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MADD is Here for You!

Posted on 12 March 2021 by Monica Zech



MADD is here for you!
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ‘s mission is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.


MADD – Local Office:

San Diego Office Address: 9948 Hibert Street, #107
San Diego, CA 92131
Open: M-F: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: (858) 564-0780

Are you or someone you know a victim of a DUI collision? 

Victim Services provided at No Charge – MADD strives to provide as many services as possible to drugged and drunk driving crashes victims.

Listed below are some examples of services that MADD may be able to provide. The actual services provided will be based on availability.

  • Offer emotional support to those impacted by phone, in person, or via email.
  • Provide a wide selection of free brochures and literature, available in English and Spanish related to the crash’s aftermath.
  • Provide information, education, and assistance in understanding the various laws related to drunk and drugged driving laws in your area.
  • Education on the criminal justice process and court proceedings
  • Assistance with preparation of a Victim Impact Statement to present at the sentencing of the offender. Depending on availability, sometimes MADD can accompany you to a court or if you are unable to attend, keep you informed of the legal proceedings
  • Assist victims in understanding their rights as a victim and completing an application for Crime Victims Compensation
    Assist in preparing statements for parole hearings or probation hearings
  • Referrals to local community resources, including but not limited to support groups, crisis professional counselors, and civil attorneys.


MADD was there for my family and me when a DUI driver killed my father on June 5, 1992. (My father pictured here) MADD helped us through the court process, what to expect and what our rights were.  We are eternally grateful for their valuable support.  Since then, I’ve been a MADD guest speaker and supporter of MADD.


If you are looking for a MADD speaker for your group, class, company, or Military Safety Stand-Down, don’t hesitate to get in touch with MADD, we’re available to speak to your group!

MADD San Diego Office number: Phone: (858) 564-0780

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Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage – A Must Have!

Posted on 09 November 2019 by Monica Zech

Important information…

It’s time to check your motorist insurance policy.  The BIG question, for your protection, do you have “uninsured/underinsured” motorist insurance coverage???

It’s important to make sure you and your passengers are well covered if you’re involved in a collision.   A must-have should a driver that hits you has little or “no” insurance.  The minimum insurance coverage in California is only $15,000 to obtain a driver’s license.  This does not cover much if you are transported by ambulance to the hospital with serious injuries.

This coverage is a must-have, according to the Padilla Law Group. Please click on the following link for a clear explanation of the importance of this insurance coverage.

UM Handout

Thank you to the Padilla Law Group for providing this valuable information.

Note: If you are involved in a collision and are not at fault, make sure you obtain the name and insurance company names of the driver who caused the collision. Most important, DO NOT deal with the insurance company.  Get a personal injury lawyer to handle all the paperwork, especially if you are injured and your vehicle is damaged.

(2022 – On a Personal note:) The Padilla Law Group recently settled a collision I was in, and they did an awesome job for me. Thank you! 







Please Note:  The following is a link to a news story reported on November 14, 2019.  It’s regarding a man who was seriously injured by a driver who had the minimum insurance coverage of $15-thousand.  His medical bills were almost $100-thousand.  If he had the above coverage, his bills would have been taken care of, if not lower.  At least $1-million coverage is recommended.

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Victim of a DUI driver? There’s Help!

Posted on 04 August 2019 by Monica Zech

Contact MADD! They helped me and my family when my father was killed by a DUI driver in June of 1992. They helped us through the court system since we didn’t have a clue on our rights, on what to expect, or what to do next! 

Note: If you need a MADD speaker for your next meeting, you are welcome to contact me by email at [email protected] – or call (619) 219-9030.  I am a member of the MADD Speaker’s Bureau.  

Or, contact the MADD office in San Diego:

Program Specialist
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
California, San Diego Affiliate
9948 Hibert Street, Suite 107
San Diego, CA 92131

858-564-0780 ext.6664 direct
877-MADD-HELP victim support
877-572-5256 fax

MADD provides free services to victims of drunk and drugged driving. If you’ve been affected, please call our 24/7 Help Line 877-MADD-HELP or visit

If you’re the victim of a DUI driver, or you’ve lost a loved one to a D.U.I. driver take action and call MADD at 1-800-GET-MADD.

