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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mothers Against Drunk Driving President Shares Her Personal Story

Imagines Senseless Deaths as Thing of the Past

November 1991: A highly impaired drunk driver going the wrong way on a North Texas highway met a car head-on. A young couple, Laura and Mike Dean, were on the wrong end of that life-altering collision. The 32-year-old Mr. Dean was killed instantly - making Laura not only a grieving young widow, but a single mother.

Mr. and Mrs. Dean, both native Texans, were living in Colorado at the time. Mike was back home in Texas to see his family on the way home from a business trip to Oklahoma while Laura was home with their 8-month-old daughter. Practically newlyweds, the Deans were married just two and a half years, and dreamed of the experiences of life that would flow now that they were a family of three.

The nearly-unconscious drunk driver, going the wrong way on the Lone State highway, altered the Dean's dreams forever when he met the their car head-on. That offender, who died at the crash scene, had an incredulous BAC of .34, more than 8 times the legal limit of .08.

Mr. Dean would never experience his daughter's first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first birthday. That first Thanksgiving came just one week after Mike's obviously preventable death. Yet in the sometimes-cruel symphony of fate, the idea of celebration or gratefulness was impossible for Laura.

Slowly, after a long, painful journey that unfortunately too many can relate, Laura awoke from her immobilizing grief. Over the next 15 years, through Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Laura became an advocate for stronger drunk driving laws. It's obvious to someone like Mrs. Dean that the implementation of ignition interlock technology for convicted DUI offenders would prevent another family from experiencing the reality-shattering pain caused by a drunk driver.

Today, as national president of MADD, it is Laura Dean-Mooney's indefatigable mission to work with lawmakers and sympathizers to bring the preventable tragedy of drunk driving to its deserved demise through the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

This December, you can make a difference in the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving by participating in MADD's Tie One On for Safety campaign, by tying a red MADD ribbon on your vehicle or affixing a red decal, and pledging to drive sober during the holiday season. While you're there, don’t forget to sign the Pledge to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

Did you know that courses are available to educate drivers on the rules of the road and the latest defensive driving techniques? Try one now!

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