Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) may have had noble intentions when the organization was founded in 1980 but today they are nothing but a group of neo-prohibitionists. Instead of concerning themselves only with the problem of drink driving they’ve been expanding their focus to target anything related to alcohol. I stumbled across an interview with MADD California’s Executive Director Gary McDonald (how can he be a mother by the way) that demonstrates how idiotic this organization truly is:
GJEL: But you must be happy with the work California has done to prevent drunk driving.
MADD: Yes! I think the Office of Traffic Safety is doing an excellent job with the number of sobriety check points they’re holding–500 checkpoints in the last year, which far surpasses any other state. California is doing an excellent job and of course we thank and recognize our law enforcement in this effort and provide support to them with volunteer at D.U.I. checkpoints.
I will grant some leniency to Gary as checkpoints can be seen by authoritarians as a valid means of preventing drunk driving. Believing such malarkey can only be accomplished through willful ignorance though.
GJEL: What are some of the other long-term projects you’re working on?
MADD: We get involved with a lot of different legislation, some we’re for, some we’re against. For example, we were a sponsor of AB183, which requires face-to-face interaction for alcohol sales. That begins January 31, and that’s something we were behind and it passed.
Let me give a tip of the old hat to the author of this article for including links to the legislation mentioned in this interview. Now let me express my contempt of MADD’s support of this legislation. What does requiring face-to-face interaction to purchase alcohol accomplish? How will it prevent people from driving under the influence? The answer to both questions is nothing.
Let’s consider a simple fact, people often buy alcohol while sober so they can get drunk later. The chances of somebody driving to the liquor store already tanked out of their mind seems fairly low but we’ll humor that idea that it’s very common. In a case where such a scenario is common you’re basically putting the responsibility of enforcement onto the people selling liquor. How is the clerk at a liquor store supposed to determine whether or not a customer is above the legal limit? If the clerk has determined this what are they supposed to do? The answer to the first question is simple: they can’t, not legally at least. Were the clerk required to perform a breathalyzer test on everybody buying liquor then they may be able to determine such matters so long as they had the equipment and proper training on its use. Even if the clerk is able to determine a buyer is drunk they are unable to do anything more than call the purchaser’s license plate number into the police.
Requiring liquor store clerks to enforce drunk driving laws is just as idiotic as requiring gun store owners to enforce gun laws.
There’s also been some recent legislation that’s very concerning: AB353. This bill basically allows people without driver’s licenses to pass through D.U.I. checkpoints so that their car is not impounded. The car is moved over to the side until a licensed driver picks up the car and moves it.
It used to be that person could be impounded for up to 30 days, just held for safe keeping. So now they’re going to get their car back sooner and that starts January 31st.
What the hell does this have to do with drunk driving laws? Whether a person has a valid license or not holds no bearing that person’s level of intoxication. Ignoring the whole “papers please” aspect of these checkpoints we are still left with the fact that impounding vehicles because the peaceful driver being harassed lacks a valid license is nothing more than mission creep meant to increase funds for the local police department (anybody who has had to retrieve a vehicle from a police impound lot knows how much money departments make off of confiscating vehicles).
Stepping back and looking at the situation brings us to the fact that the act of impounding a vehicle at a sobriety checkpoint required the officer to first assume the innocent driver guilty of a crime. Everybody being checked at one of these checkpoints is assumed to be guilty of driving under the influence, which is the exact opposite of how our “guilty until proven innocent” justice system is supposed to work. Does MADD support officers randomly entering people’s homes without warrant or probably cause as well? If not then they shouldn’t support these checkpoints where officers interrogate drivers without warrant or probably cause.
GJEL: If the drunk person isn’t driving, why is that such a big deal?
MADD: Because people who don’t have drivers licenses are five times more likely to kill someone in a crash! It’s not just drunk driving, we’re also concerned with drugged driving and we’re also concerned with people without driver’s licenses. We don’t want people drunk on bikes or drunk pedestrians because people get killed.
In other words the name Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a deceptive name for the organization and it should be checked to something like Mothers Against Driving. Since they also have issue with drunk cyclists and drunk pedestrians they should further refine their name to Mothers Against…, and leave the reader to fill in the blank with whatever pet peeve they happen to have.
I get people’s opposition to drunk driving, it’s a valid and notable issue (one that could be better solved were the roads privatized I might add) but if you’re going to make it illegal to walk home under the influence you’re not giving people any options. I would much rather drunks walk home than drive home myself since it’s far less likely they’re going to hurt me. Sure they may hurt themselves but that’s a consequence of a choice they made and therefore isn’t my concern. Have these neo-prohibitionists ever read a history book about Prohibition in the United States? The amendment was repealed because it lead to nothing be a huge spike in violent crime rates and did nothing to combat alcohol production and consumption.
The bottom line is people are going to drink so you need to allow them options of getting from the bar back to their home. If you make driving and walking drunk illegal what do you think will happen? Drunks will most likely run risk benefits ratio through their heads and drive as they will get into trouble either way but driving gets them home sooner and therefore reduces the time they’re exposed to potential police interaction.
GJEL: That’s quite the statistic. So you guys are working on issues that go beyond drunk driving.
MADD: We’re concerned about human life. It’s important that people use common sense. Of course our mission is to stop drop drunk driving and support the victims of this violent crime and stop under-aged drinking. But it’s a broader spectrum than people realize with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
That’s a broader spectrum than your name implies as well.
GJEL: Any special advice for the Holidays?
MADD: Well there will be more D.U.I. checkpoints during this time, which is one of the best drunk driving deterrents out there.
The previous link I posted shows this to be entirely false. Salt Lake City police reported that over 2,000 drivers were harassed at sobriety checkpoints and they managed to arrest zero, that’s right zero, drunk drivers.
We don’t really target any particular demo during this time. It’s more don’t drink and drive during the holidays. Don’t drive drunk. Make arrangements. The easiest one is to designate a driver.
So you guys are OK with designated drivers? How is a drunk person supposed to walk from the bar to the designated driver’s vehicle if it becomes illegal to walk while intoxicated? You idiots should think your ideas through more thoroughly before making statements about what you support and oppose.
MADD is so bat shit crazy that their founder, who had noble intentions, left the organization due to their movement away from fighting drunk driving to fighting alcohol consumption in general:
Candy Lightner, MADD’s founder, says she disassociated herself from the movement in 1985 because she believed the organization was headed in the wrong direction.
“It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I had ever wanted or envisioned,” said Mrs. Lightner, who founded MADD after her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. “I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.”
When you can’t convince your founder, a mother who lost her daughter in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, to stay on board then you’ve truly lost your way.
4 thoughts on “Why I Hate Mothers Against Drunk Driving”
I commend you for this critical, well-backed argument that I am in complete agreement with. It appears that MADD, although seemingly well-versed on the facts of drunk-driving, has yet to provide real and feasible solutions that get at the core of the behavior and proven to work!
There is no doubt that mothers against drunk driving are down right liars! They constantly manipulate statistics and distort the facts with their constant lines of rhetoric. They have latched on to insurance companies to push their agendas with major lobbyist activities. It’s been proven over and over a certain amount of alcohol is good for the system and to say zero tolerance is idiotic! MADD is a major joke and to think they don’t have financial gains in their agendas, go on their website and link to “CAREERS”, come on really!
typo – that their found, who
Corrected. Thanks for the catch.
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