Author: Megan and Amanda Boccardi
Behind the scenes of Bio-One, we get involved with many organizations to help better our communities. One of the organizations we, Bio-One STC, highly support is MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). MADD's mission is to end drunk driving, end drugged driving, prevent underage drinking, and support the victims of these horrible crimes. Their mission is direct and to the point- get intoxicated drivers off of our roadways and address the problem in the beginning for most drinkers and drug users- when they are underage. Fighting to keep sobriety checkpoints active, MADD needs help from businesses, communities, and concerned citizens to keep their fight loud and alive towards our law makers.
Recently the state of Missouri completely removed funding to support sobriety check points, and if a police department wants to still conduct a checkpoint, they have to come up with the overtime money and resources all on their own. As we all know, funding and budgets with police departments and sheriff's departments can be scarce and limited. Being limited on funds, our police departments and sheriff's departments need that state funding to help keep their communities safe. Over the years with MADD's help and officers/deputies being aggressive with DWI arrests, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have actually decreased in numbers.
Statistics prove sobriety check points save lives. Last year during St. Patrick's Day celebrations, checkpoints resulted in 1300 stops and 41 DWI's. This year with no checkpoints, there were only 58 stops by police and only 17 DWI's. These statistics are only based on Kansas City, Missouri. What about all of the other major populated areas in Missouri? What about St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia (college town)? In 2016 in Missouri, 244 people were killed in alcohol- impaired driving fatalities. I'm curious yet scared as to how high that number will get once our state has had a full year of no funding for sobriety checkpoints.
Sometimes to fully appreciate a cause and a mission, you have to be directly affected either by losing a friend or family member. MADD is a national organization, and each office has family members of victims of drunk or drugged driving. Driving intoxicated is senseless and just not worth the pain that can be inflicted. Support your local MADD office by reaching out to them to volunteer at one of their many events or make even a small yet helpful donation. In St. Louis this week, MADD is putting on a Trivia Night on March 24th located at 2500 Ashby Road, Overland at 6:30. They are looking for volunteers and donations to raise awareness on their mission. Bio-One STC is one of the sponsors of this event as we try to be for every MADD event. Their main event every year we also sponsor- MADD's "Heroes for Heroes" Banquet Awards Night which awards officers and deputies from around the St. Louis area for working hard getting many impaired drivers off of our roadways. This years banquet in October is already being planned and Bio-One will be a sponsor again.
If you can find the time and resources, give back to your community and state by supporting MADD.