MADD's Red Ribbon Campaign aims to bring drivers home safely for the holidays

Dec 26, 2014

Elizabeth Obad, Erie County Chapter President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), hands out a red ribbon at a toll booth to remind a driver to stay sober on the roads.
Credit WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The holidays are a time to be enjoyed with friends and family, which is why Mothers Against Drunk Driving kicked off its 28th annual Red Ribbon Campaign, today.

Across the state, toll collectors on the Thruway will hand out over 100-thousand red ribbons as a reminder to drive sober. For MADD’s Erie County Chapter President, Elizabeth Obad, the campaign is personal. Her son, George, was a 26-year old Sergeant in the Marine Corps, when he was killed by an impaired driver.

“You know he used to call all the time and tell me, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas, mom; I’ll be home this year,’ but George is never coming back, and a lot of tables are empty, especially at the holidays when it’s so difficult. And that’s our message: we don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Obad said.

Obad says law enforcement will join the campaign by stepping up sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and overall presence at every level across the state. She says people need to be reminded that a DWI conviction is a hard burden, and that everyone should have a plan for a designated driver or cab if they’re going to go out drinking.