MADD and Century Council Should Take Advice From Rodney King!

“Can’t we <sniff> all just get along?” 

MADD and the Century Council are the two biggest voices against drunk driving in America.  True, they have different agendas.  True, they were born from different inspirations.  But it’s also true they both spend a lot of money and effort on preventing drunk driving.  And they had actually been working together in some ways until this week. 

But they have split up over differences of opinion on penalties for first time drunk drivers.  MADD wants more severe penalties for first offenders and so does Century Council.  But Century Council doesn’t want first offenders to be forced to use ignition interlock devices unless it was an aggravated (over .15 BAC) DUI.  MADD wants ignition interlocks for all DUI’s.  This has pulled apart an alliance that seemed unlikely to me when I first heard of it.  I mean, MADD working with the alcohol industry?!?  And vice versa?!?  Right …

Here is a link to the Wall Street Journal article about the split for all the MADDening details.  Be sure to follow the link to MADD’s letter…

Each of these groups bases their decision on an interpretation of data and each is confident they are right.  In reading these stories, it becomes obvious that each one wants to target a particular set of circumstances.  Since they do not agree 100%, MADD’s “My way or the highway” attitude was bound to chaff against Century Council’s apparent “We’ll sign your pledge, but still take some wiggle room” approach.

In the end, I think this could prove to be a case of the sum of the parts adding up greater than the whole.  In other words, I think they will probably be able to accomplish more by not working together! 

With individual lobbying efforts, albeit with slightly different end goals, politicians can now be faced with the two biggest voices against drunk driving in America – not a combined, self-stifling voice.  AND they will be approached with different potential solutions to choose from.  After all, politicians need as many ideas as they can be given.

For our part here at DrinkingAndDriving.Org, because we are not political, we do not advocate increasing or reducing penalties.  We advocate citizens being aware of the current laws and following them! 

But never forget there is a THIRD voice out there – yours!  If you are passionate about how DUI’s are handled and you agree or disagree with one or both of these views, then you MUST let your congressmen and senators know!  remember that when you hear things like this in the news, it is time to stand up and be counted!

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Allen Porter
Dedicated to teaching and inspiring the prevention of drunk driving.

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