MADD is Out of Control

(Source: Adapted from DUI Gulag.com)

Our blogosphere friend Damn Foreigner sent us this article, MADD: Premier Should Resign and it has us seeing red. In our opinion, MADD has moved into dangerous territory and needs to be reigned in. Or, since that's unlikely, ridiculed.

MADD is calling for the resignation of British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. Why? Because a few days ago, Campbell, in Hawaii on vacation, was pulled over by police as he was returning from dinner with friends and charged with alcohol impaired driving. Campbell does not intend to contest the charge and issued an apology after his arrest.

Why should MADD call for the resignation of a public official who committed a minor transgression in his personal life, on his own time and in another country? Who made them the arbiter of personal conduct by a public official? Sure, they have a right to call for whatever they want, but in oppposition, we should be making fun of them, not debating them. Arguing won't do any good--they are out of control. We believe their true agenda is prohibition, on moral grounds. They are far outside the field people associate them with--safety on the public highways.

According to DUI Gulag, here is a brief history of MADD and what they've become:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded by a group of California women in 1980 after a 13 year old girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The driver was a chronic alcoholic who also happened to be a chronic drunk driver. The MADD founders were outraged by what they perceived to be a lenient sentence handed down by the California judge as part of a plea bargain in the criminal case that arose from the fatal accident. Since that time MADD has developed into one of the largest and most powerful political action/advocacy organizations in the U.S.

MADD’s activities were originally geared towards legitimate educational and victim support oriented functions. MADD’s political focus was geared towards removing chronic/alcoholic drunk drivers from the nation’s highways. Responsible social drinkers who drove home after a wedding or after good conversation with friends at the neighborhood pub were not targets of MADD’s efforts. To the extent that MADD has worked to support victims and to educate the public about legitimate chronic alcoholic/drunk driving issues it should be commended. Unfortunately, in recent years the national MADD organization and most of it’s local chapters have been taken over by ultra-conservative, anti-alcohol extremists who have adopted a political agenda that threatens the second coming of Prohibition.

Instead of focusing on ways to remove the chronic/alcoholic drunk driver from our highways, MADD’s primary focus is upon "drivers who have had something to drink.....

MADD’s modus operandi is to use generalizations, misstatements, scapegoating, distortions of the truth and victimization propaganda to force the federal and state governments to pass increasingly irrational and draconian DUI laws. MADD seeks to clone itself onto local governments (in much the same manner as did the National Socialist Party in Germany during the years following World War I ) by entering into government/private sector "partnerships"; by having it’s propaganda displayed in government buildings; by having it’s logo attached to government vehicles and police uniforms; by giving awards and political support to judges and other public officials who are either afraid of, or who support, their agenda; and by working to require citizens who have been criminalized for DUI to attend mandatory MADD propaganda seminars as a condition of probation.

If MADD’s political agenda is ever fulfilled, no person in the U.S. will be able to drive home after drinking a couple of beers at a ball game or after enjoying wine with a meal at a restaurant without violating the law, risking arrest and being subjected to unlimited civil liability. If MADD’s attempts to criminalize low BAC drivers really saved lives it would be one thing. However, all available valid government data indicates that it does not. Even the principal founder of MADD has left the organization, citing a lack of focus on the real public safety issue, that of getting high BAC chronic/alcoholic drunk drivers off the road.

For information about MADD's tax-exempt status, go here.

Update: The ridiculing has begun, in the Comics. [link via the Drezner blog]

Update #2: Nathan Newman disagrees with us. Here's our reply to him--

"Sorry, Nathan but on this one we respectfully disagree--the man was on vacation, in another country, driving home from dinner with friends. No accident, no one hurt. You'd have a point if his drunk driving arrest occurred after a business lunch or on the way to a government meeting. But in vacation on Hawaii?

Don't you think MADD would do much better to go after the FBI agent in Florida who killed two brothers in 1999 driving very drunk and on the wrong side of the road--last week he just got 90 days for the drunk driving arrests, being acquitted of manslaughter. He's even out on appeal bond, after serving one day in jail.

We think that's where MADD belongs and should stay - not calling for the resignation of a vacationing politician.

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