OMEGA, Ga. — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) South Georgia Chapter is planning its 29th anniversary celebration for Thursday, July 18, at The Club House in Omega, Ga.
Twenty-nine years ago, Gary Robinson became a volunteer for MADD Georgia and founded the only chapter in South Georgia. The South GA Chapter renders service to two districts of the Traffic Enforcement Network – the SRTEN (South Regional Traffic Enforcement Network) and the SWTEN (Southwest Regional Traffic Enforcement Network).
The SRTEN is comprised of Southwestern Traffic Enforcement Network (SWTEN): Baker, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Thomas and Worth counties. The SWTEN encompasses Atkinson, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes and Tift counties.
Prior to the existence of MADD So GA, there were no community volunteers supporting area law enforcement and other first responders with the message of “Don’t Drink and Drive.”
“First responders had to deliver that important message themselves in addition to their other duties which includes the difficult job of responding to the scene of an accident,” said Robinson.
“My career industry causes me to travel daily,” Robinson added. “Often I found myself the first or the second person on the scene of horrific accidents. The victimization caused by accidents that aren’t completely ‘accidental’ because a person chooses to drink and then drive, really affected me. I have also volunteered with my area volunteer fire department. In addition to fighting fires, firemen also respond to accident scenes, so I was affected in another way. Either way, something just welled up inside me and if I could make a difference in saving one person’s life from death or injury, if a victim, or criminal prosecution, if he or she was the driver, I found myself driven to do it!”
Nationally, there is one alcohol related fatality every 33 minutes. Alcohol related crashes are 9 times more likely to result in death than non-alcohol related crashes. In Georgia, 1,514 people lost their lives to Georgia traffic accidents in 2018. In Georgia, 379 of those fatalities involved DUI driving. One in every three people will experience the effects directly (the victim) or indirectly (the family member or friend of the victim or offender) of a decision to drink and drive.
“We are celebrating the fact that MADD South Georgia is reaching its 29th anniversary!” Robinson said. “We are made up of a small number of volunteers who provide a major service – to educate everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving and its effects!”
For more information about the event, contact Gary Robinson at 229-529-9693 or 215 Grass Farm Rd., Omega or email him at GaFireman42@yahoo.com/.