Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded in 1980 “to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime, and prevent underage drinking.” MADD is considered one of the leading voices in the fight against drunk driving and thereby also receives a lot of public criticism for its increasingly aggressive agenda.
The organization was founded by Candy Lightner in response to the death of her 13-year-old daughter, who was killed by a drunk driver that same year. Now almost 30 years later, the group has expanded greatly, increasing its involvement in research, programming, and outreach.
MADD’s current president, Laura Dean-Mooney, worked extensively to change laws in her home states of Texas and Florida before being elected as national president of the organization. MADD has a volunteer national board of directors and national board of advisors made up of celebrities and key leaders. The organization seeks to spread its message through volunteer-led initiatives, lobbying, sponsored programming, and fundraisers.
Made up of several local chapters in every state, the organization is very large and continuously expanding. Annual reports, court cases, lobbying, public relations, comprehensive research and statistics, media outreach, and several publications are only a few of MADD’s outreach initiatives. Via all of these mediums, the organization works to harness the power of public awareness to educate children, students, families, and friends about the consequences of drunk driving and underage drinking.
A current Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) initiative is their “Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.” This current campaign has four main elements:
- Increasing high-visibility law enforcement
- A push for Ignition interlock device regulations
- Promoting advancement of vehicle technologies
- Gaining popular public support
Through education, MADD gains support to influence legislation and bring about a positive change to what they consider one of the United States’ biggest challenges. Their website states that since the program’s inception in 1980, more than 300,000 lives have been saved, due in large part to the organization’s efforts.
The extensive website, www.madd.org, also contains information catered to youth under 21, drunk driving facts and statistics, and chat rooms and forums for discussion on how to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving.
Website visitors can help by taking any of the following actions:
- Taking MADD’s Pledge to Eliminate Drunk Driving
- Supporting ignition interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders
- Sending emails to state and federal lawmakers
- Making donations to MADD