Governor Matt Mead signed an Executive Order establishing his Council on Impaired Driving today, September 16, 2011.
"All of the State was deeply affected when the eight UW student athletes died a decade ago," Governor Mead said. "The families and friends of those men are in our thoughts and prayers now as they have been many, many times before. Wyoming lost so much potential when these men were needlessly killed."
To continue the fight against impaired driving and to try and prevent more deaths, Governor Mead set up his Council on Impaired Driving and will be appointing members soon. "We have taken important steps to curtail impaired driving during the last ten years, but there is more to do. I believe this Council is necessary so we never stop working to keep all of our citizens safe."
Governor Mead signed a new law this year making it more difficult for repeat offenders to avoid prosecution. He has also reached out to those impacted by drinking and driving. Debbie McLeland's son Morgan was one of the eight cross-country runners killed ten years ago today.
"I have talked to many reporters and thought a lot about the boys over the years. I still come to the same conclusion about this horrible event in the lives of so many of us who have suffered the loss of someone we love to the senseless act of drunken driving. This behavior is 100% preventable. All it requires is a determination to change the way we view our drinking and driving behavior," McLeland said. "The most fitting tribute I can think of to these 1000s of people who have lost their lives is a dedication on the part of all of us to change. A big part of this comes from the leadership of our state. I am so pleased to see that the Governor is making a commitment to this with the Council on Impaired Driving. Thanks to all who still remember our loss and want to help with this. I have and will continue to honor the memory of all of these useless deaths by doing everything I can to help educate and change the accepted values that allow people to continue to drive and drive."