Too often, in our line of work, we see victims or family members who have lost loved ones in senseless preventable automobile accidents caused by impaired drivers. Combining too much alcohol and an automobile leads to tragic results. Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD Arizona have taken it upon themselves to educate the driving public in Arizona about the dangerous combination of alcohol and driving. Thise organizations deserve our unwavering support.
What follows is a description of MADD Arizona and its mission:
MADD is a non-profit organization whose mission is: stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime, and prevent underage drinking.
MADD Arizona is the provider of statewide victim services and public education throughout Arizona where no local chapter exists. Our focus is to develop solutions to reduce the problem of drunk driving and underage drinking throughout our state.
MADD Arizona partners with law enforcement, businesses, individuals, corporations, and public agencies to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving.
MADD’s 8-point plan to JUMPSTART the STALLED DRUNK DRIVING WAR
1. Resuscitate the nation’s efforts to prevent impaired driving by re-igniting public passion and calling on the citizens and the nation’s leaders to ‘Get MADD All Over Again.’
2. Increase DWI/DUI enforcement, especially the use of frequent, highly publicized sobriety checkpoints, which have been proven to be one of the most effective weapons in the war on drunk driving.
3. Enact primary enforcement seat belt laws in all states because seat belts are the best defense against impaired drivers. MADD recommends the federal government give states a brief incentive period, followed by withholding federal highway funds from states that do not enact primary belt laws.
4. Enact tougher, more comprehensive sanctions geared toward higher-risk drivers — repeat offenders, drivers with high blood-alcohol levels, and DWI offenders driving with suspended licenses.
5. Develop a dedicated National Traffic Safety Fund to support ongoing and new priority traffic safety programs.
6. Reduce underage drinking — the No. 1 youth drug problem, through improving minimum drinking age laws, adopting tougher alcohol advertising standards, and increasing enforcement and awareness of laws such as ‘zero tolerance drinking-driving’ and sales to minors.
7. Increase beer excise taxes to equal the current excise tax on distilled spirits. Higher beer taxes are associated with lower rates of traffic fatalities and youth alcohol consumption.
8. Reinvigorate court-monitoring programs to identify shortcomings in the judicial system and produce higher conviction rates and stiffer sentences for offenders.
Click here to learn more about MADD Arizona’s efforts to stop alcohol related automobile accidents
I also encourage you to support MADD’s first annual Arizona public awareness and fundraising campaign on Saturday, April 22, 2006 known as “Strides for Change.”