With the holiday season wrapping up and New Year’s celebrations approaching quickly, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are urging drivers to make a commitment to always driving sober. Many people have lost loved ones or suffered devastating injuries at the hands of an impaired driver, with over 100 people being killed annually, and many more being injured.

MADD, a non-profit organization looking to raise awareness about and prevent impaired driving, is currently in the midst of its annual Project Red Ribbon campaign. The campaign looks to promote safe and sober driving during the holiday season, and year round. MADD Canada executives are sharing their personal stories of loss to raise awareness.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging drivers to arrange a ride and arrive alive this holiday season. Photo/MADD

“Far too many people are missing loved ones and far too many are dealing with injuries, all because of senseless and preventable impaired driving crashes,” said MADD Canada National President Jaymie-Lyne Hancock 

“For my family, Christmas will never be the same because my brother D.J. won’t be with us.”

D.J. Hancock, an 18 year old high school senior, died in a head-on collision with an impaired driver in 2014. Hancock said the pain of the loss of a loved one is immeasurable, and that she is hopeful D.J’s story will inspire others to make a commitment to driving sober. 

Drivers are reminded to do their part in preventing further tragedies by never driving impaired, never getting in a vehicle with an impaired driver, and calling 9-1-1 to report any suspected impaired drivers. Hancock urges drivers to take these steps and avoid further fatal accidents, like the one involving her brother.

“Please don’t take the risk with your life or anyone else’s life,” Hancock added. 

“If you are consuming alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs, put the keys away and arrange a sober ride home. Call an Uber or a cab, take public transit, or arrange a designated driver.”

Those who chose to drive while impaired face a myriad of possible consequences, including possible criminal charges, license suspensions, vehicle impoundment, fines, interlock ignition installations, and even mandatory rehabilitation. To avoid these consequences, and arrive alive, don’t drink and drive.