New leader takes the wheel at MADD

September 04, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

The new president of the Carroll County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a husband, father and a victim of a

drunken driver.

Roger L. Schultz, 61, took office July 1.

"You don't have to be a mother or even female," said outgoing President Shirley Hampt, who helped found the chapter and was its leader for 3 1/2 years.

All that is required is a willingness to "help stop the crime of drunk driving and offer support to its victims," she said.

Mr. Schultz, who lost part of his left leg when a drunken driver crashed into his car two years ago, has both the willingness and the determination.

"Drunk driving is an incredible problem, but MADD has made a substantial difference," he said. "We still have an incredible way to go."

Society has to treat drunken driving as a crime and deal with criminals severely, he said.

"When we are tough on criminals, we are good to society," said Mr. Schultz, father of two and grandfather of six. "We are good to our children and to the person who can't control himself."

In her letter of resignation, Ms. Hampt urged members to "reach out for additional help from other Carroll countians" and promised to stay involved.

"I am not going away," said Ms. Hampt, who will serve MADD as treasurer. "I believe in this organization and will give it my all."

During her tenure, membership in the all-volunteer organization increased from 20 to 118 and she calls herself "pleased with the growth," but looking for more.

"We need community involvement and fresh ideas," she said. "New people help us keep going."

Ms. Hampt said she hopes that by stepping down she will have time to "regroup and get my energies back."

The many activities sponsored by the county chapter "have been worth all the time and energy, but they have worn me down," she said.

Mr. Schultz, of Hampstead, joined MADD about 18 months ago, shortly after his encounter with the drunken driver. "I recovered and got involved," he said.

Involvement included studying all the aspects of the nationwide problem. He rapidly recites statistics that attest to the dangers from drunken drivers, who cause 50 percent of accidents and are responsible for $49 billion in damage. "Our roads could be twice as safe, if we removed drunk drivers," he said.

Last year, 17,000 people died and more than 1 million were injured in alcohol-related accidents, he said.

He will work to make MADD's push to lower the level of legal intoxication from 0.10 to 0.08 successful, he said.

"The chap who came across the center line and struck my car, had a blood alcohol level of 0.27," he said. "Most people can't walk at that point."

At 0.08, "a driver is three times as likely to crash as when he is sober," said Mr. Schultz. "As you move up to 0.1, the likelihood increases by 30 percent."

Mr. Schultz began working for the Africa Evangelical Fellowship 13 years ago. He and his wife, Ruth, recruit missionaries and have made numerous trips to Africa. He said he sees a spiritual element in his work with MADD.

"Drinking and driving is irresponsible," he said. "It's saying I don't have to give an account to God or to others."

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