Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), is a charitable organization, not-for-profit activist group that offers education, court and legislative advocacy, and other volunteer and fundraising services in an effort to curb drinking and driving. A growing and dynamic entity, MADD is ever-expanding and stretching its horizons with 600 community and college-based chapters in the US alone.
Following the proud history of mothers against drunk driving, you might be amazed at how long they have actually been around – founded in 1980, it keeps going strongly and re-defines and adapts to changes in the world and negative influencing factors like reduced government funding sources.
Mothers against drunk driving was started by a handful of grieving mothers and has now grown to approximately 2 million members and supporters nationwide and expanding with their catchy slogan casual, non-threatening invites and characterizes their membership body as moms, dads, daughters, sons and uncles, friends and neighbors of all ages and from all walks of life working to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.
The organization has gone from being a small group of women to a nationwide juggernaut with over 600 chapters. More than 2,300 anti-drunk driving laws have been passed (NHTSA 1996) since its inception.
MADD has helped save nearly 300,000 lives through research-based programs, policy initiatives, exemplary victim services and public education. And on principle, not against responsible alcohol consumption by those 21 and older.
Some proposed areas of involvement and their mission include:
- Providing support for victims
- Serving as a spokesperson for victim’s rights
- Educating people about the dangers of drunk driving
- Working with law enforcement officials
- Helping get more effective laws passed
- Helping reduce underage drinking
Glynn Birch, a Florida father whose son was a victim of a drunk driving accident in 1988, recently became the first male president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He joined the organization after his son’s death.
At the time of the accident, the driver was traveling at 70 mph with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .26 percent, which was more than twice Florida’s legal limit at the time. Birch’s 21-month-old son Courtney had stepped into the street looking for an ice cream truck.
“The drunk driving offender that took my son’s life was the epitome of a high-risk offender,” Birch said. “It is well past time that Congress must finish and the president must sign a (highway) bill that targets all higher-risk drunk drivers.”