Candace Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, in 1980 to aid victims of crimes committed by individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to MADD. The organization exists to end drunk and drugged driving, prevent underage drinking and help the victims of these crimes.
A drunk driver hit and killed Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter, and five months later, the nonprofit organization held its first press conference on Oct. 3, 1980, states MADD. MADD believes that in order to prevent underage drinking, the minimum drinking age of 21 must be enforced to limit illegal access to alcohol by those who are underage. The group also advocates a zero-tolerance policy, the criminalization of adults who provide alcoholic beverages to those underage and alcohol-free zones, such as school social and sporting events.
MADD’s campaign against drunk driving encompasses three main points: support our heroes, sober to start and secure the future, notes MADD. Support our heroes encourages high-visibility law enforcement to both apprehend and discourage drunk drivers. The sober-to-start initiative aims to require the use of ignition interlock devices, or a device that proves a driver is not under the influence before driving. Secure the future supports development of technology to automatically determine if a driver is above the legal blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent.