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Research Paper on MAAD (mothers against drunk driving)

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is an organization that was founded in 1980 due to the tragic death of a thirteen-year-old year girl in California that was killed by a repeat offender drunk driver. The organization quickly grew larger when the girl’s mother had found out how lenient the laws against drunk driving were.

MADD is kept alive by its founders and activist who all have strong beliefs towards what the organization stands for. In 2000 the organization had more than two million members and supporters. MADD is still growing and getting more and more support as the years pass.

MADD has been proven an effective organization that gets its message across strongly and successfully. According to the organizations website, studies have shown that there has been an increase in individuals who never drink and drive. And that the annual death rate from drinking and driving have greatly decreased from 28,00 in 1980 to 16,068 in the year 2000. In 1982, 57percent of all traffic fatalities were alcohol related, in 2000 beginning statistics showed that the percentage of lethal traffic accidents that were due to the influence of alcohol fell to 38 percent. This has resulted in drunk driving being one of the main and most important concerns on highway safety for Americans today.

Due to the success rate of this non-profit organization, it has become one of the most popular and well known non-profit organizations around today. The achievements of the organizations effectiveness have resulted in every state enforcing tougher DUI/ DWI laws. The rights of DUI (Drivers Under the Influence) victims have also been greatly expanded. The organization is a fully functional one that functions in all 50 states and has expanded its influences to internationally to Canada, Guam and Puerto Rico.

MADD often has evaluated, altered, and created some public policies. In 1990 MADD took on an all-inclusive new public policy plan called 20 by 2000. This policy was divided into five major areas of concentration. The plan included both new and existing goals to fight drunk driving. The organization believed the by focusing on these issues would allow for a reduction of 20 percent fatalities due to drunk driving by the year 2000. To MADD’s surprise the goal was hit in 1997, three years ahead of schedule, and the results better than what was expected. The percentage of drunk driving fatalities fell 38.6 percent.

The legislative arena has recognized the organizations successes. More than 2,500 new laws have been passed against drunk driving between the years of 1981 and 2001. In 1984, congress passed the 21 National Minimum Drinking Age Law, which states that the minimum age to consume alcoholic beverages is 21. Thanks to MADD, another major federal legislation act included the Drunk Driving Prevention Act of 1988. This was an amendment to the Anti-drug Abuse act of 1988 and it just further enforced the minimum drinking age act.

MADD has had great influence on the American government. It has encouraged and influence the passing of many acts, amendments and laws, such as the ones mentioned above and many others including the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century and the Victims of Crime Acts among many others.

Regardless of the strong efforts of MADD to establish and pass laws in all states some states are not enforcing them as strongly as they should be enforced. Many states do not use the established countermeasures, like administrative license revocation (ALR). Many of the laws that have been passed contain small loopholes in which the drunk driver can get off the hook with and avoid prosecution. Many states are not adequately filing documents for repeat offenders. Many states also just give offenders the clean slate after a certain period of time, which allows for repeat offenders to continue to be filed as first time offenders, which then cause for their prosecution to be delayed.

Despite these few obstacles MADD continues to be one of the fastest growing and popular non-profit organizations that’s making a great difference in American society. As MADD continues to grow and make a difference in how drunk driving is taken for granted, we will soon see many results that arise from the organizations efforts.

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