Mothers Against Drunk Driving
This essay is about a nationally known lobbying group known as MADD or Mothers Against Driving. This is an organization that was first created by a woman named Candy Lightner whom in 1980 tragically lost her daughter to a repeat offense drunk driver. This organization or lobbying group works very hard and whose goal is to keep drivers off the road who have had too much to drink and to also make sure that drunk driving laws are enforced. The thesis statement is “Mothers Against Drunk Driving has arguably been one of the most successful public-health grassroots citizen advocacy organizations in the United States in the past century.
”(Fell and Voas). This whole idea of MADD started years ago when Candy Lightner’s daughter Cari, was walking with her friend and was struck and killed by a man who left the scene of the accident, and was drunk driving. After she was told that he actually was only out of jail for two days after being arrested for another hit- and- run drunk- driving crash. His record had reflected three other arrests-two resulted in convictions and one was reduced to a reckless driving offense. It was soon after this that Candy Lightner and a few friends started MADD to fight against drunk drivers.
The first chapter that was started in Maryland was by another woman named Cindi Lamb who was trying to fight the fact that her five month old daughter became paralyzed by a repeat drunk driver offender as well. The two women were brought together by a press secretary to congress and had a news conference that brought a lot of attention to this impaired-driving problem that is everywhere. Soon all over the nation Candy Lightner was contacted to comment on high profile cases. This lobbying group was incorporated in 1980 as a California corporation.
” By June of 1981 it had achieved IRS tax-free status: later in the year, it received$100,000 in private funds. ” Articles on the organization appeared in many magazines and newspapers out there such as Los Angeles Times, Family Circle. Candy was the guest on many talk shows such as The Today Show, Phil Donahue and others. “With the great increase in media attention to the impaired-driving problem and the surge in alcohol legislation in the 1980’s, there was a heartening reduction in alcohol- related fatal crashes between 1980 an 1995. ”(NHTSA, 1995).
MADD had developed a strong capability to respond to the growing press and interest in this ever growing problem. This part of the essay contains the claim and some of the background. There is a lot of evidence both qualitative and quantitative in MADD’s effect on the impaired-driving problem we have in our America. “There is general acceptance of the relationship between laws, their enforcement, and public education on driver perceptions of the risk of being caught for DUI (driving under the influence) which affect public attitudes toward impaired driving.
”(Gladwell, 2001). MADD founder Candy has been invited to speak at the formal signing of each of the legislative bills. Six of the most important pieces of alcohol safety legislation are MLDA 21 laws, zero tolerance for youth laws,. 08BAC limit laws,ALS laws, illegal per se laws and increased sanctions for repeat drunk driving offenders. MADD’s support has hastened the adoption of the legislative laws. This is part of the three tiered approach to the ending of drinking and driving.
At the community level, MADD has chapters that help support police enforcement activities when it comes to strong DUI enforcement and rewarding police officers who make the most DUI arrests. Before MADD offenders were given light sentences but now there is a lot of court monitoring by MADD to assure offenders gets there just do. This part of the essay contains some of the background and body, along with supporting evidence and data and scholarly research.
An opposing view to MADD comes from the American Beverage Licenses or (ABL). This organization represents beer, wine and spirits retailers in the U. S. They have made many anti-MADD statements as well as criticizing General Motors. One of the claims that the ABL has made is that MADD targets social drinkers”ABL claims that MADD would have you arrested if you had a glass of wine with dinner and then driven safely home or if you had a cocktail with your friends after work before heading home.
They also claim that MADD wants to criminalize the 40 million adults that responsibly enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a beer at a ball game and drive safely home. ”(Hingson and Winter, 2003) This is simply not a true statement. MADD is just in support to the lowering of blood alcohol levels to 0. 08 and that is not reached by a glass of wine or from one beer. This level is reached by an average male size who consumes 4 drinks in 1 hour or by an average sized female consuming 3 drinks. Social drinking does not attain to a blood alcohol level of 0.
08. General Motors is viewed as being a support for MADD but ABL claims that General Motors should be held accountable for supporting MADD. This could be viewed as a rebuttal to the opposing view of ABL. In Conclusion there is a lot of evidence that MADD has helped so many victims of drunk driving and they give so much of their time providing not only emotional support but also victim assistance programs and court accompaniments and that is why this lobbying group is so very important to a lot of people and in helping so many.