Being a Reliable Designated Driver

Many dread being the designated driver. Sometimes, people avoid the designation, as they don’t want to have to look after friends when they get too drunk, tired, or both.

But being a designated driver is something you should be proud of, though. It means your friends trust you enough to keep them from suffering the consequences of drunk driving. The assignment, however, is not easy. There may be an occasion where you will have to wrestle your friends just get to them inside the car.

We’ve listed some of the things you need to keep in mind to become a reliable DD.

It’s a Commitment

Being the designated driver does not mean being the least drunk of the group. From the get-go, convince yourself that you have a commitment. It’ll make refusing a drink, which may lead to another, a lot easier. Get the keys from your friend and set some rules before the party begins. Always keep an eye on your friends’ alcohol consumption so you’ll know when to stop them if they are in danger.

Your Car, Your Rules

If the group is using your car, set some rules and reinforce them strictly. Set a time when everyone needs to go home. Set a condition on stopovers. Tell them that you’ll implement a no-stopover policy in case they are extremely drunk. This is to ensure that they’ll not cause a scene and their safety will not be compromised. See to it that everyone puts their seatbelts on before hitting the road.

Preparing for the Disarray

Dealing with drunk friends may require some intervention. As much as possible, do not get involved in arguments; they’re drunk and they do not understand half the things they’re saying. Always keep your emergency kit ready. This should include water, plastic bags, towels and bandages.

The most important thing you need to remember about being a designated driver is to be patient and tolerant. Do not forget to have fun. Just because you’re the designated driver doesn’t mean you won’t socialize and enjoy the night out on the town.

Read our blog posts and visit our other pages to learn more about our advocacy.

Why Donating Cars is the Ultimate Form of Charity Today

Charity literally means benevolent goodwill or love of humanity. That’s why charitable organizations focus on doing work that benefits society You can be charitable as well by donating your car to MADD.

Saving Lives, One Car at a Time

Human error is to blame in many accidents, but it’s undeniable that faulty cars is a more tragic and real reason why people die from road accidents. If you have one lying around your house, don’t wait until an emergency forces you or a loved one use it. If you do, you’re endangering them and other people on the road who don’t have to pay for such disregard.

Donated cars go to good use at MADD. Not only do they help fund our good work and help make our programs a reality, they can also work wonders on your annual tax return. It can be a tax deduction, earning you extra cash that you can use for whatever purpose.

Putting Someone in a Void of Depression

Sudden deaths are one of the most tragic events in anyone’s life. It creates a void so abruptly and crudely formed that it takes years of pain and even therapy just to get over it. Don’t be the person who put people in this bottomless pit. Determine the state of your car and ensure its good condition. If not, you can always donate it.

Road accidents take more than 30,000 lives each year and put millions in hospital beds in critical condition. MADD urges anyone with an old or faulty car to donate it as soon as possible. Doing so could save a life.

Contact us and let us help you donate your car with ease.

 

Sobering Realities of Teenage Drunk Driving

Teenage drunk driving is a deadly combination on the road. Most teenagers lack the professional experience behind the wheel, making them already prone to crashes. Adding alcohol in the mix only worsens the situation, leading to sobering statistics related to underage drinking.

Teenagers driving under the influence are unfortunate realities. There’s no use denying the fact that a number of underage drivers find themselves intoxicated while maneuvering the wheel. In a 2011 national survey, 24% of teens admit to riding with peers under the influence.

Across the country, people aged 15 can already obtain their licenses. While the law prohibits minors from purchasing alcohol until age 21, these youthful drivers contribute to shocking DUI statistics in the US.

Statistics concerning underage DUI

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of high school students who drink and drive decreased drastically since 1991. However, nearly a million of teens drove under the influence in 2011. The CDC also adds that young drivers (ages 16-20) are more susceptible to fatal crashes when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08%.

Teen drivers are more likely to experience fatal car crashes compared to experienced drivers due to their lack of experience. As rookies behind the wheel, teens are more prone to accidents, especially when they drive drunk.

Legal penalties of underage DUI cases

Convicted underage drivers will have their driver’s licenses suspended for a year or more. Underage drinking drivers also face fines that range from a hundred to a thousand dollars. Young drivers may also have to attend driver’s education classes while completing their community service.

Jail time depends on the state law and specific case facts. For a first offense, underage driver may face 24 hours to a year of jail time plus a probationary period of three to five years.

Detrimental effects in education and career outlook

DUI convictions take their toll on any teen’s educational and career outlook. The resulting conviction should be disclosed when applying for college, jobs, and other requests for financial aid. Failure to report will lead to loss of rights and perjury.
Responsibility plays a vital role in saving a life. Drinking underage is both deadly and illegal. There are a whole host of consequences that don’t even include car crashes. CarsforMadd supports efforts to maintain the 21 Minimum Drinking Age and save young lives as a result. To learn more about our cause, browse through our site and extend a hand.

