MADD: Lawyers the Cause of Continuing DUI Fatalities

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on May 25th, 2007

Yesterday was an enlightening experience for me.  I learned, at long last, what is causing the "carnage on the highways". 

I was invited to take part in a 1/2-hour debate yesterday with the CEO of MADD, Charles Hurley.  The taped debate was part of the Justice Talking series on National Public Radio, broadcast from the Annenberg Public Policy Center in Philadelphia (it will be broadcast the week of June 11th).  I was in the NPR studio in Los Angeles, Mr. Hurley in Washington, D.C., and the moderator in Philadelphia.

Mr. Hurley started by trumpeting MADD's new campaign to require greater use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs).   I mentioned MADD's recent press release entitled "MADD Announces National Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving", and questioned whether their "4-point plan" could actually "wipe out drunk driving in the United States" as claimed.  The plan consists of (1) more roadblocks and roving patrols, (2) increased use of ignition interlock devices, (3) appointing a blue-ribbon committee to study possible technology, and (4) "mobilization of grass-roots support" (which, I assume, means more contributions to pad MADD's usual take of $52 million a year).  Certainly nothing new there — nothing to reduce the static fatality figures, much less to "eliminate" or "wipe out" drunk driving altogether.

At one point, I questioned Mr. Hurley why the fatality statistics have remained unchanged for 13 years — despite the increasingly Draconian laws, harsh penalties and unconstitutional procedures so successfully advocated by MADD during that same period.  I mentioned Albert Einstein's oft-quoted definition of insanity:  "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result".  (Unfortunately, the irony of the terms "MADD" and "insanity" escaped me at the time.)

The reason for the continuing fatalities, Mr. Hurley calmly explained, is that defense lawyers are more concerned with their clients' constitutional rights than with their clients' victims. 

A remarkable comment.  And an insight into the thinking at the top of MADD's bureaucracy.  I can only assume that the next press release will announce yet another end to drunk driving — by denying DUI defendants the right to counsel. 

And for those of you who think Mr. Hurley was simply exaggerating or pulling my chain, the following is from a recent report entitled "“Impaired Driving Guidebook: Three Keys to Renewed Focus and Success”, issued by MADD jointly with the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  From page 16 of that document:


- A judiciary that struggles to define itself and maintain its objectivity in the face of aggressive defense attorneys.

- An organized DUI defense bar more concerned with “winning a case” than with the carnage on our streets and highways…

And yet another constitutional right will go down the drain in the ongoing "War on Drunk Driving". 

  • LoneDominoe

    It’s pretty bizarre. I wasnt sure what was going on when they arrested me while I was sober. I didnt realize they were going to charge me with DWI because I hadnt had much to drink. But they went through with it and it’s expensive. I think either they made a big mistake or they are purposely doing to me for there a reason? I dont know why yet… It’s insane tho especially because I was actually going to work. I cant work if I cant drive..the whole situation turned out spooky.

  • xgllo

    The statistics have remained unchanged for 13 years because if they changed mad would cease to receive the type of funding and notoriety they enjoy. Also MADD and it’s pet troopers / police officers have received their fair share of DUI’s. The simple fact is alcohol impairs judgement. As long as you have alcohol you will have drunk drivers. Their is no way to eliminate it.

  • buzzamatic

    It’s pretty bizarre. When you place a person in prison for 1yr and then take the license for up to 3yrs, and give them fines out the ass and no way to drive to work to pay them. Why would you take a person from their job and place them in prison and make them lose their homes, family and income and then give them all these fines to pay, how in the hell do you expect this person to live? You don’t and let me tell you that my sister had a baby killed by a drunk driver at the age of 3yrs back in 1983. That girl doesn’t receive anything from Madd and to this day she has health problems, no one pays her bills or gives her help. So don’t tell me that all this money saves lifes, all it is doing is making others rich off of DUI’s. The law needs to be changed and it needs to be consisted in every county and state, not according to the judge, it needs to be fair. We have all these ads for alcohol but yet you can’t smoke. MADD and the Judges and prisons are making a lot of money. The whole thing is a money making business and thats why they still sale it, now even in supermarkets. As long as you have alcohol you will always have drunk drivers on the road. If you wanted to eliminate it you need stop giving license to the Bars. I live in a area where there are 10 Bars, not counting Clubs all on top of each other, plus you have your restaurants selling it. Bottom line is all you really want is the money so why place people in prisons and make the tax payer pay for them to live, let them work, stop trying to get even with everybody its not going bring back our love ones. God took them home it was his will. comment by M. Santel – March 3rd, 2009