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Diary of some MADD housewives

When Mothers Against Drunk Drivers started, I thought it was a hell of a great idea. At the time, drunk driving was practically at epidemic levels. MADD was one of the major factors behind drunk driving becoming not a laughingstock, but a serious social ill. In fact, I was so impressed that I joined SADD (Students Against Driving Drunk) in high school.

They succeeded at their job, too -- quite possibly better than they could have expected. Nowadays, a good chunk of people think that drunk drivers ought to be publicly horsewhipped -- and they are the moderates. MADD did a hell of a great job.

But the problem with groups like that is that after a while, they tend to develop their own momentum, and find themselves still looking for things to channel their energies to after they've made great strides towards their goals. It's like public workers, always afraid of finishing (and therefore ending) the job. MADD started casting around for a new cause.

A while ago, MADD thought that focusing on the drinking part was a bit self-limiting. They thought they'd branch out into other safety issues. They started pushing hard for seat belt laws. But now they've gone too far.

MADD "volunteers" are apparently going along with the local police to DWI roadblocks.

And just what are they doing there with the police? Bringing them coffee and donuts? Lecturing the drivers? That'll achieve a whole lot. If they're not drunk, they don't need the lecture and won't appreciate the further delay. If they are drunk, they have bigger worries than getting lectured.

I suppose this was inevitable. When you get a bunch of mothers together, sooner or later they're likely to want to mommy us all to death.


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Comments (7)

By the time I was in HS (or... (Below threshold)

By the time I was in HS (or maybe just at my HS), SADD was a refuge for the drunks and party kids. They thought it made good cover for their weekend activities to be able to point at membership to suspicious parents.

I have no idea if said parents bought it or not. Heh.

They've been doing that in ... (Below threshold)

They've been doing that in Texas for several years now, even riding in police cars and getting out in parking lots and marking tires with chalk once an hour so the police can spot you driving down the road. They did it to my car in Midland in 1994 and I caught them in the act. I asked the cop to arrest them for putting grafitti on my car and they refused. I got stopped 7 times in 2 miles and had to do a full sobriety test every time just because I suggested that they had no right to mark on any part of anyone's car. I wasn't at a bar, I was in a restaurant for a 3 hour long meeting for the regional planning commission, I was there to give to present a report on commerical construction trends in the area. The restaurant did serve beer and wine but nobody in the meeting was drinking. The mayor Midland was also at the meeting. I heard some cops got suspended over it but the MADD Mothers do still do ride-alongs in Midland to this day, and probably still mark tires.

A few years ago I sent a do... (Below threshold)

A few years ago I sent a donation to MADD. They miss-spelled my name slightly and soon I received DOZENS of requests from charities with the same miss-spelling. They had sold my name. When they called me later for another donation, I refused and told them exactly why.

They have done a lot of good, we never heard of designated drivers when I was in college from 69-73. But they do seem to have become a little power mad.

Another issue they push is ... (Below threshold)

Another issue they push is lowering the legally drunk limit from the 0.10% to 0.08 and even lower. This is not aimed so much at preventing truly drunk and dangerous people from driving, instead it is aimed at eliminating all drinking whatsoever. MADD (and others like them) are the new prohibition movement.

Mom Granholm, Governor here... (Below threshold)

Mom Granholm, Governor here in the Peoples Republic of Michigan, knows what is good for us better than we do.

All traffic violation fees have been sharply increased including registration tabs and license renewal fees. Enforcement is working double-time and is now looking for seat belt violations. God help you if you forget to renew something 'cause when you get stopped the whole package now goes for about $ 700.00.

Smoking taxes have more than doubled making the carton price about $ 45.00. Economic genius that she is, she was surprised that revenue went down not up (imagine that). It was, of course, people going to the Internet, Canada, Indiana and Kentucky where the price is less than half.

Enraged by this, supermom then takes legal action against the Internet companies and gets lists of their customers. Little old ladies now get bills from the State for $ 4,000.00 for back taxes.

Not content to leave it there, Supermom has raised an army of accountants and lawyers who have sued UPS and strongarmed USPS to not deliver cigarettes. God help you again if you catch a random search or one of the investigators sniffs you out with a wiretap - she will make a Federal case out of it.

All the while, she is shaking down the casinos for campaign cash.

It has taken more than 200 years but we have utilimately lost the rights we won in the first war.

The nanny State will tell you how to live, how and when to wear seat-belts and helmets. It will fine you into tomorrow if you are overweight, drink or smoke, God forbid fail to renew something, have bad breath or miss a belt loop.

For the first time in my fairly long life, I have seen 50 motorcycle State Police at one construction zone pulling over almost every car.

You should be so lucky to have a Michigan tax stamp on that six pack of Bud in your trunk, or that pack of smokes in your pocket, otherwise its curtains for you.

My state doesn't yet have a... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

My state doesn't yet have a nanny governor, but we do have a phenomena I call memorial laws. When some person, particularly a child gets killed in a circumstance such as being run over in the street, the grieving parents will push for a law. Often, the current law would have prevented the tragedy if it had been followed, but then there would be no crusade for the grieving parents to engage in to help them deal with their loss. Lawmakers can't say no to grieving parents, so they pass laws that would not have prevented the original tragedy, but that bit of logic is lost in the rush to do something for the grieving parents.

Some drunk driver hit a patrol car parked on the shoulder and killed the officer. Officers hauled the remains of the patrol car around on a trailer to public events to gain support for another memorial law. The result is that we now have a law that requires drivers to move out of the lane nearest a parked patrol car on a multi-lane road when it's safe to do so. Obviously, the drunk involved in the original accident was too impaired to see the parked patrol car or be able to miss it, so passage of this memorial law has no effect on preventing similar incidents in the future. In the meantime we now we have cars abruptly swerving into other lanes to avoid violating this law, and that increases the probability of causing an accident.

Folks, welcome to what we a... (Below threshold)

Folks, welcome to what we at RIDL call "The MADDness".

Our organization was formed three years ago to battle this insanity.

The drunk driving laws have gone way too far and MADD is out of control. It's time for us to recognize that not everyone who drinks and drives is an out of control dangerous criminal. Most people can and DO have one or two drinks and drive home perfectly safely. Let's not let people drive drunk, but let's not criminalize social drinkers either.

Please visit our website and help us with this battle.

Jeanne Pruett
President and CEO
Responsibility In DUI Laws, Inc.






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