MADD car

Hillsborough Cpl. Chad Wilson (top photo, left) and Police Chief Duane Hampton stand with a spruced-up patrol vehicle that will help the Police Department raise awareness about intoxicated driving. A MADD slogan can be seen on the sides and back of the vehicle. MADD Regional Chapter Leader Ollie Jeffers (bottom photo, left) and State Program Specialist Lori Brown participated in the unveiling Jan. 8.

You could say Hillsborough Cpl. Chad Wilson is MADD about saving lives.

He and the Hillsborough Police Department unveiled a patrol vehicle Friday afternoon, Jan. 8, that will be used to help lower offenses of driving while intoxicated by serving as a visual reminder and a conversation starter about DWIs. The vehicle includes the Mothers Against Drunk Driving logo and slogan “Get MADD about saving lives!”

Wilson, who has participated in the organization's events since 2017 to help in DWI education efforts, noticed the use of MADD vehicles by other law enforcement agencies and reached out to a representative of the North Carolina chapter about establishing a vehicle in Hillsborough.

He worked with State Program Specialist Lori Brown of the MADD North Carolina State Office and Mincey’s Graphics to select a MADD graphic design for the vehicle. The design is reflective at night for use in patrol work and sobriety checkpoints, and the vehicle also will be featured at community events in addition to daytime patrol work.

“COVID-19 has worked against us in DWI enforcement due to local and state restrictions,” Wilson said. “However, this MADD vehicle will aid us in the Police Department’s efforts to lower DWI offenses and to continue to save lives and property in our community and to spread the word that DWI is 100% preventable.”

Hillsborough Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram dealership sponsored $1,500 of the vehicle wrap’s $3,200 cost, and Mincey’s Graphics discounted labor fees for removing the patrol vehicle’s existing graphics. Working on the project were designer Daren Case and installer and co-owner Chris Mincey of Mincey’s Graphics. The remaining $1,700 of the cost came from Orange County Alcoholic Beverage Control grant funds for the Police Department’s Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team.

The Town of Hillsborough thanks Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram; Mincey’s Graphics; the ABC Commission; MADD; and Brown for their contributions in establishing a Hillsborough MADD patrol vehicle.

Wilson, who started work with the town in 2016, is a member of the Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team and helps the department monitor how alcohol is managed at community events. On his own time, he has organized the department’s participation in Walk Like MADD events, which raise money for the organization’s DWI education efforts.

“Throughout my career, I have seen the damage caused by DWI offenses to families and property,” Wilson said. “I knew about MADD from DWI checkpoints I had participated with in the past. I know that DWIs are preventable incidents and that continued effort will save lives in the long run.”

In 2018, the state chapter named him Police Officer of the Year. At the time, he led the department in DWI arrests, with 26 such arrests in 2018 ― almost half of the department’s total DWI arrests that year.

“The number of DWI offenses depends on how proactive our officers are in finding them,” said Lt. Jason Winn of the Patrol Division. “Our officers are trained in the detection of alcohol-impaired offenses and use those skills to try and prevent alcohol-related accidents from occurring.”

In 2019 and 2020, Hillsborough had 42 and 44 DWI incidents, respectively. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is the leading cause of deaths on roadways in the United States, with 300,000 incidents of DWI a day, 10,265 deaths a year, and 290,000 injuries each year, according to MADD.

Wilson plans to continue participating in MADD events, noting the support the organization provides to law enforcement and the victims of DWI. MADD has a DWI victims impact group and is involved in many court cases to ensure procedures are followed and offenders are held accountable. MADD members also work alongside officers at sobriety checkpoints, catering meals and providing funding for DWI enforcement. For more information on MADD, see the North Carolina chapter’s website.