Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, works to prevent drugged and drunk driving, as well as provide support for families who have lost someone in a drunk driving incident. Saturday, the Wheeling chapter held an event to honor those we’ve lost in the Ohio Valley.
Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash. That’s according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an organization whose Wheeling chapter is working hard to spread awareness throughout the Ohio Valley.
More than a hundred people came out to Heritage Port Saturday morning to help raise awareness by walking, running, or riding their bikes. Walk like MADD, previously called Bike like MADD, is in its fourth year in Wheeling and raises thousands of dollars for MADD chapters throughout the state.
“Since we got this started in 2011, you hear different people say, ‘Oh, I don’t get behind the wheeling anymore. I always have a designated driver,'” said Wheeling Chapter President Jody Miller. “So I do believe the awareness is getting out there, and people are being smarter.”
A victim tribute wall sits at the center of the event messages for loved ones affected by drunk driving. The Ohio County Sheriff’s Department was also presented with boxes of teddy bears, a small bit of comfort that can be given to children involved in DUI situations.
“A lot of times unfortunately when there’s a DUI arrest there are children in the vehicle,” said Ohio County Sheriff Tom Howard. “So to try and calm the child down, we will be able to give these to them, something to take their attention away.”
Overall, the goal of the event is to make sure people know, getting behind the wheel after drinking could result in arrest, injury, or worse.
“It’s dangerous. It’s very dangerous,” said Howard. “Your decision, your reaction time is affected, and a split second can cause a major accident and somebody getting hurt very badly.”
You can find more information on Mothers Against Drunk Driving and how to get involved by visiting MADD.org. According to the fundraising website, Saturday’s event raised more than $4,000 and all the money will stay in West Virginia.