Essential Documents When Donating a Car

Taking Your Hands off the Wheel: Important Elements in Car Donation Processes

People always look for ways to get around paying their taxes and reduce expenses. One way to achieve this is through charitable contributions, which allow you to make a legal claim for a deduction on your taxes. More than saving money, knowing that you’ve helped others gives you a good feeling.

Donating items isn’t as easy as handing it out, though, particularly items as valuable as cars. Participating in charity works is safe, although you need to make sure that you’re doing things right. First and foremost, determine if the organization is a 501(c)(3) charity.

These charities don’t distribute the cars they receive as is. They would most likely sell or auction the car and use the proceeds to fund their programs. Likewise, they can make the cars assets of the organization. They’ll use them for the transportation needs of the people and the charity when doing their programs.

Acknowledgement Letter

If you claim that your car’s value is over $500, charities should provide you with a contemporaneous written response. It should state your name and the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN, donation date, and statement that the charity didn’t provide goods or services in exchange for it, except for any intangible religious benefits that may derive from the donation.

Sale of Car

After the charity sold or auctioned your car for more than $500, they must provide you with a written acknowledgment within 30 days of the sale. The letter should state that your car was sold in an arm’s length transaction between unrelated parties, date of sale, gross sale proceeds, and your deduction can’t exceed the gross proceeds from the sale.

IRS Form 8283

As per the law, you should file IRS Form 8283 if the deduction for the year exceeds $500 for all non-cash gifts, particularly your car. You are to complete Section B of Form 8283, though, as the tax deduction is over $500. The charity, on the other hand, should complete a portion of the form and sign it.

Taking an old car to wrecking companies for disposal is not always the solution. There is a way to donate your vehicle to charity with as little trouble as possible. Here at Cars for MADD, we accept all types of vehicles in nearly all conditions as donation. Whether it’s a car, van, truck, RV, motorcycle, boat, or farm equipment, we are the organization you can turn to. Contact us today and let us be at your service.

Specific Instructions for Tax Deductions

Every good turn deserves another, but why wait for karma to influence the universe in your favor when you can do it yourself? You can give yourself a significant tax deduction when you donate your car. Most people already know that though; the real question is how. Fortunately, there’s a simple way of understanding the process; just keep reading.

Determining Value

The first thing you need to do is to find out how much the car sold for after you donated it to charity, that number will be the exact amount you’ll be able to deduct from your taxes. This is very good news for people who donate to us, since we sell our cars through an auction. There’s a potential that the value of the vehicle might get higher than you initially anticipated.

We grant drivers an automatic five hundred dollar fair market value deduction and inform the original owners when their vehicles exceed that amount. If you decide to use the fair market value as the deductible, the IRS suggests using a reputable price guide to determine the exact value based on make, model, year, and general condition.

Important Items

Don’t forget to report this deduction on line 7 of Schedule A. This is because the only way anyone can successfully claim a deduction through donation is if the total of their eligible expenses exceeds the standard amount of their filing status. This highlights the importance of itemizing everything on the tax form, to make it easier to calculate.

If the expected deduction is beyond five hundred dollars, you should complete Form 8283. If the deduction is somewhere between five hundred and one and five thousand dollars, complete Section A. If the deduction is greater than five thousand, complete Section B, and get a written appraisal as part of the documentation.

Don’t forget to make sure that the documentation you receive from us includes your name, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the date of the donation, and a statement describing the goods. If you need any more help regarding how to donate your car, or how to deduct it from your taxes, contact us today.

 

MADD Partners with American Grandparent’s Association

This article announcing the partnership between MADD and the AGA was originally posted at madd.org. Don’t forget you can donate a vehicle to support the cause.

———

After a drunk or drugged driving crash, grandparents are often left behind to pick up the pieces. And sometimes they even find themselves raising their grandchildren when a parent is killed, like Nina and Gary Walker, whose daughter Ginger was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 22 leaving behind her three-year-old son Shaye. The Walkers found themselves grieving the death of their daughter and helping their grandson cope at the same time.

The American Grandparents Association, the benefits organization of Grandparents.com, is joining forces with MADD to help eradicate these senseless deaths for their next generation of loved ones. Five dollars of the $15 annual American Grandparents Association membership dues paid by new and renewing MADD donors and supporters who join will go to help MADD save lives and serve victims of drunk and drugged driving.

The American Grandparents Association connects and nurtures America’s 70 million grandparents and their families, by giving them access to special benefits and information on topics that matter most—health, family, money and more.

