Officials Team Up With MADD To Crack Down On Drinking And Driving - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/08/06-Tyler

Officials Team Up With MADD To Crack Down On Drinking And Driving

Think before you drink.  That's the message sent Friday from East Texas law enforcement officers who joined with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Their holiday campaign against drinking and driving kicked off.  Two relatives of victims killed by drunk drivers were on hand to talk about how losing their loved ones changed their lives forever. 

"As a state trooper this was the fabric of a nightmare come to life," said Carl Macdonald, whose five-year-old daughter was killed by drunk driver.  Macdonald served as a State Highway Patrol officer in Wyoming for more than 20 years.

Eight years ago, his life was turned upside down when his daughter was killed in a drunk driving crash on New Years day. "It was a difficult decision for me to remain even in law enforcement. It was hard to go to work after that," said Macdonald.

Macdonald recently quit his job as a patrol officer to spread the message against the dangers of drinking and driving. He now serves as the national law enforcement coordinator for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  "We are launching our campaign to end drunk driving," said Macdonald.   "This is a preventable crime. We think we can stop it and put an end to this in 10 to 20 years."

Officials with the Tyler Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety said they'll be out in full force on certain days this month to catch drunk drivers. "The roadways will be overwhelmed with officers whether it be from DPS, whether it be from Tyler P.D., whether it be from the Smith County Sheriff's office, just statewide," said Department of Public Safety officer Brant Doddy.

Chris Johnson, a member of MADD's national board, lost his parents in a drunk driving crash.   He says before drinking, plan how you'll get home. "Don't mix the alcohol with the car keys and the vehicle. There's a time for celebration and a time to enjoy the holidays," said Johnson.

"There are a lot of holiday parties mismanaged by people, allowing people to drive away from there after consuming too much alcohol," said Macdonald.  He says consider what can happen to your family and to others before you get behind the wheel drunk. MADD is holding a Celebration of Life, Remembrance and Hope Saturday. It'll take place at the TASCA Ornealas Activity Center on Old Omen Rd. in Tyler. It starts at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 11:00 a.m.      

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

  

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