New chapter in Nanaimo’s MADD history

A death in Port Hardy more than a decade ago has motivated a Nanaimo woman to activate a Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter.

A death in Port Hardy more than a decade ago has motivated a Nanaimo woman to activate a Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter.

Alicia Lines, Nanaimo’s MADD community leader, is searching for volunteers to help raise awareness about the organization and its continuing campaign to prevent impaired driving.

Lines, 23, first learned about MADD after a friend’s sister was killed by a drunk driver in her hometown of Port Hardy.

“That was what started it,” Lines said. “It was a wake-up call for a lot of people. I was only 12 when it happened. Port Hardy is a small town, so everybody knows everybody. She worked at the grocery store. Everybody knew who she was.”

Lines got involved with MADD when she started high school. The Port Hardy chapter was actually co-founded by her journalism class instructor. Chapter members handed out literature the public at community events and to drivers at police road checks.Lines also took victim services training.

“After I got involved I realized how important it was, so I just stayed with it,” Lines said.

Lines moved to Nanaimo in 2006.  She was in conversation with her former journalism instructor and mentioned how she would like to get involved with the organization again. He suggested she start one.

She got approval from MADD to start the chapter in 2010 and has worked to develop it since.

In the past year, Lines has had interest from businesses and attended several events to promote the organization, including the Global Awareness Fair at Wellington Secondary School in May, where she was surprised to discover how many of the students had never heard of MADD.

“It’s just about trying to get the word out, being in as many places as possible,” She said. “Hopefully trying to do road blocks with police. We did a lot of those in Port Hardy.”

Lines said drinking and driving is entirely preventable, but she needs volunteers to help get that message out to the public.

“The more volunteers I have, the more contacts they have, the more events we can be at,” Lines said.

For more information or to volunteer for the organization, please contact Lines at MADDnanaimo@hotmail.com