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Posted: November 22, 2009 1:00 a.m.

Ribbons symbolize MADD, Police Dept. commitment to stop drunk driving

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Keeping the roads safe: Eva Smith and Porterdale Police Officer Veronica Williams place red ribbons around Porterdale to raise drunk driving awareness for MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

While her husband and son were driving home on Memorial Day in 1992, tragedy struck and changed Eva Smith’s life forever. Her husband was killed by a drunk driver. Leon Smith was the first fatality on that weekend, and the pain is still felt by his wife.

Since that day Smith has committed herself to end drunk driving. She is the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) representative for Walton and Newton counties. She represents MADD at sobriety check points in both counties and is also present during events.

The Porterdale Police Department has enjoyed a partnership with Smith for many years. She volunteers at all Porterdale functions and has been a great source for education (with handouts, pamphlets and moral support) and for equipment, according to Patrol Commander of the Porterdale Police Department Lt. James Pilgrim. Smith also has donated hand-held intoxilyzers to the PPD, which helps officers enforce DUI laws.

“I could not ask for a better person to assist us than Eva,” Pilgrim said. “She has a personal interest in stopping drunk driver from causing anyone else the pain she has been living with.”

As part of Smith and the PPD’s working relationship, red ribbons have been placed on the four city limit signs in Porterdale. These ribbons represent the continued commitment, from both Smith and the Porterdale Police Department, to stop drunk drivers in the town and surrounding area.

“The telling of Eva’s personal tragedy is a sad tale, but the really sad part is that the story is so common now,” Pilgrim said. “As part of our mission statement, we have promised our citizens to enhance their quality of life and to aggressively pursue violators of the law. With the assistance of Eva Smith and MADD, we will continue our commitment to this cause.”

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