Click here to learn more about this partnership.

MADD is privileged to work with both the American Grandparents Association and Grandparents.com, and we appreciate their support in helping us save lives and prevent injuries across the country.

What’s the Deal with Drugged Driving?

Have you ever seen that warning on a bottle of aspirin or other meds? “Do not operate heavy machinery while using this product” and so forth. Well, this year MADD is out to bring awareness to the growing threat of drugged driving on our roadways, much in the same way we have with drunk driving since our founding in 1980.

Why?

While the substances are different, the results are the same – needless deaths and injuries.
Drugged Driving by the numbers

Thousands of people a year are harmed or killed in crashes where one or more of the drivers is under the influence of drugs. While it’s harder to judge by a standard metric as it is with alcohol – BAC is BAC, no matter what you’re drinking, but there are hundreds of thousands of drugs that can inhibit your ability to drive.

If you look at the facts and statistics on drunk driving, you’ll see that 57% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for drugs or alcohol, and 17% were using both. In fact, drugs like marijuana and cocaine are involved in nearly 1/5 of traffic fatalities.

Statistics like these are terrifying, particularly when you consider that there are fewer laws regulating the use of drugs while driving, and that a large number of young people mistakenly believe that drugs make them drive better.

It’s time to change.

Help us in the fight against drugged driving. Go to CarsforMADD.org and donate a vehicle to charity. You can help to keep our roads safe.

Driving Sober: It Begins With a Choice

drivesoberWe make choices every day. Daily decisions may not seem that significant like what to wear, where we go eat, what TV show to watch, and so forth. Other choices can determine the course of our lives. What college to attend, where to buy a home, and who to marry are all decisions that will put us on a different path.

How we choose to use alcohol is also a major decision.

There are 5 areas of brain functions that are impacted from consuming alcohol:

  1. Memory
  2. Abstract Thinking
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Attention/Concentration
  5. Emotion Perception

A brain that is affected by alcohol simply cannot think, perceive, and react appropriately or quick enough when behind the wheel. So again, it comes down to CHOICE.

With the holidays here, law enforcements are encouraging all drivers to make prudent choices pertaining to drinking and driving.

Ultimately it is up to each of us to make wise choices. This holiday season, Cars For MADD asks you to drive sober and safe. And consider donating your car to a cause that works to keep families whole – Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD – and help save a life in the process.

Vigilance Needed When Driving This Holiday Season

You Better Watch Out – Not Cry – Not Pout, and I’m telling you why, MADD Wants You to Stay Safe This Holiday Season

holidayseason

With the upcoming excitement of the holiday season, thoughts turn to spending time with loved ones, enjoying traditions, and feeling the spirit of the season. However, it is also important to remember to keep your family safe during the holiday travel time.

The holidays are the busiest time of the year—with office parties, celebrating with friends, family get-togethers, and the excitement for the upcoming New Year. All of which should be exciting and fun for everyone. But these wonderful times frequently turn tragic when someone decides to get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking.

Drunk driving is a choice, and it is 100 percent preventable. Too often people think, “I’ve driven a hundred times before with no problem”, or “just this once won’t hurt”. But that one decision could change the outcome for not just their life but for the lives of so many innocent families.

Please be aware of what your actions could bring. If you chose to partake in the festivities, remember to have a plan in place before you start drinking for how you will get home. Have a designated driver, take public transportation, or get a cab… It’s that simple. This one act alone could save so many lives and prevent families from the hurt and heartache drunk driving can cause.

In Minnesota, officers are patrolling even more this time of year. It isn’t because they are ticket happy, but to help keep you and your loved one safe this year. And just as Minnesota has upped patrols to keep the roadways safe, law enforcement agencies across America will be out in force December 12 through January 1, 2015—actively searching for drunk drivers as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign due to the increase in drunk driving around the holidays each year. Police will be increasing their number of patrols, setting up sobriety checkpoints, and using local media to reach all drivers.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has also organized ceremonies across the U.S. to help honor and remember those killed by drunk drivers. The Minnesota chapter held a candlelight vigil to remember those who have lost their lives due to car crashes resulting from drunk driving.

Each year, more than 10,000 people are killed and another 290,000 injured in drunk driving crashes – each one preventable.

Drinking is not a game left to chance. So many families have lost loved ones who will never be there to sit around the Thanksgiving table, open another gift under the tree, or ring in the New Year. Please don’t be a statistic, be the solution by planning ahead before your holiday festivities begin.

(Resource URL http://bringmethenews.com/2014/11/24/better-watch-out-dwi-patrols-on-the-lookout-for-holiday-partiers/)