MADD President Glynn Birth Applauds Delaware Enforcement

MADD President Glynn Birth Applauds Delaware
Enforcement

By Ben Penserga Daily Times Staff Writer

MADD PresidentSALISBURY — It took almost 20 years, but Glynn Birch
finally has the chance to say thank you.

In 1988, Birch’s young son Courtney was walking across the street to
get ice cream when he was struck by a drunken driver going 70 mph. The
boy — three months shy of his second birthday — was dragged 150 feet
before the car stopped and was killed instantly.

In the following months, Glynn Birch’s local Mothers Against Drunk
Driving helped him through the grieving process up until the driver, who
had a blood-alcohol level of .26 and had three prior drunken-driving
convictions, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

But throughout the entire process, Birch never got to acknowledge the
police officers who responded to the scene on May 3, 1988, and helped
prosecute the case — until Friday at the MADD Ribbon Kickoff and Law
Enforcement Recognition Breakfast.

“I think back to all the missed opportunities to thank law
enforcement,” said Birch, who was recently selected as the first-ever
male MADD president. “But I’m getting that chance now.”

Birch told the crowd of police and prosecutors at the Fountains
Weddings and Conference Center in Salisbury that one of the advocate
group’s main goals is strengthening ties with law enforcement.

And hosting an event that recognizes law enforcement officials from
all nine counties on the Eastern Shore goes toward that, said David
Elzey, victim advocate for MADD’s Eastern Shore chapter.

“It’s to show our appreciation for police getting drunken drivers off
the road,” he said. “It also means a lot to the victims that have been
helped by (police) over the years.”

Friday’s event also serves as the beginning of their holiday ribbon
program that urges motorists to tie the MADD ribbon to their vehicles as
a pledge to be safe on the roadways and especially to buckle up.

Birch urged police to keep up their high level of vigilance.

“Please continue the work because it is making a difference,” he
said.

Anyone interested in participating in MADD’s ribbon campaign should
call 410-742-6233.

Reach Ben Penserga at 410-845-4648 or bpenserga@salisbury.gannett.com.

Originally Published November 19, 2005

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