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Walk Like MADD to Eliminate Drunk Driving

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) of Long Island will host Walk Like MADD 5K, a non-competitive fundraising walk in Farmingdale on Sunday, May 31. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with the ceremony beginning at 10 a.m., at Farmingdale State College and will raise funds and rally support for MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. The event will also be attended by Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey and Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. as well as walk teams honoring fallen Police Officer Glen Ciano, Melissa Scherr, Jason Shein and Karen Naclerio-Negrin, all of whom were killed by a drunk driver with the past 6 months.

“We aim to eliminate drunk driving and we need support from the community on walk day to do just that,” said Kristyn Hovanec, development officer.

Funds raised help further MADD’s life-saving mission and the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which calls for alcohol ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders; highly visible, highly-publicized law enforcement; community support; and the development of advanced vehicle-based technologies. The timing for Walk Like MADD is significant because MADD is intensifying efforts to eliminate drunk driving in New York State through Senate Bill 27B and Assembly Bill A 7196.  Headed by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. in the NYS Senate and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg in the NYS Assembly, MADD is advocating for this tougher legislation to require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.

“Drunk driving impacts every community around the nation, and unfortunately it can touch your life without any warning,” said Deena Shein. The tragic November crash that took the life of her 21-year-old brother, Jason Shein, was caused by an alleged drunk driver who was previously convicted for drunk driving. “Through these walks, MADD is bringing together families, friends and neighbors to raise funds and awareness to make our roadways safer.”   

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2007, New York had 384 people killed in traffic crashes involving a driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Nationally, NHTSA reported that 12,998 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver at or above .08 BAC in 2007. Each year, nearly half a million others are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

This year, Walk Like MADD events take place in over 30 cities across the country.

MADD Long Island is located in Huntington Station. Since 1982, the organization continues its mission to eliminate drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. For additional information about MADD Long Island or to receive free victim services, visit www.LongIslandMADD.org or call (631) 547-6233.