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Feb-25-2011 21:08printcomments

Former MADD President Busted for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Police say former MADD chapter president had been driving erratically, swerving and crossing lanes.

Debra Oberlin
Debra Oberlin

(SALEM, Ore.) - A former president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Debra Oberlin, used to dedicate her life to keeping drunk drivers off the road and in many cases, behind bars. But now she is facing charges in Florida for driving with what could fairly be deemed as an extremely high blood alcohol level; three times above the legal limit.

The early 1980's will always be associated with a serious escalation of societal and legal disdain for drunk driving.

In California a '502' meant a jail sentence after New Year's day in 1982. It's not to say that drunk drivers don't claim lives or that some should not be incarcerated; but what seemed like a disproportionate number of people suddenly had to 'do time' for driving under the influence of intoxicants.

The lowered blood alcohol content (BAC) standards and increased legal penalties of the 1980's relating to DUI were in part the products of MADD and people like Debra Oberlin. They say those who are caught driving when intoxicated probably have committed the act many times before without being stopped by police. One can only wonder about Ms. Oberlin's regular patterns.

Cindy Swirko with the Gainesville Sun, reports that Oberlin was arrested after she failed a field sobriety test and registered a breath alcohol level three times that of the legal limit. The police report indicated that Oberlin had been driving erratically, swerving and crossing lanes.

The 48-year old reportedly registered a .234 and .239 on breath alcohol tests. The state of Florida’s legal limit for driving is .08 which is very common in the US these days. A police officer wrote that Oberlin smelled of alcohol and had watery, bloodshot and dilated eyes, the Gainesville Sun related.

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ThinkingReader February 27, 2011 10:40 am (Pacific time)

It should be noted that Oberlin was never a MADD president...she was the head of a local Florida Chapter in the 1990s (which was disbanded in 1996 due to lack of funding I believe). Nothing excuses anyone from driving drunk and MADD is not responsible for this woman's choices...she is...she of all people knew the devastation this crime can cause and her actions are shameful.

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