The American Struggle Against Drunk Driving

The American Struggle Against Drunk Driving

in​ recent years, two organizations have been formed to​ combat the deadly menace of​ drunk drivers. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) was formed to​ stop drunk driving, support the victims of​ it​ and​ prevent underage drinking. SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) was created to​ provide students with the best prevention​ and​ tools to​ deal with underage drinking, drug use, impaired driving and​ other destructive decisions. The two organizations take different approaches to​ drunk driving and​ each is​ succeeding in​ its own way.

MADD was founded in​ 1980 by Cindy Lightner, following the death of​ her 13 year old daughter who was killed by a​ drunk driver out of​ bail for​ a​ hit and​ run accident only two days earlier. Lightner and​ other mothers who had lost children to​ drunk drivers formed MADD in​ an​ effort to​ stop the more than 30,000 alcohol related driving deaths each year. They worked, not only to​ educate the public about the dangers of​ drunk driving, but to​ change societal attitudes about drinking and​ driving.

By 1982, MADD had established 100 chapters across the nation. MADD appeared in​ newspapers and​ on​ TV. it​ addressed lawmakers, presenting not just statistics, but the faces of​ the victims of​ drunk drivers. Thanks to​ their efforts, President Reagan signed into law the Uniform Drinking Age Act in​ 1984. MADD expanded its campaign from “Don’t Drive Drunk” to​ “Don’t Drink and​ Drive.”

To accomplish this, it​ has recommended higher beverage taxes, lower drunk driving arrest thresholds, and​ roadblocks designed to​ frighten people out of​ social drinking. it​ has also created Victim Impact Panels, where people convicted of​ driving while intoxicated hear the stories of​ parents, relatives and​ friends of​ victims of​ drunk driving accidents.

Twenty-six years after the founding of​ MADD, alcohol related driving deaths in​ the United States have been reduced to​ about 17,000 annually. Today MADD has 600 chapters, community action​ teams and​ offices in​ the United States.

SADD was founded by Robert Anastas of​ Wayland​ High School in​ Massachusetts as​ Students Against Driving Drunk in​ 1981. SADD emerged as​ a​ response to​ more than 6,000 young people being killed in​ alcohol related accidents each year. Anastas and​ 15 other students wrote the Contract for​ Life to​ facilitate communication​ between young people and​ their parents about potentially destructive decisions related to​ alcohol.

SADD’s approach to​ the problem was to​ develop peer-to-peer educational programs in​ school chapters ranging from middle schools to​ colleges. in​ 1997, SADD expanded its mission​ to​ include underage drinking, substance abuse, impaired driving, violence, and​ suicide. SADD’s programs are keyed to​ the needs of​ individual school locations. These include peer-led classes, forums, workshops, conferences and​ rallies, and​ other awareness-raising activities.

Over its first decade, SADD has worked with many federal and​ state agencies, nonprofit groups and​ foundations to​ get its message across. By 1990, due in​ part to​ the work of​ SADD, the number of​ young people killed in​ alcohol related accidents fell to​ 2,000 per year.

Both MADD and​ SADD have been influential in​ reducing the number of​ alcohol related deaths in​ the United States.

The American Struggle Against Drunk Driving

Related Posts:

Powered by Blogger.