In 1998, a former Wyoming Highway Patrol Supervisor’s 5-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. His former wife, the child’s mother, was driving drunk when the accident occurred, causing the death of their daughter. The couple had recently divorced because of her persistent problems with alcohol. Sadly, the couple’s child custody order specifically provided that, when in the presence of their daughter, neither parent could consume alcohol.

The father, devastated over the loss of his daughter, became an advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and served two terms on Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving. He continues to demand action against drunk drivers and has helped pass a bill that would modify state laws. The bill would require interlock devices that measure alcohol levels and prevent an offender’s vehicle from starting when detected.

Wyoming now has 55 interlock centers throughout the state. There were none in 1998 when the man’s daughter was killed. MADD would like to put the safety of the public above the convenience of the offender by making participation mandatory in the ignition interlock program and requiring a 24/7 sobriety program. In the past 11 years, providers of the interlock program have recorded 11,000 attempts to start vehicles while under the influence.

There are no words to express the heartbreak this father feels over losing his child. By becoming an advocate to defend his daughter’s death, he may help others cope. In Wyoming, those who have concerns about the other parent’s ability to care for their child may seek guidance from an experienced child custody attorney.

Source: trib.com, “MADD concerned about provision in Senate bill that would allow option for 24/7 sobriety program instead of interlock“, Joe Funk, Feb. 27, 2018