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MaDD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

  • Broadcast in Health
Been There Done That Show

Been There Done That Show


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Twenty five years ago, a heartbroken mother made a pledge in her deceased daughter’s bedroom. She would do something about the outrage of drunk driving—a decision that quickly inspired a handful of grieving, determined mothers to join in the fight. Though united? in cause, they had no office, no money and no clout. In fact, all they had was sorrow, luck and a picture of a pretty, 13-year-old girl killed by a drunk driver. Yet they initiated one of the great grassroots successes in American history. They were as their name suggests: MaDD. as their fledgling organization grew, they stood toe to toe with politicians who knew the stats but did not act. They took on a powerful industry that put profit over safety. They challenged a society that viewed drinking and driving as acceptable—even laughable. And they caused a visceral reaction. The getting there wasn’t easy. It was tough. It was messy. and it was fraught with obstacles. Yet MaDD proved, time and time again, that it would not be bullied or derailed. In fact, MaDD blazed a trail that other organizations have since followed. They made hard cold statistics come to life. They did not just say that drunk driving killed thousands and injured millions. They held up photographs, and described every nuance of their loved ones lives to prove it. As a result, a mountain of traffic safety and victims’ rights legislation has been passed. Annual alcohol-related traffic fatalities have dropped from an estimated 30,000 in 1980 to fewer than 17,000 today. and, perhaps most important, society no longer views drunk driving as acceptable.