The Mercer County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving held the 35th annual Tie One On For Safety event to encourage the community to stay sober behind the wheel.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD is a community-run organization dedicated to promoting education and prevention. Founded in 1980 by Candace Lightner, who lost her daughter Cari to a drunk driver. MADD gained membership and media attention over the years and has become a national organization for driver's safety.
MADD provides resources and education materials that outline the dangers of drunk driving and the risks associated with sharing the road. The Mercer County chapter has held their Tie One on For Safety event for 35 years to encourage the community to drive safely.
Tie One on For Safety
The purpose of this event is to promote sober driving. Participants are encouraged to display a red ribbon in a visible location to remind fellow community members to have a designated driver or avoid getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
The phrase "tie one on" is an old euphemism for drinking, and by combining it with safety, it reminds everyone that drinking and driving are never a good combination. Organizers use this event as a tool to educate and incentivize people to think of others during the holiday season.
Red ribbons were handed out at the event and available at local gas stations, liquor stores, and other businesses that support the cause.
West Virginia has historically been a very strict state for DUIs and drugged driving. MADD often collaborates with law enforcement to educate the public on the dangers of drunk driving and provide research and statistics used in informational materials.
Christmas Day Death Toll
MADD emphasis safety during the holiday season because of the high death toll during Christmas and New Year's. According to the National Safety Council, at least 340 people die on Christmas Day every year.
Travel is a part of the holiday season, and with roads busier than ever, the risks increase tenfold. Not only are there out-of-state drivers who may be unfamiliar with local traffic patterns and rules, but the holidays are a time for celebration – and alcohol.
After such a challenging year, it's understandable why people may be more excited than ever to relax and celebrate unity with their families. However, drinking and driving is not only risky but illegal. Prosecution of DUI offenses is harsh in WV, and law enforcement will set up checkpoints in high-traffic areas and big cities.
It's not illegal to avoid a checkpoint, but being obviously intoxicated can get you into trouble with the police. Driving on a public road is considered implied consent, which means you essentially agree to any searches during your journey.
That's why it's important to be prepared during the holidays.
Holiday Safety Tips
To avoid trouble this season, here are some safety tips:
- Plan ahead of time: don't wait until the last minute to choose a designated driver
- Keep track of road conditions: snowy West Virginia mountain roads are challenging even for the most experienced driver. Stay updated on road conditions to avoid collisions or getting stranded.
- Attend friendly parties: If you intend to drink at a Holiday party, make sure it's at the home of someone who will let you stay the night to avoid driving home drunk
- Take your time: Don't rush if you're running late for a party. Speeding is risky and illegal, so it's best to avoid breaking record speeds on the way to grandma's annual Christmas Eve dinner.
Peace of Mind During the Holiday Season
If you are stopped at a checkpoint or are accused of drunk driving, it can ruin your holiday and your future without proper legal counsel. Harley Wagner has served the community for over two decades and has a successful track record in and out of the courtroom.
Don't let a DUI get you down during the holidays. Contact The Wagner Law Firm today!