*We must work together to stop the madness on our roadways…people are basically getting away with murder, even though they’ve heard over and over “don’t drink and drive!

When hosting a party:

You have the opportunity to educate by example that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time…but, make sure guests designate a SOBER driver if alcohol is being served, have them stay the night, or arrange to call a cab, UBER or Lyft driver. There’s a lot we can do to save lives by educating others of our loss! If you lost a friend, keep that friend’s death from going in vain by stopping others from drinking and driving – and never ride with someone who’s been drinking!

Also, as parents, we can also look at ourselves! Sadly, in the last several years, we’ve found more and more “parents” injuring and killing their own families while driving-under-the-influence.  My family’s safety means more to me than alcoholic beverages! So I don’t drink alcoholic beverages – it’s that simple! I’ve chosen to be a good safety role model for my daughter and others. So what are your priorities? Or, are you willing to take the risk? The risk of your family’s life!

Remember, you don’t have to be drunk to kill or injure. Alcohol is a “drug” – a “depressant”…a drug that immediately dulls the senses needed to be a safe driver! Also, always protect

yourself and your passengers by always buckling up and driving “alert”! Expect the unexpected!


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Latest News From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Monica Zech

See the latest news from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

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Non-Alcoholic Drinks for the Road Recipes

Posted on 10 January 2019 by Monica Zech

Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Year-Round Safety!

I’m happy to say that serving non-alcoholic drinks are becoming more and more popular!  People are realizing you can still have a fun time without the booze – and at the same time – save lives!  I’ll say cheers to that!

Not only are home parties becoming alcohol-free, but alcohol-free bars are also popping up all over the country, the “sober curious” hashtag is sweeping social media, and according to Pinterest, searches for the term “refreshing summer drinks nonalcoholic” were up 118% last month…that’s encouraging news for the safety of our roadways!

Why not start a new trend to show your guests they can have a delicious time without the alcohol!  It’s a good feeling you’ve taken steps to increase the chances of your guests getting home safely.  See party host tips at the bottom.

There are drinks that taste like drinks with alcohol, these are called “mocktails”  and you can also serve some very tasty punches that your guests will enjoy.

The following pages and links will take you to non-alcoholic drink recipes:

From the Taste of Home:

30 Non-Alcoholic Party Drinks

From bon appetit:

From my recipes:

From Welch’s:

Non-Alcoholic Egg Nog:

Old Fashioned Homemade Eggnog

From the Auto Club:

If you love pineapple:

Hosting A Party
Being a good party host also requires careful planning!

Have invitations asking quests:
• To have a sober designated driver to get them home
• Have a shuttle prepared to give rides home
• Have a place for guests to stay the night.
• Advise car keys will be surrendered at the door if alcohol has been consumed.

Menu – have more food than booze! Highlight entrees and desserts!

Beverages – Have fun tasty non-alcoholic drinks on hand, a tasty punch, a variety of soda pop and of course water! Coffee – but coffee will not sober up someone who’s been drinking, only time will do that.

Thank you,

Monica Zech

Stay Alert- Stay Alive!

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Very Special Links For Students, Parents & Educators!

Posted on 27 December 2018 by Monica Zech

American Lung Association – (619) 297-3901 – They have a bus with various parts of the lung and how it works inside –

American Heart Association – (619) 291-5707 Educational information reducing heart attack, stroke and CPR courses –

American Red Cross – Disaster/Earthquake Preparedness information – also for first aide and CPR courses call (619) 440-7813 or visit their web site –

New baby? Have questions? Contact the experts at Johnson & Johnson at –

Recalls On Products? As your family begins to use items received as holiday gifts, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign encourages you to visit to keep up with all the latest product recalls.

Burn Institute – (858) 541-2277, FAX – (858) 541-7179, Burn Prevention –

California Dept. of Forestry – (619) 590-3100 – Protecting homes from Wildland Fire – Smokey Bear & Sparky The Dalmatian mascot characters.

California Highway Patrol – (619) 401-2000 – Chipper mascot, safe driving information, coloring books for kids.

