Alcohol Awareness Programs

Alcohol Awareness Programs

Drunk driving is a problem that potentially threatens every person, adult or child, in the United States. According to the CDC, nearly 30 people die of drunk driving daily. There are programs that are making strides to prevent people from driving while drunk. These programs work with local communities and the government to educate people about the dangers of driving while drunk. Learning about these programs and what services they provide can help people to prevent their friends and loved ones from becoming victims of drunk driving.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which is most frequently referred to as MADD, is an organization founded by Candy Lightner in 1980. Lightner is a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunken driver who was also a repeat offender. She founded MADD with the hopes of putting an end to drunk-driving tragedies like the one that took her daughter’s life. MADD has since become one of the most highly recognizable anti-drinking and alcohol-awareness organizations in the nation. Additionally, MADD also supports victims of drunk driving and their families. According to their website, every 8.6 minutes, one of their advocates helps a person in need of their services. Its current mission statement is to stop drunk driving, to support victims, and to curb underage drinking. Their current campaigns include “Support Our Heroes,” “Sober to Start,” and “Secure the Future.” The Support our Heroes campaign is in support of law enforcement to discourage drunk driving. Sober to Start is a campaign that would have cars of all drunk drivers equipped with Breathalyzers or ignition interlock devices. These devices would hinder their ability to start the car while drunk. The final campaign, Secure the Future, is one that is designed to support future development of technology that would keep drunk drivers off the road.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (Formerly Students Against Driving Drunk) (SADD)

SADD was originally founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981. Originally, it was an organization to help encourage students not to drink and drive. Since its inception, it has changed its focus from being a group that is meant to stop drinking and driving only to one that is meant to discourage all destructive decisions, including drinking and driving. The decisions that are meant to be avoided also include, but are not limited to, drug use and drinking in general while underage. SADD also supports anti-violence funding in schools in efforts to prevent bullying, gangs, and hazing.

RADD (Recording Artists, Actors, and Athletes Against Drunk Driving)

RADD was established by celebrities in the form of athletes, actors, and music artists to help combat drunk driving and other irresponsible driving behaviors. They encourage people to use a designated driver, catch a cab, or use public transportation if intoxicated. RADD is an international nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation that was established in 1986 in the U.S. Celebrities involved with RADD include, but are not limited to; the Black Eyed Peas, Paul McCartney, Shaquille O’Neal, and Justin Timberlake. The organization spreads its message through entertainment and celebrity spokespersons. Their goal is to see 100% of all drivers buckled up and to ensure designated drivers and public transportation for people who have been drinking. According to their website, all of their efforts are to meet these goals.

Fathers Against Drunk Driving (FADD)

Established in 1985, Fathers Against Drunk Driving (FADD) has been helping to combat drunk driving. They have done this through education and awareness programs such as “Provide-a-Ride,” which was their first service in 1985. It is involved in events that take place for National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month, during which they work closely with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services. FADD also started the Youth Summer Outreach Program in 2009, which is now an international program. The organization has a goal to open up a community learning outreach center and to eventually expand to South Africa, India, Canada, Poland, China, and Russia.

By Ted Burgess