Preventing Drunk Driving

Despite mainstream media propaganda, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is not an organization that promotes the prevention of drunk driving. On the contrary, MADD is more of an extortionist arm of law enforcement than an altruistic non-profit hell bent on eliminating the carnage on our nation’s roads.

Founded in 1980, MADD developed a mission statement centered on the prevention of drunk driving. From public education to stiff legal penalties, MADD’s influence was immense in curbing the increasingly wanton mayhem caused by drunk driving. Most of the initial members experienced the devastating effects of drunk driving first-hand, as they either lost a friend or family member in a drunk driving accident. Preventing drunk driving seemed to be MADD’s focus, until the legal system devised a scheme to shake people down for exceeding blood alcohol content (BAC) limits.

MADD began working closely with law enforcement in passing drunk driving statutes that lined the pockets of both the organization and the municipalities that benefited from strict drunk driving statutes. In essence, the laws are legally imposed extortion rackets, as a person accused of drunk driving does not have much recourse for challenging the breath and balance tests administered by law enforcement. The shakedown enriches attorneys, judges, municipal and state governments and, of course, the inappropriately designated non-profit organization called MADD.

If MADD truly wanted to prevent drunk driving, any reasonable person would assume they would park their cadre of angry mothers outside professional sports venues. After a game at a stadium such as the one in St. Louis, one could conservatively estimate that 5,000 out of the 40,000 people leaving the stadium are over the legal limit. However, police officers do not arrest these people when they start their car engines. Instead, the cops escort the players out of the stadium and through a route that quickly gets them to the nearest highway. And where is MADD when at least 5,000 drunks try to drive home? The organization is probably counting the cash acquired from its St. Louis Cardinals and Anheuser-Busch donations.

MADD believes that by reducing the BAC limit, more people will be deterred from driving drunk. The lower limit deterrence is MADD’s chief ploy in preventing drunk driving. Lower BAC limits do not deter drunk drivers; they just catch more people, which further line the pockets of municipal governments and MADD. Drunk driving penalties are not predicated on BAC tests, but the frequency of drunk driving arrests. More money is made off a repeat offender than one who flagrantly violates the .08 BAC limit.

While MADD receives softball questions from Larry King, the people really responsible for preventing drunk driving toil at their jobs in the restaurant and retail industries. The only way to prevent drunk driving is to involve restaurant and retail workers in a program that rewards interdiction. As it stands today, restaurant and retail workers are liable for selling alcohol to an intoxicated customer. Why punish the people who control the public’s liquor cabinet? The time has come to devise a system that rewards these people for making the one call that will save the life of an innocent person.

Restaurant and retail workers already pass comprehensive alcohol awareness classes as a prerequisite for employment. The courses are particularly stringent in states such as Nevada. But the courses only discuss the ramifications of serving a drunk, and they do not offer the alternative that truly prevents drunk driving: financially rewarding a restaurant or retail worker who informs authorities about an intoxicated person getting behind the wheel of a car. The reward system will involve extensive training and only people who pass a more detailed examination than the one currently offered will be certified to make the life saving phone calls.

MADD has fought with the restaurant and retail industries for years over how to prevent drunk driving. Why should an organization with absolutely no alcohol service experience dictate the drunk driving laws of our country? Moreover, why should MADD focus only on drunk driving, when myriad other distractions cause violent collisions on our nation’s highways. MADD should fade away into the drunken night and let the professionals who dispense drinks take over the wheel in preventing drunk driving.