G.R.A.S.P. –– For any further information, please contact Russ or Pat : (619) 656-8414. email : [email protected]. GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) was created to help provide sources of help, compassion and most of all, understanding, for families or individuals who have had a loved one die as a result of drugs.

Pacific Safety Center – Located in San Diego, the Pacific Safety Center addresses a number of safety issues, on the job training and safety car seats –

Protect A Teen – (760) 789-6040 – Program for new teen drivers, working to reduce the death rate among teens –

San Diego Blood Bank – (619) 296-6393 (Bloodmobile) Info on donating and Bone Marrow program –

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program – (760) 635-5904 -A very important program addressing depression and suicide issues.


*Additional sites in finding more information regarding DUI and other health and safety concerns:

Behavioral Health – 8 Signs You’re Drinking Too Much

8 Signs You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol – ARK Behavioral Health (

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

National Commission Against Drunk Driving

Students Against Destructive Decisions

Governors Highway Safety Association

National Safety Council

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Depression, Suicidal Thoughts? Light for Life Foundation Can Help You

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Light for Life Foundation Please call the San Diego 24 hour Crisis Hotline at 1(888) 724-7240, or the National Hotline at 1(800) 273-8255 – If you are in need and don’t know how to ask for help please call these hotlines. Life is precious – we care.


Crisis Hotline – Call (888) 724-7240 for immediate help
If you or someone you care about is experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis, please call the Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. Trained and experienced counselors are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to provide support, referrals, and crisis intervention. You can also call the Access and Crisis Line if you are concerned about someone, just need to talk, have questions about how to offer support, or if you are looking for information about community resources, mental health referrals, and alcohol and drug support services. If emergency medical care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.


You can text for help:

Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis, connecting people in crisis to trained Crisis Counselors. Our first priority is helping people move from a hot moment to a cool calm, guiding you to create a plan to stay safe and healthy. YOU = our priority.

Text CONNECT to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.

Are you, or do you know someone who is feeling depressed, with thoughts of taking their own life?

Please read on for help:

*If you are in need and don’t know how to ask for help please call these hotlines. Life is very precious -I care and they care – make the call for help. Sometimes life seems over-whelming-please make the call…


San Diego Teen Zeen (Comprehensive Local Youth Support)


Compassionate Friends
(Our Children Loved, Missed, and Remembered)



So that you’re aware of this important issue – please read the following and – Take Action!

How You Can Help a Suicidal Teenager or adult!

  • DEAL WITH YOUR OWN FEELINGS FIRST. The idea of young people wanting to kill themselves is difficult for adults to grasp. The first reaction is often shock or denial. TRUST YOUR FEELINGS WHEN YOU THINK SOMEONE MAY BE SUICIDAL. A second reaction might be efforts to argue, minimize, to discount the young person’s feelings of despair. Remember that most young people who contemplate or attempt suicide are not intent on dying. Rather, at the moment, the pain of living is more unbearable than the fear of dying.
  • LISTEN DON’T LECTURE. What the young person really needs in this crisis period is someone who will listen to what is being said. Try to understand from the teenager’s viewpoint.
  • ACCEPT WHAT IS SAID AND TREAT IT SERIOUSLY. Do not judge. Do not offer platitudes.
  • ASK DIRECTLY IF THE INDIVIDUAL IS THINKING OF SUICIDE. If the teenager has not been thinking of suicide, he or she will tell you. If the young person has been thinking of it, your asking allows the opportunity to bring it out in the open. Isolation and the feeling that there is no one to talk to compounds suicidal ideation. YOU WILL NOT CAUSE SOMEONE TO COMMIT SUICIDE BY ASKING THEM IF THEY ARE SUICIDAL.
  • TRY TO FOCUS THE PROBLEM. Point out that depression causes people to see only the negatives in their lives and to be temporarily unable to see the positives. Elicit from the person’s past and present positive aspects which are being ignored.
  • HELP THE YOUNG PERSON TO INCREASE HIS/HER PERCEPTION OF ALTERNATIVES TO SUICIDE. Look at what the young person hopes to accomplish by suicide and generate alternative ways to reaching the same goals. Help determine what needs to be done or changed.
  • HELP THE PERSON RECALL HOW THEY USED TO COPE. Get the person to talk about a past problem and how it was resolved. What coping skills did he or she use?
  • EVALUATE THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE AND HELP IDENTIFY THE RESOURCES NEEDED TO IMPROVE THINGS. The individual may have both inner psychological resources and outer resources in the community which can be strengthened. If they are absent the problem is much more serious. Your continuing observation and support are vital.
  • DO NOT BE MISLED BY THE TEENAGER’S COMMENTS THAT HE/SHE IS PAST THE EMOTIONAL CRISIS. The person might feel initial relief after talking of suicide, but the same thinking could recur later.
  • ACT RESPECTFULLY. Do arrange with the person to be back in contact within a few hours. Offer yourself as a caring and concerned listener until professional assistance has been obtained.
  • DO NOT AVOID ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE AND CONSULTATION. Call upon whomever is needed, depending upon the severity of the case.
  • DO NOT TRY TO HANDLE EVERYTHING ALONE. Go to the child’s guidance counselor, principal, parents, minister, etc. Seek out referrals from hotlines, etc. Convey an attitude of firmness and composure so that the person will feel that something appropriate and realistic is being done.

