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The Mass Media

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M.A.D.D. Seeks UMB Chapter

Should UMass Boston have a M.A.D.D. (Mother’s Against Driving Drunk) chapter? The Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center would like to install one.

“M.A.D.D. is willing too, and knows that if students are talking to students, they will get better results,” says Donna Galipeau, Coordinator of the Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center.

The group doesn’t promote abstinence explained Galipeau. “They know people drink, they promote healthy and decent decision making,” noted Galipeau, who is very enthusiastic about the benefits that a M.A.D.D. chapter could provide.

The chapter will be comprised of student volunteers who’ll take on the initiative to spread this message, with M.A.D.D. supplying support and information. There is no limit or restriction to who volunteers. Anyone dedicated to acting responsibly when having a few drinks can be involved.

“We want to show the humanity of drinking and driving. That someone is always left behind,” said Galipeau, who added, “My mother was killed by a drunk driver and there were no laws to prosecute back then. The police just drove him home with no punishment.”

Galipeau and the Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center will be collaborating with Linda Jorgensen, the coordinator for PRIDE, to bring more information and pamphlets on M.A.D.D.to the campus, in order to get the initial word out. Their plan is to get UMB students invested and then venture out into the local high schools and communities. Galipeau says that they were unable to get feedback from S.A.D.D., (Students Against Driving Drunk) because this group doesn’t reach out to universities anymore.

She also wants to bring in outside educators to develop the awareness of the effects of driving under the influence. One of her most intriguing ideas is to have young offenders of drinking and driving come in and take part in the initiative to represent “not doing it” and the dramatic effects it has had on their lives.

A presentation will be put on by M.A.D.D., with pictures of past victims of drinking and driving accidents, shown as slides in the Harbor Art Gallery sometime in May.

“We just want to tell people to be smart and make good decisions when they drink,” says Galipeau, “It’s horrible to wake up and find out you’ve killed someone.”

Many are familiar with drinking and driving in one manner or another, and the Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center, located on the 4th floor of the Wheatley Building, Room 169, has written information for people willing to simply listen.

“We have a pair of beer goggles that simulate the impairedness of being 12 times over the legal .08 limit,” Galipeau said. If you put them on and walk down the hall, swaying from side to side, you are unable to move in a straight line. Galipeau concluded, “If you’re in a car, that’s how you end up on the wrong side of the road.”