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Mothers Against Drunk Driving

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Mothers Against Drunk Driving
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Official Site: madd.org
Wikipedia: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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Founded: 5 September 1980
Headquarters: Irving, Texas, United States

An anti-drunk driving advocacy group commonly known as MADD, founded in 1980 by Candice Lightner.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Mothers Against Drunk Driving page on 24 January 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a nonprofit organization in the United States and Canada that seeks to stop drunk driving, support those affected by drunk driving, prevent underage drinking, and strive for stricter impaired driving policy, whether that impairment is caused by alcohol or any other drug. The Irving, Texas–based organization was founded on September 5, 1980, in California by Candace Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver. There is at least one MADD office in every state of the United States and at least one in each province of Canada. These offices offer victim services and many resources involving alcohol safety. MADD has shown that drunk driving has been reduced by half since its founding.

According to MADD's website, "The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking." Generally MADD favors strict policy in a variety of areas, including an illegal blood alcohol content of .08% or lower and using stronger sanctions for DUI offenders, including mandatory jail sentences, treatment for alcoholism and other alcohol abuse issues, ignition interlock devices, and license suspensions; maintaining the minimum legal drinking age at 21 years; mandating alcohol breath-testing ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for everyone convicted of driving while legally impaired.

MADD's founder, Candace Lightner left the group in 1985. In 2002, as reported by the Washington Times, Lightner stated that MADD "has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I had ever wanted or envisioned … I didn't start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving".

Candace (Candy) Lightner was the organizer and founding president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. On May 3, 1980 Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver at Sunset and New York Avenues in Fair Oaks, California. The 46-year-old driver, who had recently been arrested for another DUI hit-and-run, left Cari's body at the scene.

A 1983 television movie about Lightner resulted in publicity for the group, which grew rapidly.

In the early 1980s, the group attracted the attention of the United States Congress. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) did not like the fact that youth in New Jersey could easily travel to New York to purchase alcoholic beverages, circumventing New Jersey's law restricting consumption to those 21 years old and over. The group had its greatest success with the enacting of a 1984 federal law, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, that introduced a federal penalty (a 5%–later raised to 10%–loss of federal highway dollars), for states that didn't raise the minimum legal age for the purchase and possession of alcohol to 21. After the United States Supreme Court upheld the law in the 1987 case of South Dakota v. Dole, every state and the District of Columbia made the necessary adjustments by 1988 (but not the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam).

In 1985, Lightner objected to the shifting focus of MADD, and left her position with the organization.

In 1988, a drunk driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 71 in Kentucky caused a head-on collision with a school bus. Twenty-seven people died and dozens more were injured in the ensuing fire. The Carrollton bus disaster in 1988 equaled another bus crash in Kentucky in 1958 as the deadliest bus crash in U.S. history. In the aftermath, several parents of the victims became actively involved in MADD and one became its national president.

In 1989, MADD Canada was founded.

In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility. The study showed that MADD was ranked as the "most popular charity/non-profit in America of over 100 charities researched with 51% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing "Love" and "Like A Lot" for MADD.

In 1991, MADD released its first "Rating the States" report, grading the states in their progress against drunk driving. "Rating the States" has been released four times since then.

In 1999, MADD’s National Board of Directors unanimously voted to change the organization’s mission statement to include the prevention of underage drinking.

In a November 2006 press release, MADD launched its 'Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving': this is a four-point plan to completely eliminate drunk driving in the United States using a combination of current technology (such as alcohol ignition interlock devices), new technology in smart cars, law enforcement, and grass roots activism.

Chuck Hurley was MADD CEO from 2005-2010. He retired in June 2010 and was replaced by Kimberly Earle, who had been CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure since 2007. Earle left to work for Sanford Health in January 2012. Debbie Weir was named MADD's new Chief Executive Officer.


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
13 May 1997Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater Mothers Against Drunk Driving National Youth Summit on Under Age DrinkingFederal Register: USDOT (Rodney E. Slater)
6 September 2000Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) 20th AnniversaryFederal Register: USDOT (Rodney E. Slater)
20 December 2000U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Joins First Lady, Mothers Against Drunk Driving to "Tie One on For Safety"NHTSA
10 April 2001Remarks for Norman Y. Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, The Century Council – MADD Press ConferenceNorman Y. Mineta
21 March 2003First Student Partners with MADDFirst Student, Inc.
17 June 2003Media Advisory: USDOT and MADD to Unveil $11 Million Advertising Campaign For National You Drink & Drive. You Lose. Law Enforcement CampaignNHTSA
16 August 2003Race Car Driver Kelly MacPhaden Partners with Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada-Toronto ChapterKelly MacPhaden Race Team
13 December 2003MADD Canada and NewSchool Announce their Partnership to Raise Awareness and Fundraising during the Holiday SeasonNewSchool Online
16 December 2003MADD Canada and NewSchool Announce their Partnership to Raise Awareness and Fundraising during the Holiday SeasonNewSchool Online
7 March 2004Mustang Club Annual Event Supports MADDGreater Toronto Area Mustang Club
1 July 2004MADD Reports US Drunk Driving Rates Rising Again Ted Landphair, VOA News
21 July 2006Grassroots Activist Turns Personal Tragedy into National Movement Rosanne Skirble
22 November 2006National Group Calls for Mandated Breath Analyzers in Cars Paul Sisco
28 August 2007Mothers Team Up With Law EnforcersAnthony Fontanelle
17 June 2008MADD & Representative Staskunas Supports Alcohol Ignition Interlock LegislationAnthony Fontanelle
4 January 2012Vegas Injury Law Firm Donates Money to MADD Again in its Continued Fight to Prevent Drunk DrivingBernstein & Poisson
21 August 2012Media Advisory: Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5KNew Mexico Department of Transportation
8 January 2014New MADD Report Reveals Improvement on Drunk Driving Reform NationwideMothers Against Drunk Driving
28 August 2014Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash – Saturday, September 6th La Llorona ParkNew Mexico Department of Transportation
25 November 2015Number of Drunk Driving Deaths Dropped Below 10,000 in 2014Mothers Against Drunk Driving
3 December 2015Today MADD Hosts the First-Ever National Day of RemembranceMothers Against Drunk Driving
8 December 2015MADD and Nationwide Announce New Survey Results Showing Rise In The Use of Designated DriversMothers Against Drunk Driving
11 January 2016MADD Launches #FightAffluenza Petition for Ethan Couch Case to Be Transferred to Adult CourtMothers Against Drunk Driving
18 April 2016MADD and Nationwide Announce New Survey Data Ahead of PowerTalk 21 Day, April 21stMothers Against Drunk Driving
11 May 2016MADD National President Writes Open Letter to Judge in Ethan Couch Case, Asks People to Sign Their Name to SupportMothers Against Drunk Driving
18 May 2016Law Offices of James Scott Farrin Helps Sponsor Walk Like MADD 5KLaw Offices of James Scott Farrin
21 October 2016MADD and State Farm Applaud Teens and Their Choices to Not Ride with Underage Drinking Drivers as National Passenger Deaths DeclineMothers Against Drunk Driving


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