MADD North Texas Will Host Event as Part of National Day of Remembrance

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Victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving to be honored nationwide on December 3

unnamed (17)DALLAS – As part of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD’s) National Day of Remembrance, MADD North Texas will host a local Day of Remembrance event on December 3rd to honor those who have been killed or injured in drunk and drugged driving crashes and as a result of underage drinking consequences; as well as those who have been emotionally devastated by these violent and completely preventable crimes.

Since 1980, MADD has fought tirelessly against drunk driving, aiming to save lives and serve people. To culminate the organization’s 35th Anniversary, MADD is hosting a National Day of Remembrance on December 3rd, with events taking place in cities across the country to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by drunk and drugged driving and underage drinking. Over 10,000 people every year are killed and another 290,000 are injured as a result of drunk driving. Countless loved ones are left behind to cope with these tragedies and rebuild their lives.

In 2013, there were 1,337 drunk driving fatalities in Texas, representing 39.5% of all traffic fatalities in the state.

MADD North Texas’ Day of Remembrance event is taking place at The University of Texas at Arlington, Maverick Activities Center (MAC), 500 W. Nedderman Drive, Arlington, Texas 76013 and starts at 7:00 p.m. on December 3rd.

Victims will participate in a candlelight vigil and will be given an opportunity to decorate a plate in honor of their loved one to share the message “You always have a place at MADD”.  A visual presentation will also be shown as a form of a tribute.

Representative Jason Villalba of District 114 in North Dallas will be recognized with the National MADD Legislative Champion Award.  This recognizes his leadership in regards to H.B. 2246 which resulted in Texas becoming the 25th state with an all offender ignition interlock law.

“Drunk and drugged driving is an epidemic in this country, and one that continues to impact lives every day in every city across the nation,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, whose 18-year-old son Dustin was killed in a drunk and drugged driving crash. “By hosting a National Day of Remembrance, we’re letting victims and survivors know that they are not alone. That their pain and suffering is not forgotten. And that they will always have a place at MADD.”

MADD is committed to supporting drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors through its 24-hour Victim Help Line (1-877-MADD-HELP), online at MADD.org, and in-person at MADD locations across the country. MADD provides support services to victims at no charge, including emotional support, court accompaniment, criminal justice advocacy, educational materials, community referrals, and prevention efforts such as child endangerment and concerned citizen calls.

“December is the deadliest month of the year for drunk driving crashes. And while the holiday season is generally a time of joy and celebration for many, for victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving, it’s one of the hardest times of the year,” said MADD North Texas Executive Director Jason Derscheid . “This is a chance for our community to come together and offer support and comfort to those who need it, during the holidays and beyond.”

For more information about MADD Victim Services, or to find out how you can help MADD in your community, please visit MADD.org or www.madd.org/local-offices/tx/north-texas/.