The impact Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) over the past 40 years cannot adequately be measured but the number of impaired driving deaths have gone down by 50%.
Where Would We Be Without MADD?
One mother’s love changed the world. But with all of her accomplishments in stopping the number of DUIs, we still have an impaired driver problem in the USA. Candy Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980. In that year, more than 21,000 Americans were killed in automobile accidents involving at least one driver impaired by alcohol. Let that number sink in for a minute: 21,000 AMERICANS KILLED EVERY YEAR. Today, more than 40 years later, that number has decreased by around 50 percent. NHTSA reports that in 2018, 10,511 Americans were killed in an accident where at least one driver had been drinking alcoholic beverages. Even today, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes every day – that’s nearly one person every 50 minutes. While these deaths have decreased by a third in the last four decades, drunk-driving crashes still claim more than 10,000 lives per year.
What Are the Monetary Costs of Dui Accidents?
In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion that year. What percentage of accidents involve an impaired driver in Florida? The number of impaired drivers causing crashes that killed someone varies every year, but in 2007, NHTSA reports that 35% of accidents involving deaths had a BAC greater than 0.01% and in 2016, that number moved down a bit to 31%. Florida still remains the 3rd highest number of fatalities in the US with alcoholic beverages being a factor.
How Did MADD Get Started?
MADD got started with a tragedy after the founder’s daughter was killed by an impaired driver in 1980. Although MADD started with a tragedy, it has become one of the most successful grassroots efforts of our time and still a very powerful lobbying force. Candy Lightner didn’t look to be an activist. In 1980, she was a housewife and mother until her world shattered after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver with multiple DUI offenses on his record. Just days after the funeral, the grieving mother stood in her daughter’s bedroom and vowed to help prevent needless deaths like her daughter’s. She was joined by a handful of other mothers who had lost children in drunk driving accidents at – the kitchen table. The rest is MADD history.
What Has MADD Accomplished?
In the 40 years since its founding, MADD has not only dramatically reduced the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths each year, but MADD has changed the way America looks at drinking and driving. In 1980, driving after a couple of drinks was considered no big deal in most circles. People would joke as to how well they could drive “under the influence.” At that time, penalties for DUI offenses were basically a traffic ticket. Today, a generation later, drinking and driving is unacceptable because of the efforts of MADD in changing the mindset of Americans.
What is MADD’s Mission Statement?
The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking. Over the years, MADD has been instrumental in getting drunk driving laws passed and the legally acceptable blood alcohol level reduced. By 1982, more stringent DUI laws were introduced in 35 states and passed by 24 states. A year later, 129 new DUI laws had passed, and the results continued. They also got the support of the federal government for raising the legal drinking age to 21, and in 1983 President Reagan signed the Uniform Drinking Age Act into law. In 2000, after years of lobbying, President Clinton signed legislation that would effectively lower the legal blood alcohol level in the US to .08. In short, society is a better place because of the efforts of MADD. Until there is No More Victims®, MADD will continue to speak up and fight for stronger laws. MADD’s goal is to get the number of victims down to zero. After all, it is a preventable crime.
How Can Fernandez and Hernandez Help After an Accident With a Drunk Driver?
Our firm is uniquely positioned to help you and your family after a drunk driving accident. Both of the partners were Assistant State Attorneys in Hillsborough County, Florida. Both of the partners have prosecuted and defended hundreds (if not thousands) of DUIs. We have the expertise and the experts ready to help prosecute the claims. We speak with the prosecutors, law enforcement and the victims assistance. Our firm is one of the only firms that has supported MADD Tampa for more than 10 years. If you have been injured by an impaired driver (whether drunk or under the influence of drugs) or have lost a loved one to an impaired driver, our firm is uniquely positioned to help get justice for your family. Call 813-229-5353 and speak with Tampa Injury Attorney Martin Hernandez about your case.