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Why MADD Is Talking Less About The ‘Driving’ Part Of ‘Underage Drinking And Driving’

Proms and graduations are coming up, increasing the probability of underage drinking. In an effort to make teens aware of the dangers of alcohol, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is calling on parents to take up the conversation with their kids.



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Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, launched “PowerTalk 21” day in 2011. The goal is to get parents to discuss alcohol with teens every April 21, ahead of proms and graduation parties.

Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam supports the group’s effort.

“This time of the year begins the deadliest three-month period when it comes to underage drinking and fatalities on our roadways.”

He says a new law enforcement task force combats not only drunk-driving and serving of alcohol to minors but also drug abuse in Montgomery County.

Will Womble, a Houston attorney and chair of MADD’s advisory board, says keeping teens from drinking and driving is no longer enough. MADD estimates that two-thirds of deaths related to underage drinking were non-traffic incidents, including homicides, suicides and alcohol poisoning.

He says education is key, regardless of what the legal drinking age is.

“Whether the person is 21 being talked to, or 20. I’m not sure much of a difference is going to be made in the age when it comes to being educated. All you can do is talk to the kids, talk to your kids, and tell them what the facts are so that they know it. And hopefully at the time when an opportunity presents itself, the wise decision is made.”

On its website, MADD Texas is offering webinars this week and a handbook to help parents have those conversations with their kids.