Identifying Youth at Risk for Suicide

The “equation” for more successfully identifying youth at suicidal risk is to recognize items from both sides of this list. Warning signs alone are not enough to give adequate indicators. Including the risk factors give a more complete profile. Remember, however, ALL YOUTH ARE AT RISK. One is five has suicidal thoughts and one in ten will make an attempt.

Warning Signs Risk Factors

  • Abrupt changes in personality
  • Giving away possessions
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Ending of a romance
  • Inability to tolerate frustration
  • Use of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Depression. Lack of self esteem
  • Change in eating patterns (significant weight changes)
  • Unwillingness or inability to communicate
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Extreme or extended boredom
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Accident prone (carelessness)
  • Unusually long grief reaction
  • Unusual sadness, discouragement and loneliness
  • Hostile or reckless behavior
  • Neglect of personal appearance
  • Major loss (of loved one, home, loss through divorce, trauma, relationship)
  • Running away from home, or truancy from school.
  • Rebelliousness
  • Withdrawal (from people, especially close friends, family and or favorite activities)
  • Perfectionism
  • Restless
  • Anxiety — stress
  • Problems with school or the law
  • Unexpected pregnancy
  • A stressful family life
  • Parents who are substance abusers or depressed
  • Family history of suicide
  • Loss of self-esteem (humiliation)
  • Tendency toward impulsiveness/anger
  • Stress due to new situations: beginning new school, college or relocating to a new community
  • Loss of security. Fear of higher ups, group or gang
  • A serious illness or injury
  • Failing in school or failing to pass an important test
  • Remorse causing another person’s pain: a broken romance, an accident that injured another person
  • Recognizing Possible Suicidal Behavior in the Classroom

The signs and symptoms of depression and suicidal behavior in adolescents are often observable behaviors first noticed by school personnel. The following lists common changes in classroom behavior which may reflect serious depression and/or suicidal behavior.

