MADD's Political Agenda


Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded by a group of California women in 1980 after a 13 year old girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The driver was a chronic alcoholic who also happened to be a chronic drunk driver. The MADD founders were outraged by what they perceived to be a lenient sentence handed down by the California judge as part of a plea bargain in the criminal case that arose from the fatal accident. Since that time MADD has developed into one of the largest and most powerful political action/advocacy organizations in the U.S.

MADD’s activities were originally geared towards legitimate educational and victim support oriented functions. MADD’s political focus was geared towards removing chronic/alcoholic drunk drivers from the nation’s highways. Responsible social drinkers who drove home after a wedding or after good conversation with friends at the neighborhood pub were not targets of MADD’s efforts. To the extent that MADD has worked to support victims and to educate the public about legitimate chronic alcoholic/drunk driving issues it should be commended. Unfortunately, in recent years the national MADD organization and most of it’s local chapters have been taken over by ultra-conservative, anti-alcohol extremists who have adopted a political agenda that threatens the second coming of Prohibition.

Instead of focusing on ways to remove the chronic/alcoholic drunk driver from our highways, MADD’s primary focus is upon "drivers who have had something to drink." MADD is undeterred by the fact that government accident and fatality data clearly show that low BAC "drivers who have had something to drink" do not pose a legitimate threat to public safety. The fact that a sleepy person or a person talking on a cell-phone while driving may be inherently more dangerous than someone who has had two or three beers to drink appears to be of no concern to MADD.

MADD’s modus operandi is to use generalizations, misstatements, scapegoating, distortions of the truth and victimization propaganda to force the federal and state governments to pass increasingly irrational and draconian DUI laws. MADD seeks to clone itself onto local governments (in much the same manner as did the National Socialist Party in Germany during the years following World War I ) by entering into government/private sector "partnerships"; by having it’s propaganda displayed in government buildings; by having it’s logo attached to government vehicles and police uniforms; by giving awards and political support to judges and other public officials who are either afraid of, or who support, their agenda; and by working to require citizens who have been criminalized for DUI to attend mandatory MADD propaganda seminars as a condition of probation.

If MADD’s political agenda is ever fulfilled, no person in the U.S. will be able to drive home after drinking a couple of beers at a ball game or after enjoying wine with a meal at a restaurant without violating the law, risking arrest and being subjected to unlimited civil liability. If MADD’s attempts to criminalize low BAC drivers really saved lives it would be one thing. However, all available valid government data indicates that it does not. Even the principal founder of MADD has left the organization, citing a lack of focus on the real public safety issue, that of getting high BAC chronic/alcoholic drunk drivers off the road.

Although MADD steadfastly asserts that it is not embarked upon an anti-alcohol crusade, MADD’s actions belie it’s words. Here are a few features of MADD’s published public policy agenda. If you work in the alcohol or restaurant/hospitality industries you definitely need to read this:

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