Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded in 1980 with a 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.” Since then, the mission has evolved to include underage drinking prevention, as well.
In 35 years, MADD has accomplished the following:
- Enacted a bill that gives states federal highway funds for anti-drunk driving efforts.
- Established the legal drinking age at 21 years old.
- Enacted the Omnibus Anti-Drug Abuse Act that extended crime victim compensation rights to drunk driving victims and more.
- Helped pass the Transportation Employee Testing Safety Act.
- Helped pass the “Zero Tolerance” federal policy for underage drinking.
- Established the legal BAC limit at .08, saw all 50 states adopt the same limit.
- Saved 300,000 lives through advocating for change in all of these areas, and many others.
MADD’s “Campaign to End Drunk Driving” continues to drive changes to laws across the country, including sobriety checkpoints and the mandatory use of ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders. Today, 24 states have ignition interlock requirements for first-time offenders, and there is hope for the future of other states that are currently discussing changes in their laws, too. MADD’s influence in this aspect of drunk driving prevention is vital to keeping our streets safe from the dangers of drunk driving.
Within 35 years, MADD has established itself as an organization with the motivation to drive change in the U.S., and around the world. With the support of drunk driving prevention technology, like ignition interlock devices, and the education of our youth about the dangers of drinking and driving, there’s no doubt that the next 35 years of MADD’s mission could be the best to come.