Mothers Against Drunk Driving

(MADD) This organization works to reduce Drunk Driving and to help the victims of drunk-driving ACCIDENTS. Many of MADD's members are volunteers who have personally suffered from the results of drunk driving. This national organization was founded by Candy Lightner, whose thirteen-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver on May 3, 1980. Ms. Lightner was outraged to learn that only two days previously the driver had been released from jail, where he had been held for another hit-and-run drunk-driving crash. Although he had been arrested for drunk driving several times before, he was still driving with a valid California license. Candy Lightner decided to begin a campaign to keep drunk drivers off the road, so that other mothers would not have to suffer the anguish that she was experiencing. On September 5, 1980 (Cari's birthday), MADD was incorporated.

Since then, MADD has evolved into an organization with millions of members and hundreds of local chapters across the United States. Chapters have also been started in Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, and Australia. Membership is not restricted to mothers of victims or to the victims themselves. Everyone who is concerned about the drunk-driving issue is welcome to join. Funding for

Candy Lightner

Candy Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, holds a photograph of her daughter, Cari, who was killed by a drunk driver on May 3, 1980. (AP Photo)

the organization comes from membership dues and contributions; MADD also applies for and receives grants from federal and state governments and private organizations. Paid staff are employed to provide leadership on the state and national levels. MADD is involved in three major kinds of activity: (1) advocacy for stricter drunk-driving laws and better enforcement, (2) promotion of public awareness and educational programs, and (3) assistance to victims.

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