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Mothers Against Drunk Driving—MADD in the USA
  1. Wendy J Hamilton
  1. National Vice President, Victim Issues, National Office, 511 East John Carpenter Freeway, Suite 700, Irving, Texas 75062, USA
  1. Corrrespondence to:
 W J Hamilton, 10205 Trinity Church Road, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622, USA
 (e-mail: WJHMADD84{at}

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Many organizations have been born from tragedy, but few are as widely recognized, powerful, and enduring as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Primarily grassroots and volunteer driven, MADD has over 600 state organizations, chapters, and community action teams in each of the 50 states as well as affiliates in Guam, Puerto Rico and Canada. MADD consists of over three million members and supporters nationwide.

MADD is the United States leader in the fight against drunk driving. In 1980, the public's perception toward alcohol impaired driving began to shift. The spark that ignited this passion began after the tragic death of a 13 year old girl, Cari Lightner, after she was struck and killed by a repeat offender drunk driver in California. A small group of mothers joined together to express their outrage at a system that did not appropriately sanction what was soon to be recognized as “the most frequently committed violent crime” in America. Since that time, with the help of MADD, over 2500 antidrunk driving, victim rights, and underage drinking prevention laws have been passed. MADD is also the largest crime victim assistance organization in the world.

MADD has 26 national board of director members, including a youth director, who manage the business of the corporation, set the direction of the organization, and establish public policy positions based on research. These public policy positions help guide the organization's legislative agendas and determine the actions that will most effectively address the drunk driving problem.

In Dallas, Texas, Dean Wilkerson, National Executive Director, oversees a national office that develops public policy and education programs, victim assistance support and programs, public relations programs, and support for state and local affiliates.

MADD is funded by individual contributions, corporate gifts, foundations, government grants, in-kind donations, …

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