The History of MADD

By MacGregor & Collins, LLP  Mar. 27, 2013 8:49a

Even though Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a celebrated organization, the inception of the organizations stems from a mother's tragedy. Candy Lightner endured a mother's greatest nightmare when her thirteen year old daughter's life was taken by a drunk driver. Brown is a hero in her own right, as she used her grief and created something that has saved the lives of thousands of people. Her main mission is and was to keep drunk drivers off the roadways and prevent other parents from going through her pain.

Today the mission of MADD lives on. The organization was started in Florida, but is now widespread across American states. The company's influence has also spread outside the U.S. borders as outposts have been established in countries like Canada.

MADD is credited with reducing the number of fatalities since its inception back in 1980.

MADD's Major Milestones

  • MADD is responsible for helping to establish over 120 drunk driving laws in 1983, otherwise known as DUI.
  • The 21 year old mark that most teens look forward to – for handing an ID to grab a drink – is all moms' or MADD's fault. Call this protective, but the system works for keeping alcohol out of the hands of irresponsible and inexperienced teens.
  • In 1990, sobriety checkpoints were made constitutional.
  • The program has assisted victims and their relatives when it comes to drunk driving accidents or deaths.
  • The organization was honored as one of the top charities in America by Worth magazine in 2001.
  • The company is also a go-to source for getting credible statistics about drunk driving. As an example, the bigger picture of taking one small drink before driving is magnified when the website reveals that drunk driving claims a life approximately every hour in the United States alone.

How Else Does MADD Affect Drunk Driving Laws?

Their support in 2005 to mark the legal limit of blood alcohol levels down to 0.08% from the prior 0.10% helped to seal the new legal code enforced throughout the United States. In terms of the court process, some states allow a victim panel in court.

Fast forward to the present day and other new initiatives are being stirred by the group – to ultimately leave no one at risk when it comes to drunk driving. As an example, the MADD website purports that all new vehicles are installed with an ignition interlock device. This simple and quick test would prevent all drivers from driving while intoxicated. Time will only tell if this mission is fulfilled.

Written by Randy Collins

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