A Sioux City man with a long history of drunk-driving arrests pleaded guilty again last week. 67-year-old Melvin Rice has been arrested in four states and has at least 11 drunk-driving convictions to his name. He was arrested in August of 2003 and although his blood-alcohol tested at point-three-oh-seven, nearly four times the legal limit, the charge was plea bargained down to driving with a revoked license. He got probation, one condition that he not drink. He was arrested for public intoxication this February and appeared in court last Tuesday morning — drunk. Mary McCain, a Council Bluffs woman who’s starting the state’s newest chapter of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says she’s angry to learn of Rice’s frequent arrests and convictions, but says she’s also concerned about drinking among teens…and she has two teenagers of her own. She hopes to stage events at the local schools to get the message across to young drivers. You get police and firefighters, she says, and you get a car that was wrecked in a drunk-driving accident, and go to the school. She says there are graphic movies and courses that 9th-grade health teachers can use to teach kids about alcohol. McCain has toddlers and also teens, and says she’s hearing from interested parents who’ll help work with both young people and with families of drunk-driving victims. She’s even quit her job to do this, and thinks “I have found my purpose right now,” she says. McCain says she’s putting everything into the effort to start up a chapter and work to prevent lives being lost. As for Melvin Rice, a Dakota County judge sentenced him to 60 days in jail, along with 120 days remaining on his probation order. McCain says he probably won’t quit until he kills someone. Parents interested in joining the new MADD chapter in Pottawatamie and Shelby counties can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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