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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Holds Seminar at Dublin High School

March 24, 2012 recently covered the powerful and thought-provoking program Every Fifteen Minutes which puts the dangers of impaired and distracted driving in the spotlight. There were two primary goals of the Every 15 Minutes program. The first goal was for the student bodies of both Dublin High School and Valley High School to have a visceral experience and witness the dangers of driving while impaired or texting. While the crash scene and activity by medical / safety personnel on March 8 was memorable, the mock funeral held on March 9 really cemented the reality that it is simply not just the crash victims that are affected.

The second goal was to help promote discussions within families on this highly important topic. For many, this is not an easy subject to introduce and some parents already assume that their children know that they should not drink alcohol until they are of legal age. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), “by 8th grade, 53% of American children have tried alcohol; by 10th grade, 70% report they have tried alcoholic beverages, and by 12th grade the figure is 81%.” (source available here).

As a mechanism to help families initiate the discussion, Dublin High School hosted a seminar by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The program was presented on March 22 in the Dublin High School Library. For years the San Francisco Bay Area regional office for MADD was located in downtown Oakland. Within the last year, that office has relocated to Dublin (7027 Dublin Blvd., Suite 110, 925-452-8752). On hand for the presentation from the local office was Jody Eaton Iorns, MADD Development Officer. Jody is very passionate about spreading the word of what MADD represents and does this work all throughout the entire Bay Area.

The evening began with the screening of the Every Fifteen Minutes compilation video that was filmed at Dublin High School (see below). The 25 minute video was professionally produced and captures the powerful event held at Dublin High School. Wes Morgan, the guest speaker for the MADD event, is a retired Livermore policeman and a current MADD volunteer. He invested 33 years into his law enforcement career with Livermore P.D. and for 22 of those years served as a Collision Investigator. Mr. Morgan expressed that this turned out to be a very good professional fit as he has a natural curiosity about “sleuthing” how events occur.

He shared an experience that occurred during the 1980’s near North Livermore Avenue. A late evening call from a payphone near Jack in the Box reported that there had been motorcycle accident with two victims on Livermore Avenue. Upon arriving at the scene, there was no caller or motorcycle. Frequently, irresponsible people make crank calls into 911. Rather than give up, Wes drove to a more rural area on North Livermore Avenue. His patrol car’s headlights cast upon a fallen motorcycle and the presumed driver. The driver appeared to have suffered some broken bones, but he was alive. But the phone call stated that there were two injured people. Located much farther away from the accident scene was a bloody and lifeless 15-year-old female. Much like the scene enacted in Every 15 Minutes, the investigation and the treatment of victims is a process. Following the investigation, Officer Morgan had to make the solemn drive to the young girl’s home to provide a death notification. An adult male answered the door. Wes requested that the family be gathered together. The man stated that there was no else there and that he was a single father. He then uttered the words “Please tell me that it’s not my baby.”

Those words have stuck with Morgan for decades. It is another reason why he is a current MADD volunteer. Additionally, he is a coordinator for the Every Fifteen Minutes program and has been involved in over 30 such presentations. At the conclusion, he handed out a substantive, but easy to read brochure called the Parent Handbook for Talking With Teens About Alcohol [Parent Handbook for Talking With Teens About Alcohol]. The guide offers assistance on the subjects of peer pressure, starting the conversation with your child and correcting some assumptions about what we think kids know about the dangers of drinking. This informative brochure is free and is available at the Dublin MADD office location, and online.

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