MADD kicks off Red Ribbon campaign

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's just this simple looking red ribbon, that's easy to tie on your car, but it's message goes quite a long way.

With hundreds of people dying right here in Virginia because of drunk drivers, taking this pledge could mean a much safer holiday season for you and your family.

This is the fifth holiday season that Nicole Leasure with be spending, without her sister Caitlin. "She was a passenger going up 95 North when she was struck and killed by a repeat drunk driver."

Since then, Nicole has been taking her message, of her family's heartbreak, to you. "If somewhere along the way, Caitlin's story saves someone's life, then I'll feel like my goal has been successful," says Nicole. "I don't want people to go through what I've gone through."

Nicole helped Mothers Against Drunk Driving kick off their annual campaign, "Tie One On for Safety." It's a pledge to drive safe, sober and buckled up not only during the holiday season, but all year long.

Nicole is confident this ribbon, makes a difference. "Whenever you can get that message out there then you're making a difference, an impact. It's getting to someone."

Last year, more than 300 people died in Virginia alone because of drunk drivers. That's almost one person a day.

While MADD leaders say this years numbers right now may be trending down, we still have one of the deadliest times of year ahead of us.

"It's a pledge to themselves but a big visible reminder there are folks out there that don't want drunk drivers out on the road," says Chris Konschak with MADD.

Already this morning, one person is making that pledge. Nicole hopes it's just one of many to come.

"My sister is the first thought I have every morning and the last thought I have at night. And for my family, it'll never be the same," says Nicole.

You can pick up one of the red ribbons at any State Farm Insurance office or through the MADD office here in Richmond near Willow Lawn.

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