By Ashley Conroy - email
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) held their second annual conference on Wednesday that targets underage drinking.
This year's theme was "Erasing the Distractions of Underage Drinking."
Guest speakers were present from all over the state including one woman who lost her daughter four years ago in an accident involving a drunk driver.
"For about the first year and a half I was in the fetal position trying to breathe because the night that my daughter was killed I died," said Sherrel Clark.
The driver was also killed in the accident. He was under 21-years-old, and his blood alcohol level was .30 percent the night of the wreck.
Clark's daughter was just 21-years-old, married and expecting twins.
"It took about a year and a half, and I know that the night that she died, God put me on a whole new path," said Clark.
That path led her to speak at conferences like MADD's to educate teens about the dangers of engaging in risky behavior and growing up too fast.
"Because when I was growing up, I really did not get all this education, and if I would have known then what I know now, I would have said no," said MADD spokesperson, Shantay Griffin.
At the conference, the group also brought in high schools from around the state to perform skits and to give a "peer" perspective on how to avoid underage drinking.
"We kind of put our own perspective into the skit, so it can be more, you know, on everybody's level," said junior at South Panola High School, Keila Duarte.
Hazlehurst High School junior, Cherlisha Joiner, hoped to bring this message back to her peers.
"I deal with a lot of peer pressure, and I try to set an example, and tell them you know, don't do that," said Joiner.
MADD said that every 31 seconds, someone loses their life to a drinking and driving accident.
Clark hoped that no parent ever has to say goodbye to their child the way she did.
"I just don't want another mother, picking out a coffin, and burying a child whether it was the innocent bystander who was hit by a drunk driver, or the drunk driver's family," said Clark.
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