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Madi Brooks' mother hopes new bill can help prevent others from meeting daughter's fate

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BATON ROUGE - Dozens of LSU students, including some of Madi Brooks' former sorority sisters, spent their Wednesday evening showing support for the foundation made in her honor.

The Madison Brooks Foundation's main purpose is to advocate for the safety of young adults, but Brooks' mother Ashley Basutert says it also functions as a stark reminder to always look out for one another.

"Making sure that it stays top of mind and that wherever you are that the students know just to be comfortable being the leader, being the voice, making the right call to protect each other," she said.

Nineteen-year-old Brooks had been drinking at Reggie's Bar in Tigerland the night of her death. She ended up getting a ride home from a group of men who allegedly raped her. When they dropped her off where she said she lived, she was hit by a car and died a few days later.

"A lot of times you send your kids to school and you believe that everything's going to be okay. I think that it just needs to be a constant reminder to just stay safe and watch out for your friends or your neighbor, or anyone around you."

Baustert hopes one way of preventing this from happening to anyone else will be through the Madi Brook's CARD EM Act—a bill introduced this legislative session.

"Madi Brooks' case was what made me really dig into the enforcement, the violations, the lack of penalties," said Senator Beth Mizell, who authored the bill.

The bill will essentially ban anyone under the age of 21 from entering a bar. Before her death, the 19-year-old had a B.A.C.  four times the legal limit.

"The law says the drinking age is 21 and the apparent loophole that we've allowed, with a wink and a nod, to take place for 18, 19, 20-year olds to go into an environment that we've said is recommended to begin at 21."

The event Wednesday evening hosted at the LSU Union Theater also featured Katie Koestner, who was one of the first people to speak out nationally about date rape.


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