Mothers Against Drunk Driving - Mothers Against Drunk...

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)1Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)Olga MartinezMarch 31, 2015BSHS/355Kai Green
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)2The impact MADD has had on social policy is history breaking. Mother Against Drunk Driving has changed the laws regarding drinking and driving throughout the United States. MADD changed the legal age for drinking and purchasing alcohol. MADD has made the laws stricter; including more fines and punishment for breaking the laws. MADD has become one of the nation’s largest agencies to help improve assistance for families that have lost loved ones to drunk drivers. The organization has made historical changes in laws and legislature.Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has made a significant impact on our society today by bringing changes in our drinking and driving laws. MADD, more commonly referred to, has implementeda change in drinking age and mandated strict laws for people who break these laws. From a simple outcry by the founder of MADD, this organization has grown to service millions.MADD was originally founded by Candy Lightner in 1980 after her 13 year old daughter, Cari was struck from behind and killed by a drunk driver. The driver had three previous drunk drivingviolations and had been involved in a hit-and-run accident and arrest two days before the incident involving Cari.One of the most effective leaders was Rebecca (Beckie) Brown from New Port, Florida. Rebeccabecame involved in MADD after her son Marcus died at the age of 18 from an accident involving a 19-year old drunk driver. She created the first MADD in Florida and “was instrumental in passing legislation to raise the minimum legal drinking age to 21 in Florida. The U.S. Congress passed legislation to simulate other states to do so, and by 1988, the minimum legal drinking age was 21 in every state (madd.org )”.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)3MADD identified that underage drunk driving as a social problem because of the number of underage death that were occurring ever year “and the nation based on objective data concerning alcohol-related traffic death trends, legislation passed in each state to reduce the problem, law enforcement efforts, quality of traffic statistics and attention to victims' issues. Those report cardsgalvanized MADD chapter efforts and heightened political pressure on law makers nationwide toimplement policies and programs to reduce drunk driving (Madd.org)”. Beckie Brown was instrumental to contributing to this effort. Making the issue of underage drinking and driving wasmade apparent to legislature in order to change the laws.MADD is the result of new laws changing the legal drinking age and zero tolerance laws now present in all 50 states and DC. The minimum drinking age changed to 21 has been credited to reducing over 28,000 traffic deaths since 1975. Increased pressure in the legal system against drunk drivers with more severe penalties has also been part of the positive effects of the policies created by MADD. MADD has influenced our law makers to see the importance of these laws and giving add and assistance to victims of drunk drivers. There are over 1,200 victim advocates helping victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving. Training and education has been implemented in the schools and publics teaching the ills of alcohol. The internet has helped MADD get more people involved in contacting our legislators about drunk driving or underage drinking. The social influence of MADD has created a number of wonderful corporate sponsors who help support this agency including the National Football League, DialAmerica, General Motors, and many others.

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