  • Remain alert to excessive absenteeism in a student with a good attendance record, particularly when the change is sudden.
  • Question any unexpected and sudden decreases in school performance, inability to concentrate is frequently found in depressed adolescents, leading to poor school performance.
  • This may be due to a variety of factors. However, this is often seen in depressed and suicidal youngsters.
  • It is difficult to maintain surveillance over so many adolescents. However, one of the first signs of a potentially suicidal adolescent is general withdrawal, disengagement and apathy.
  • Additional evidence of personal despair may be abrupt changes in friendships and social relationships.
  • Depressed, stressed and potentially suicidal individuals demonstrate wide mood swings and unexpected displays of emotion. Try to stay alert to times when a student’s reactions seem excessive.
  • Teachers sometimes give up on a chronic, nonparticipating students who do not cause problems in the classroom. Be sure that these students are, in fact, nonparticipants and not potentially suicidal.
  • The selection of materials centering on ideas about death or dying, the uselessness or worthlessness of life, or matters relating to persons who have committed suicide should be viewed as warning signs for teachers – particularly if this occurs on more than one occasion.
  • Recognizing Possible Suicidal Behavior Out of the Classroom
  • These signs are likely to be observed in a student’s general behavior and do not necessarily mean that someone is considering suicide. They are warning signs and should generate attention.
  • There may be a noticeable decrease or increase in appetite with significant weight change, insomnia or a desire to sleep all of the time.
  • The young person may often appear sad and depressed and show signs of tension and extreme anxiety.
  • Behavior may include substance abuse, refusal to go to school, sexual promiscuity, running away, fighting, recklessness, purposely hurting one’s body, delinquency, preoccupation with revenge.
  • Distraught students are likely to have wide and unpredictable mood swings. Particular attention should be given to a sudden change in mood from depression to cheerfulness, as if the answer to the problem is now clear.
  • Statements might include references to feeling constantly hassled, under stress or unable to concentrate or rest properly.
  • Students who do not care about the future or have decided that they will not be around are likely to give away possession that they value.
  • All suicide threats and attempts should be taken seriously. At added risk are students who have threatened or attempted suicide before. In the latter case, the usual inhibitions against hurting themselves have been removed.
  • Losses of significant others are misfortunes that adults learn to handle. For developing adolescents, these events can be devastating and can overtax their current coping skills. Examples are death or divorce of parents, losing a close friend, breaking up with a steady, being cut from an athletic team.
  • Students who are substance abusers tend to be at higher risk for suicide. Heavy drug and alcohol users are likely to be depressed youngsters who are seeking relief. Eventually these substances stop working and, in fact, contribute to a greater depression. These substances also contribute to impulsive behavior which often leads to accidents and suicide.
  • A recent suicide in the family significantly increases the suicide risk of survivors for the following reasons: a) a pervading sense that they, too, are doomed to commit suicide; b) an unbearable grief, depression and/or guilt over the loss of a loved one; c) a fear of mental illness; and d) a realization that suicide presents an optional way out of an unwelcome and painfully unhappy life.

Do one thing…and then do another!

Want to help?

Many people want to help do something about suicide prevention, but may not know what to do. We have made it easy. Do anything on this “DO ONE THING” list and you will have made a difference for someone. Do them all, and maybe you can save a life.

  • Talk to a young person about suicide. Ask them if they have ever had suicidal thoughts.
  • Tell someone else about the Yellow Ribbon Program and ask them to tell someone.
  • Join our organization. A small amount of money can save a young life.
  • Write a letter to a Middle School, High School or College asking them to distribute Yellow Ribbon Information to students.
  • Contact a youth director at a church or synagogue and ask them to use the Yellow Ribbon Program.
  • Call a school principal and ask if they have a Yellow Ribbon Program.
  • Show the video “No More Tomorrows” to someone.
  • Give the video “No More Tomorrows” to a school, a church/synagogue or youth group.
  • Wear a Yellow Ribbon pin and explain what it is to everyone who asks.
  • Participate in Yellow Ribbon Week – check their website
  • Contact a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senate and ask them to sponsor National Yellow Ribbon Week
  • Contact your city or state government officials and ask when funding will be given for suicide prevention programs and tell them about the Yellow Ribbon Program.
  • Tell a survivor of suicide that you care. (Survivors are people who have lost someone to suicide or people who survive an attempt.)
  • Do something – now!       Thank you for caring….

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Feeling Sad, Stressed, Depressed? Important Numbers & Links To Prevent Suicide

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Dear Friends,

Thank you for checking this posting.

Many of us have experienced the feeling of loss, sadness, depression, and stress…sometimes leading to thoughts of “suicide.”  The worst thing you can do is to drink alcoholic beverages – this will only make the problem seem bigger.  Alcohol is a drug – a depressant, thus making you depressed.

Please click on the following link for a story about “help” available in our County.  There is “hope” – and sometimes, by having a clear-rested mind, such as good nights sleep, the problem is not as bad as it first seemed.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255

If you’ve had thoughts that “no one cares” – “wrong” – I care about you, and that’s why I’m posting this very important link.  There is hope – here are additional resources.

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The Real-Life Dangers of Texting and Driving!

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