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Aimed at Eliminating Drunk Driving
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Young Prince A. Miles II was leaving his father's rental property in Detroit around 8 p.m. that evening when Willie Reed, a City of Detroit water department employee, slammed into him, fled the scene and left him for dead - all while 'on the job'. Reed tried to cover-up his crime, but the co-worker riding with him in the city-owned van confessed everything to officials. Eventually, Reed admitted his crime and was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison.
This incident was among the 442 alcohol/drug-related deaths in state that year, according to Michigan State Police reports. Every year some 17,000 people become victims of drinking and driving across the nation. Holidays, parties and drinking often go hand in hand, but rarely is drinking associated with working as in the Miles' case. And if Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has its way, no longer will drinking be linked with driving.
Recently, the organization intensified its efforts with a new a campaign that they believe will eliminate drinking and driving altogether. MADD wants vehicles of every, first time DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) offender equipped with an ignition interlock system that only starts the vehicle after the driver breathes into a breathalyzer to test the driver's blood-alcohol content level. Drivers can be convicted of drunken driving when their blood-alcohol level is .08 and above; they are considered impaired at levels .02 to .08.rs.
MADD is lobbying for legislation that would force nationwide use of the devices after the first DUI offense. Cost for installation and the monthly rental fee would be the offender's expense.
In the meantime, Dr. Miles is committed to keeping his son's memory alive. Each year, he holds a vigil on the anniversary of his death. A large portrait of young Prince greets parishioners of the International Gospel Deliverance Center, where Dr. Miles pastors. And he recently released He Was Our Prince in his son's honor. In his role as chaplain for Wayne and Oakland counties of MADD, Dr. Prince, a pastor, offers spiritual support to other victims and prays at events. "Whatever we ask, he and his wife Monica are always there," says McClendon. As a grieving father crying out, I say that one tragedy due to drunk driving is one too many, he writes.
By Aundrea M. Bradford
"He Was Our Prince" (Faith Tested, Tried, and Testified)
Since their son's death, Dr. Miles and wife Monica have heralded the cause of Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD). As the MADD chaplain for Wayne and Oakland counties, Dr. Miles supports victims of crimes related to drunk driving. As a member of the executive board of the National Clergy Council for MADD in Washington, D.C., his voice helps affect change on a national level.
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