Social Policy Decision

Topics: Alcohol law, Alcoholic beverage, Drunk driving Pages: 6 (982 words) Published: July 5, 2015

Social Policy Decisions Paper

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a nonprofit organization that was created in the United States and is also being implemented in Canada. This organization was created in 1980 by Candice Lighter, from Fair Oaks California, after her then 13 year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver. This organizations mission is to stop drunk driving as well as provides education about drunk driving, supports victims and their families of drunk driving, and fighting for strict policies. This paper will discuss Why MADD was created; the problem that lead to the creation of MADD; how the problem was identified as a social problem; policies created as a result of MADD’s influence; the problems experienced while implementing the policies; and the effects of these social policies on human services delivery. Why MADD was created

As previously stated, Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created after Candice Lighters’ 13 year old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver. The drunken hit and run driver was a 46 year old man, Clarence Busch, who had recently gotten arrested for another drunk driving hit and run less than a week ago. Cari was walking on her way to church when Clarence Busch swerved out of control, striking her and leaving her dead body on the street. This tragic death impelled Candice to start MADD upon learning that drunk driving was rarely harshly prosecuted. MADD was created and Clarence Busch was eventually charged with vehicular homicide and sentenced to 21 months in jail. Problem that lead to the creation of MADD

Drunk driving has been an early problem in the United States since the automobile was introduced but did not become a social issue until the 1980s’. Driving under the influence has been this country’s most frequent committed crime as there were few laws and weren’t as strict. The problems that lead to the creation of MADD were the many alcohol related accidents that have occurred with minimum punishment. In 1980, 27,000 alcohol-related traffic fatalities occurred in the United States each year, including 2,500 in California alone. The blood alcohol level in the United States was .15 in 1938 but then .10 in the 80’s before MADD and other advocate groups pressured it to be lowered to now .08 in the year 2005. Another issue was that many underage people were drinking alcohol. The drinking age depending on the state was 18 years old but has not been raised to 21 in the 80’s. Problem was identified as a social problem

Drunk driving is identified as a social problem due to whether you are driving intoxicated or drunk, once you are placed behind that wheel, you become a risk, not only for yourself but others. Driving with any type of alcohol level impairs your judgment, placing you at risk for injuries, accidents, and even vehicular death. According to NHTSA, 12,998 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2007. This was down 3.7% from 13,491 in 2006. In 2007, alcohol-impaired accident fatalities accounted for 32 percent of all crash fatalities. Policies created as a result of MADD’s influence

As a result of MADD, many policies and laws have been implemented. First, one of the early laws that were imposed was reducing the blood alcohol level (BAC) from .10 to .08. MADD also promoted the use of the Victim Impact Panel (VIP) in which a judge implements first offenders to listen to victims and/or their families of drunk drivers related their experiences. In 2002, MADD announced their 8 point plan which includes: Resuscitate the nation's efforts to prevent impaired driving; increase driving while intoxicated (DWI)/driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement, especially the use of frequent, highly publicized sobriety checkpoints; enforce seat belt laws; create tougher, more comprehensive sanctions geared toward higher-risk drivers; develop a dedicated National Traffic Safety Fund; reduce underage drinking; increase beer...

References: 1. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (2015). Retrieved from
2. Drunk Driving as a Social Problem (2015). DUI Attorney Home. Retrieved from problem/#sthash.DohgQjDP.dpuf
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