Mothers Against Drunk Driving representatives, Town of Huntington officials and Suffolk County Police Department members gathered at Greenlawn Park on Wednesday, July 28, to bring awareness and prevent the string of fatal collisions in the summer season known as the “100 Deadliest Days.”
The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the most dangerous time for Long Islanders as driving while intoxicated and distracted driving uptick dramatically. Over 7,000 people nationwide died in teen-related collisions from 2010-19 during this time period.
“It’s very simple,” said town Councilman Eugene Cook (R). “Do not drink and do not drive. Call somebody or make arrangements ahead of time. Understand that if you drink and drive, you are not only putting your own life but other lives at risk.”
Two of the members from MADD who joined the conference were Alisa and John McMorris, whose son Andrew was tragically struck by a drunk driver in 2018 while hiking alongside a road in Manorville with his Boy Scout group. Other Scouts were injured by the driver as well.
“Each headline we read, every story we hear, every parent’s eyes that we look into, knowing that there’s no amount of comfort that I can give them because this horrific nature stays with a parent forever,” Alisa McMorris said. “We saw it on the news and thought this happens to other families, but it’s going to happen to you.”
While holding a school portrait of Andrew, the McMorris family pleaded for Long Islanders to be upstanders if they see someone who is about to drink and drive.
One of the goals MADD is trying to put into action is starting federal legislation to stop tragedies such as Andrew’s from happening again.
“This is why our family and the Andrew McMorris Foundation along with MADD are fighting so hard to get drunk driving prevention technology on all new vehicles as soon as possible. Technology exists today that could stop this, and we need the [U.S.] Senate to pass Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone [Act],” Alisa McMorris said.
For more information on MADD visit www.madd.org/new-york.