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What is MADD?

Information on Mothers Against Drunk Driving

The mother of a young girl who was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, commonly known as MADD. This organization is the nation’s largest nonprofit agency working toward the protection of families from underage drinking and drunk drivers. MADD supports individuals who are victims of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated accidents at no charge and serves one victim every 8.6 seconds through its many local MADD advocates.

History of MADD

In 1980, MADD became an incorporated nonprofit with the mission to “Aid the victims of crimes performed by individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to aid the families of such victims and to increase public awareness of the problem of drinking and drugged driving.” Originally known as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, MADD focused on supporting the families of those who were injured or killed in drunk driving accidents while also raising awareness of the growing problem.

Four years later, MADD changed its name to Mother Against Drunk Driving. This change came after careful consideration and the idea that MADD was opposed to the act of driving under the influence and not trying to negatively target the individual offenders. In addition to the name change, MADD updated its mission statement to “Mothers Against Drunk Driving provides grassroots leadership to create major social change in the attitude and behavior of Americans toward drunk driving.”

Fast forward to present day, after over 30 years of work, MADD has significantly reduced the number of drunk driving accidents and fatalities through its “Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving” as well as expanding its reach to also educate individuals on driving under the influence of drugs, medications, and banned substances – “The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking.”

How MADD Promotes Change

In addition to supporting the families and survivors of drunk driving accidents, MADD is also on a mission to spread awareness and promote change surrounding drunk driving and driving drugged. First, MADD has gained the support of nearly 10,000 people who have sent over 30,000 letters to their state legislators asking for more legal support around the issue of driving under the influence. MADD has also gained a number of corporate sponsors to help back different educational and promotional programs.

One of the biggest partnerships that MADD has at this time is with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The joint campaign, best remembered by the slogan, “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over” which enabled law enforcement to proactively catch drunk drivers before accidents occur while also discouraging others from committing the same act. Overall, MADD has long-standing, positive relations with the U.S. Government and is wholly committed to the safety of communities and families.

For more information about MADD, you can visit the organizations website and click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Daniel Lobo via Creative Commons License