WAY TO GO JUDGE MICHAEL FIELDS!
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recognized its brightest stars tonight for their selfless contributions and inspiring work over the past year with an awards ceremony during the President’s Dinner, the closing event of the 2008 MADD National Conference at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. MADD National President Laura Dean-Mooney honored 17 staff members, volunteers and activists for their outstanding work in furthering MADD’s mission to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.
Warren Diepraam from the Harris County Prosecutor’s Office was awarded the National Criminal Justice Award, Prosecutor category. He pioneered the use of felony murder prosecutions for DWI offenders in the state of Texas and the use of centralized DWI search warrant facilities. He also pioneered the concept of “No Refusal” weekends in Texas which have proven effective in reducing drunk driving fatalities by ensuring that refusing a breathalyzer test in no way allows offenders to evade the criminal justice system.
Judge Michael Fields from Houston, Texas won the Criminal Justice Award, Judge Category for his tireless work for the Houston “No Refusal” program and his key role in bringing MADD’s court monitoring program to Houston. He allowed his courtroom to be used for volunteer training, allowed complete access to his court personnel and helped achieve greater acceptance of the program by his judicial colleagues.
Founded in 1980, MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving calls for intensive, high visibility law enforcement, mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, development of advanced vehicle based technology, and community support. MADD is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, grassroots organization with approximately 400 offices and 2 million members and supporters nationwide. For more information, call 1-800-GET-MADD or visit www.madd.org.