During Labor Day weekend, Mothers Against Drunk Driving asks the public to display MADD red ribbons on all vehicles to support its premier public awareness campaign – Tie One On For Safety – calling for stepped-up law enforcement in support of its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

Millions of red ribbons are expected to be distributed nationally, as part of a tradition throughout the United States for more than 20 years. This November also marks the third anniversary of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which makes increased high-visibility law enforcement a priority.

“My heart goes out to all those whose loved ones have been killed or injured by this senseless and utterly preventable crime,” said Mary Kardell, MADD North Texas Executive Director. “We must do all we can to stop others from experiencing such needless pain. We can eliminate drink driving in Texas through efforts like the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit, Under Arrest. Labor Day crackdown.”

MADD is partnering with NHTSA on the national crackdown, along with the Governors Highway Safety Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Thousands of drivers make the deadly decision to drive drunk. In 2007 nearly 13,000 people were killed nationally in crashes where a driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more.

The days surrounding Labor Day weekend are some of the most dangerous times on the nation’s roadways. In 2008, 196 people were killed in drunken driving crashes during the Labor Day weekend, More than 230 people died in drunken driving crashes nationally during this holiday weekend in 2007. Stepped-up law enforcement is a critical deterrent for party-goers and helps stop drunken drivers before they kill or injure others.

“We’re sending a clear reminder to drivers that if they drive drunk, they will be arrested,”

Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said at a recent press conference. “We are using all the tools and resources available to stop similar tragedies before they occur. These tools will include: No-Refusal Blood Draw enforcement procedures and other high-visibility enforcement activities which are proven to save lives.”

Research shows that highly publicized, highly visible and frequent sobriety checkpoints reduce alcohol-related crashes and fatalities by an average of 24 percent.

Three other components of MADD’s campaign in addition to high-visibility law enforcement, are mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunken driver, development of advanced vehicle technology to detect and stop drunken drivers and mobilization of grassroots support.

Founded in 1980, MADD is a nonprofit organization with about 600 affiliates and 2 million members and supporters nationwide. MADD’s mission is to stop drunken driving, support the victims of the violent crime and prevent underage drinking.

For more information, visit www.madd.org or call 214-637-0372.