Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded in 1980 by Candy Lightner, whose daughter was tragically killed by a drunk driver who was a repeat offender. The goal of MADD was to reduce drunk driving traffic fatalities and the organization has been highly effective in raising public disapproval of drunk driving. The proportion of traffic fatalities that are alcohol-related has dropped dramatically, in part because of MADD’s efforts. MADD has grown to include more than three million documented supporters and members and over 600 chapters and affiliates across the United States.
The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. MADD seeks to reach its goal of reducing the number of impaired driving collisions by educating the community about the dangers of drinking and driving and by promoting alternative options to driving under the influence. MADD’s methods include: support and passage of DUI legislation, media exposure, public awareness/educational campaigns, youth outreach, networking with other safety groups and visibility in court in cases that pertain to DUI matters.
Since MADD formed in 1980, alcohol-related traffic deaths have dropped by more than 40 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 1980, alcohol was involved in 57 percent of highway deaths for a total of 29,000 alcohol-related fatalities. Last year nearly 16,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes, accounting for about 38 percent of total traffic deaths. An estimated 600,000 people were injured in alcohol-related crashes last year.
Attorney James R. Schwebel served on the Corporate Advisory Board for MADD-MN. Board members are appointed by the Executive Committee. Advisory Board members lend their influence in the corporate world in order to support MADD’s mission. The board is composed of business and community leaders who have an interest in helping the victims of this violent crime and preventing underage drinking.