Archive for October 27th, 2005

MADD Retreats in Face of “Zero Tolerance” Backlash

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

As I have discussed at length in earlier posts, the eventual goal of Mothers Against Drunk Driving has long been the restablishment of Prohibition — and, until then, "zero tolerance" (no measurable alcohol) for anyone driving a vehicle. This was reflected in the press release for their recent 2005 "Nationwide Labor Day Crackdown on Drunk Driving", announcing the slogan, "You Drink, You Drive, You Lose" (not "You Drink Too Much, You Drive, You Lose").

In the face of the national attention — and ridicule — which Washington DC's zero tolerance laws have attracted, however, MADD appears to be back-pedaling. Patrick O'Connor, president of Northern Virginia's MADD chapter, responded to the apparent backlash:

"MADD's position is that you should drink responsibly and if you feel you're impaired, you should not drive," he said. "It's not MADD's position that if you have a glass of wine you shouldn't get into a car."

Contrast this with previous statements from the national presidents of MADD:

"Forget limits on BAC. It's just not acceptable to drink and drive, period." – Wendy Hamilton, immediate past President of MADD. "Lowering the legal [arrest] standard will be a deterrent for light drinkers as well as heavy drinkers. There is no safe blood alcohol level, and for that reason, responsible drinking and driving means no drinking and driving." – Katherine Prescott, past President of MADD "If you choose to drink, you should never drive. We will not tolerate drinking and driving — period." – Karolyn Nunnallee, past President of MADD
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