called Tie One On for Safety (TOOFS), and it’s asking adults to display a red ribbon on their vehicles as a reminder to plan ahead for a designated non-drinking driver before holiday celebrations begin.
“By making this decision, we will work towards zero victims impacted by drunk or drugged driving,” said Roderick Howard, MADD’S Mid-Atlantic regional executive director.
In 2020 more than 14,000 impaired drivers were taken off the road by law enforcement officers. 120 people were killed on Maryland roads due to someone driving impaired.
“One of the worst feelings a law enforcement professional can encounter is arriving to a scene where an innocent bystander was injured, or worse killed because another person was driving impaired,” said FPD Chief Jason Lando.
This campaign kicks off during the holiday season because it’s one of the most dangerous times on our nation’s roadways due to the increased number of festivities where alcohol is served. Brianna Kane says the holidays were permanently changed for her family 4 years ago when her sister Taylor was killed by a drunk driver.
“My sister was young, and she had a bright future ahead of her, she had goals, and dreams for herself just like every one of you do, and there’s simply just no excuse,” said Kane.
In Frederick County, they are seeing an uphill trend in the number of traffic deaths that involve alcohol or drugs. In most criminal cases when a defendant is found guilty of driving impaired, the State’s Attorney Office requests that as part of their sentence, they attend a victim impact panel to hear from families like the Kane’s.
“The good part is that those involved with this victim impact panel firsthand see the emotional distress that these families go through and let the speakers convey to them by sharing their stories,” said Charlie Smith, Frederick County State’s Attorney.
For more information about MADD, click here.