MADD Canada

MADD Canada
Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC)

October 03, 2013 08:00 ET

MADD Canada and NLC launch Smashed to Newfoundland and Labrador

OAKVILLE,ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 3, 2013) - MADD Canada and Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) are teaming up to show students what getting "smashed" can really look like when someone combines drinking and driving.

MADD Canada's 2013-2014 School Assembly Program, called Smashed, is a hard-hitting and realistic look at how easily and quickly a night of partying can turn to tragedy. Characters Natalie, Pete and Kelly ditch a school dance to go to a house party with Johnny. Once there, Natalie starts drinking. When Johnny, who has also been drinking, leaves the party to get pot, a drunken Natalie makes the terrible decision to go with him. Pete does everything he can to stop Natalie from getting in the car but she won't listen. Kelly calls 911 and then she and Pete get in her car to follow their friend. What happens next is a nightmare that none of the young friends could ever have dreamed.

MADD Canada and Provincial Sponsor NLC hosted a special screening of the show for students and staff of Mount Pearl Senior High School today to highlight the show's tour throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Even though the main portion of the film is fictional, it's a situation in which many young people could find themselves," said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. "We want students to see what happens when the wrong choices are made. Ultimately, we want to get them thinking about how they can make different decisions that will keep them and their friends safe from impaired driving."

Teens and young adults are over-represented in impaired driving crashes. Youth between 16 and 25 years old represented just 13.7 per cent of the population in 2009 but they accounted for nearly a third (31.1 per cent) of all alcohol-related road crash deaths. MADD Canada's School Assembly Program reinforces the fact that every single one of the deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving is entirely preventable.

Following the fictional story of Natalie, Pete and Kelly, students see the compelling stories of three real-life victims of impaired driving:

  • Arsh Brar was just 20 years old when he was killed in a crash involving a driver who had spent the previous several hours drinking at a bar. Arsh's brother shares how the unimaginable loss has affected his family.
  • Keisha Trudel was riding in a car driven by a young man who had been drinking. The driver crashed and 16-year-old Keisha was killed. Her mom talks about the devastation the family has suffered.
  • Riley Russell barely survived being hit by an alleged impaired driver. She relates the severe and permanent injuries she suffered, and talks about how one person's terrible decision has affected her hopes and dreams for the future.

"The fictional story and the real-life accounts of impaired driving victims are a powerful and moving combination which will resonate with students in our province," said Sharon Sparkes, NLC Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, "NLC is proud to work with MADD Canada in this effort to educate our young people and help them understand that they each have the power to prevent impaired driving by making the right decision."

The School Assembly Program has been a cornerstone of MADD Canada's youth services since 1994. The presentations are well-received by young people and positively impact their behaviour. In a 2012-2013 survey, those students who saw the program were more likely to say it is not okay to drink any amount before driving; that marijuana use will make someone drive a lot worse; and that those who drive while impaired will face serious consequences. Equally important, the message is being retained. In a follow-up survey three months later, the anti-impaired driving attitudes expressed by students were at the same or higher levels than they were immediately following the presentation. Further, the follow-up survey showed a higher number of students who said they planned ahead before going to parties where drugs or alcohol may be present, compared to the national baseline survey. Students were also less likely to have recently accepted a ride from someone who was impaired.

The School Assembly Program has been a cornerstone of MADD Canada's youth services since 1994. Approximately one million students will see Smashed, and the French language program, Impact, across Canada in 2013-2014.

For more information, or to check out a clip from Smashed, please visit our School Assembly Program page in our Youth Services section on the MADD Canada web site at www.madd.ca.

About MADD Canada

MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. For more information, visit www.madd.ca.

About NLC

Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) is a provincial crown corporation responsible for managing the importation, sale and distribution of beverage alcohol within the province. NLC operates 25 corporate run Liquor Stores, services over 120 Liquor Express agency stores and distributes to more than 1,500 licensees (checking with Andrew Bruce). NLC has many roles - it is a retailer, manufacturer, exporter and an employer. Through all of these activities, social responsibility is a common thread. Being involved in the communities in which we do business is important to NLC. Through our retail stores, and with the dedication of our employees, NLC participates in various socially responsible initiatives throughout the year from fundraising campaigns to alcohol awareness and education programs. For more information, visit www.nlliquor.com.

Contact Information

  • MADD Canada
    Andrew Murie
    Chief Executive Officer
    Cell: 416-720-7642
    amurie@madd.ca

    NLC
    Sharon Sparkes
    Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
    709-724-1105
    sharon.sparkes@nlliquor.com

    Note to Assignment Editors: For information on when Smashed
    is visiting your area, please contact
    Deb Kelly
    MADD Canada Communications Manager
    1-800-665-6233, ext. 240
    dkelly@madd.ca