Candy Lynne Lightner (born May 30, 1946), was the organizer and founding president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). In 1980, Ms. Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver as she walked down a suburban street in California. “I promised myself on the day of Cari’s death that I would fight to make this needless homicide count for something positive in the years ahead” Candy Lightner later wrote. In recent years, Lightner has broken with the organization, as it has become an advocate of neo-prohibitionism and the establishment of a so-called nanny state.
The leniency of the sentence given to the repeat offender of driving while intoxicated (DWI) outraged Ms. Lightner who then organized Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. The name was later changed to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The object of her organization was to raise public awareness of the serious nature of drunken driving and to promote tough legislation against the crime.
Candy Lightner appeared on major television shows, spoke before the US Congress, addressed professional and business groups, and worked tirelessly for years to change public attitudes, modify judicial behavior, and promote tough new legislation.
With the passage of time, MADD decided to eliminate all driving after drinking any amount of alcoholic beverage. Ms. Lightner disagreed with this focus and asserted that “police ought to be concentrating their resources on arresting drunk drivers”not those drivers who happen to have been drinking. I worry that the movement I helped create has lost direction.”
Ms. Lightner left MADD and disagrees with its change in goals. “It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I ever wanted or envisioned,” she says. “I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.”
Candy Lightner is a recipient of the Presidents Volunteer Action Award, an honorary doctorate in humanities and public service, and was the subject of a made-for-television movie, “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers: the Candy Lightner story.” She is the author of “Appalling to capitalize on innocents’ deaths,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 1991, and co-author (with Nancy Hathaway) of Giving Sorrow Words. NY: Warner books, 1990 and “The other side of sorrow,” Ladies Home Journal, September 1991, 107(9), 150.
Source: Wikipedia contributors (2006). Candy Lightner . Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:33, May 17, 2006.
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