MADD launches red ribbon campaign to prevent drunk driving

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- When Leann Lewis' family gathers for Thanksgiving, she won't be able to talk to her father about the Macy's parade. She won't be able to sit at the dinner table with him. A drunk driver killed Melvin Briggs in 2008. 

Lewis lost more than her father. She lost her biggest fan, a fisherman, the man who made the best biscuits and gravy. But those losses don't define her. Now, Lewis works with Mothers Against Drunk Driving in hopes another family doesn't experience the same. 

Monday, Lewis kicked off the organization's "Tie One On For Safety" campaign in Missouri. During November and December, MADD encourages drivers to tie a red ribbon around their car's antenna to raise awareness about drunk driving. 

"My dad's life was taken, his life ended, because of a choice that someone else made to drink and drive," Lewis said.

At a news conference to launch the campaign, Lewis and law enforcement leaders said drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. 

"You can call a cab, you can plan ahead for your evening out. You can utilize an Uber or Lyft. There are just way too many choices out there the public has available to them and driving impaired is not one of those choices," said Bill Whitfield, Director of Highways for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Several agencies partner during November and December for this campaign because it is often the deadliest time of the year on the roads. Across the United States, around 25 percent of the country's fatal crashes involving drunk drivers occur between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.

In Missouri last year, 24 people died in drunk driving crashes during that time period. 

"Be part of the solution," urged Major Greg Smith of Missouri Highway Patrol. 

If you'd like a ribbon to attach to your car, you can visit MADD's office at 9140 Ward Parkway, suite 201 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Click here for more information.

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