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The Origin Story And Impact Of Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was established in 1980 by Candace Lightner after her daughter passed after being struck by an inebriated driver. Lightner's grief and determination was the inspiration behind many existing regulations and policies regarding driving under the influence. MADD was instrumental in establishing the .08 minimum blood alcohol level while operating a vehicle. The organization also lobbied to raise the minimum drinking age in the United States to 21. 

Before MADD's efforts, drivers didn't generally receive harsh punishments. Such a reality is difficult to imagine today - when politicians or celebrities receive a citation for driving under the influence, the news is highly controversial, and the court of public opinion is unmerciful. This shift in the public's perception of intoxicated driving is mostly because of MADD's efforts. The group advocated for minimum sentencing guidelines and engaged in widespread education about the dangers of driving under the influence. As a result, alcohol-related traffic fatalities are down 55% since 1980. MADD has had a lasting impact on traffic safety and has undoubtedly helped to save countless lives. 

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