What Is the Mdd? Definition, Meaning and Concept
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a nonprofit organization founded in the United States that focuses on the unique issue of drunk driving. Driving while intoxicated is a major problem in many nations, resulting in serious accidents and fatalities each year. The organization would like to permanently stop all drunk driving in the United States, and it approaches this goal in several ways. There is also a sister organization in Canada, and there are smaller branches in other nations as well.
Drunk drivers often cause car accidents because they have slower reaction times and poor judgment. Unfortunately, the victims of these car accidents are often innocent. Passengers in other cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists are just as likely to die from drunk driving as the driver. As a result, many people feel that drunk driving is irresponsible because it endangers the lives of others. In the United States, the activity is also illegal.
MADD was founded in 1980 by Candy Lightner after the death of her 13-year-old daughter, Cari. A drunk driver hit her daughter while she was walking down the street in Sacramento, California. Enraged and saddened by this incident, Lightner decided to start an organization to fight drunk driving. By the mid-1980s, MADD had become extremely popular throughout the United States, with a huge membership base to draw on.
The main goal of the organization is to stop all drunk driving. The organization also later added a measure to curb underage drinking to its mission statement. The organization uses a number of sometimes controversial tactics to achieve these goals. Critics of MADD have argued that the organization sometimes curtails civil liberties in its quest to stop drunk driving. Supporters argue that being killed by a drunk driver is an even more severe restriction of civil liberties, for the victim.
One of the fields in which MADD is extremely active is drunk driving legislation. The organization is responsible for national legislation that criminalizes drunk driving more evenly across states, and also increases the severity of the punishment. The group pushed for a lowering of the legal blood-alcohol limit to .08, for example, and supports heavier fines and convictions for felons. MADD also supports a strong crackdown on repeat offenders.
In addition, MADD is involved in victim advocacy and education. The organization helps victims of drunk driving, along with survivors, in a variety of ways. MADD advocates for victim impact statements in drunk driving trials, organizes massive publicity campaigns to raise awareness of drunk driving, and also educates people in schools and driver education programs. The organization claims that there has been a significant decrease in alcohol-related accidents since its founding in 1980.