Local MADD leader remembers dad, killed by drunk driver

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD, is spreading the message that if you drink then drive, you lose.

It kicked off the 'Tie One on for Safety' campaign on Monday. You may begin to see more red ribbons, and it won't just be because of the holidays. The red ribbon is a pledge to never drink and drive; always have a designated driver.

MADD's 'Tie One on for Safety' campaign started in 1986. It's the organization's longest running and most visible public awareness project. In the state of Missouri last year, 219 people were killed in alcohol related crashes; 84 of those people weren't drinking.

So far this year there have been 116 total deaths. Leann Lewis, MADD chapter leader, lost her father in 2008 when he was driving home, and a drunk driver crossed the center line and crashed into him head-on.

"I loved my dad. I loved how quirky he was and I love to share that about him, because I really want people to know that it's not just a number. He was a person. We had a great relationship and it has been really devastating to lose him," Lewis said.

In addition to not drinking and driving, MADD wants to remind drivers to put down their cell phones and always wear a seatbelt.