For the past few decades there has been a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving. And while there have been numerous politicians and organizations leading the fight, one of the most vocal forces has been Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
The sad fact is that every 90 seconds, “a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.” And every day in the U.S. nearly 30 people die as a result of drunk driving. But there is good news. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths has been cut in half since the early 1980s.
The story of MADD
Not surprisingly, MADD was in fact started in 1980. It began as a way for Candace Lightner to manage her grief after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari Lightner, was killed by a drunk driver while walking to a church carnival in 1980. Cari and Laura Lamb, another little girl hit by a drunk driver, became the faces of MADD. This grassroots campaign that set up its first office in Cari’s bedroom, has since grown into an international organization.
Over the years they’ve led many successful campaigns to make the roads safer for drivers and pedestrians. In 1984, they campaigned to have a national minimum drinking age of 21-years-old, which was signed into law by President Reagan. In the 1990’s they rallied the nation’s support to lower the national legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) from .10 BAC to .08 BAC which became law when President Clinton signed the bill in 2000.
Over the past 32 years they have had many milestones and started numerous projects. They created a Victim/Survivor Support Line (1-877-MADD-HELP) which offers the survivors or the families’ of victims emotional support, appropriate resources for legal action and additional services. They also raise money through events like Walk like MADD which takes place across the country.
To learn how you can help, check out MADD’s list of suggestions for combating drunk driving and remember to drink and drive responsibly.