MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), formerly Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, is a Texas-based nonprofit organization that fights drunk driving, underage drinking and assists the victims of drunk driving and their families.HistoryThe organization was founded in 1980 by Candace Lightner, whose 13 year old daughter was killed by a hit and run drunk driver in California. The driver was a repeat offender, and the sentence handed down outraged Lightner. She formed MADD in response. A television movie about her experiences was released in 1983 which helped the organization rise in national prominence.According to the original articles of foundation, MADD’s mission was “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.”In 1984, MADD achieved a national victory with the passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. The federal government would withhold 10% of federal highway funds to any state that did not comply with raising the minimum drinking age. Lightner left the organization the following year citing what she perceived to be MADD’s increasing interest in alcohol prohibition rather than fighting drunk driving.Over the next 15 years MADD continued to grow in size and influence. In 1999, it began focusing much of its efforts on underage drinking prevention, and the mission statement was updated to reflect that, stating “The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.”