Before I begin this piece, let me make one point clear: I have absolutely no truck with drunk drivers. Anyone who gets behind the wheel while impaired ought to be punished, and punished severely -- a couple of decades in Pound-Ass Prison would be a good start.
That being said, I think MADD has finally gone completely off the deep end.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving got its start when a woman buried her son and decided she would do all she could to keep other mothers from having to do the same because of drunk driving. The group she started can claim a lion's share of the credit from turning public perception of DWI from a laughingstock to a scourge. It is a tremendous achievement, and this country is a far, far better place for what they did.
In later years, as their victory over public opinion has faded and people simply can't conceive of a time when drunk driving was a laughing matter, they have struggled to remain relevant and find a new purpose.
They have tried to get more involved in fighting drunk driving, even going so far as to accompany police at sobriety checkpoints.
They have attempted to parlay their moral authority into backing seat belt laws, placing "refusing to buckle up" on the same ethical plane as "getting tanked and hurling down the highway in a ton and a half of metal."
And now, they're going after "riding while drunk." They don't like the idea of Amtrak offering "free" drinks to passengers who pay for premium treatment. And they're backing a "no drunks" car that detects whether or not ANYONE in the car might be impaired.
In one of my earlier pieces about MADD, I made an observation that I think bears repeating: get a bunch of mothers together for a political purpose, and it seems almost inevitable that they will end up wanting to mommy us to death.
Thanks but no thanks, MADD. You did a truly great thing, and you deserve the thanks of a grateful nation. But you've "jumped the shark," and it's long past time you rested on your laurels.