Mothers Against Drunk Driving: Successful Reformers—Or Hypocrites from Hell?
The sentencing last month in Howard County, Maryland
of illegal alien Eduardo Raul Morales-Soriano to just 10
years in prison for the
drunk driving deaths of two young people was a
reminder of how that crime is still not taken seriously.
Not only was the killer a
previously arrested unlawful foreigner, he was
massively drunk, with a blood alcohol level of four
times the legal limit. [Illegal
immigrant gets 10 years for killing two in crash,
By Mike Santa Rita, Columbia Flier, May 29, 2008]
One of the victims was
Corporal Brian Mathews, a Marine home on leave from
Iraq. He was in a car stopped at an intersection
with his date Jennifer Bower when Morales-Soriano`s car
plowed into them on Thanksgiving night, 2006.
The case received more attention than many because of
the unpleasant irony: a Marine had survived the carnage
Baghdad but was killed by a drunk driving illegal
alien at home.
The killer could have received 20 years jail time but
the judge decided to halve that. State`s Attorney Dario
J. Broccolino preferred the longer sentence, saying
"The drunk driver is often more dangerous than the
hit man." (Man
to Serve 10 Years for 2006 Crash That Killed 2,
by Raymond McCaffrey, Washington Post, May 29,
At this point, let me make
a disclaimer. As a boomer, I grew up in wild and wooly
times, when following the Golden Mean meant ingesting a
variety of legal and
illegal substances. I
can remember when it was no big thing to drive drunk,
a practice that was accepted throughout society.
Furthermore, as a frequenter of a cop bar in San
Francisco, I know that the
thin blue line has been
wobbly itself not so long ago, when extreme drinking
was sanctioned as a necessary
stress-reliever in a very tough profession.
I therefore admire the
Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization for
creating a complete reversal of attitude across society
in very short order. There`s no other turnaround of
public opinion that`s comparable. MADD`s campaign of
showing the victims of drunk drivers was brilliant, and
highly productive when combined with lobbying Congress
and state legislatures for tougher laws.
Of course, it helped that Americans are reasonable
people, because of their culture, and appeals to
responsibility are effective.
There`s no question MADD`s efforts have
saved many lives by changing behavior. People still
drive drunk, but at lower levels and most people know
that it is an irresponsible and dangerous practice.
(Safer cars have helped greatly also, and for that we
For example, CBS reported in 2002, "The nation`s
alcohol-related traffic death rate has dropped by more
than half during the past 20 years, a government study
Driving Death Rates Drop, But…, Dec. 18,
2002). The report also noted that regional differences
in the incidence of alcohol-related traffic fatalities
had been "widely disproportionate."
(For a general statistical picture of roadway deaths
1994-2006, see the government`s
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). For
alcohol-related data in 2006, see
this chart, which shows 41 percent of crashes had an
inebriation component. )
Knocking down drunk-driving deaths by half in 20
years is genuinely spectacular, and MADD deserves a lot
But like many other organizations that began with the
best of intentions but went off track (from the
Sierra Club to the
churches), the Mothers have gotten full of
themselves. And worse, they have forgotten their
original goal of cutting down on drunk driving.
Candy Lightner started the group in 1980 after her
daughter was killed by a drunk-driver who was given a
minimal punishment for the death. But Lightner broke
with the organization in 1985 because of its growing
trend toward attacking all drinking.
She was quoted in the Washington Times in
August 2002 as saying, "It has become far
more neo-prohibitionist than I ever want or
envisioned… I didn`t start MADD to deal with alcohol.
I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving."
With its success and high profile in the do-gooder
community, MADD has accrued a large bank account. A
financial report for 2004 showed an income of
$52,670,137. Maybe the message against drunk driving
needs an ongoing educational campaign, since the
behavior has not died out and is not likely to. But MADD
now has to maintain its relevance to keep the millions
And how best to accomplish a timely upgrade? The
Mothers chose to embrace
diversity, while doing a little two-step about the
relation of culture to behavior.
On one hand, MADD`s list of
official policies includes: "MADD supports
continued efforts to eliminate racial profiling and
enforce drunk driving and underage drinking laws
effectively and without prejudice."
That`s probably vague enough to be accepted by La
MADD`s 2002 Annual Report listed La Raza President
Raul Yzaguirre as a member of its Board of Advisors.
On the other hand, the Mothers must grapple with very
insistent cultural factors if they ever hope to reduce
Hispanic drunk driving. Unlike Americans, who merely
enjoy slugging down their beverages for the fun of it,
Mexicans and their southern brethren cling to
excess drinking as part of their identity. Males
regard being a
hard-drinking guy with a hollow leg as a
macho attribute. The ideal of machismo promotes the
consuming a lot of alcohol equals masculinity.
Apparently quantity matters:
"Bobby Dunn, who counsels
Spanish-speaking DWI convicts in Johnston and Wilson
counties, said his clients are often young men far from
home with money in their pockets for the first time.
Many were too poor to have cars in Mexico, so they have
little experience behind the wheel.
“They also see drinking
as a way of showing their manhood.
"`The magic number is
12,` Dunn said, or `un doce` in Spanish. `If you can
drink 12 beers, you`re a man.` [Hispanic
DWIs rooted in immigrants` culture, By Marti
Maguire and Kristin Collins, Charlotte News &
Observer, April 1, 2007]
As a result of the macho-drinking-identity
connection, trying to convince Hispanic men that they
are too drunk to drive and should hand over their keys
to a designated driver is a
cultural loser. A real-life example was the
death of 6-year-old Bryan Mendoza when his father
insisted on driving the family home from shopping even
though he was blotto drunk.
As an example, consider a 2003 special report from
the Austin Statesman:
A troubling trend: Hispanics and DWI. It
opened with an eye-opener statistic: "Of 3,007
drunken driving arrests in 2002, 43 percent involved
Hispanic men, even though they make up only about 11
percent of Austin`s driving population."
The article further noted a 2001 stat from
California, that 48 percent of drunk driving arrests
Latino males, although that group comprised only 21
percent of the state`s drivers that year.
And the prevalence is central, driven as it is by the
heavy cultural baggage. In Mexico,
drunk driving is normal. A few educational PSAs are
not going are not going to solve this behavioral
Gordian Knot. Mexicans are
terrible drivers in general: the
capital city racks up 1500 deaths to drivers and
pedestrians yearly. Those from remote villages often
didn`t drive at all in Mexico, and they certainly didn`t
study driver ed.
Another measure of MADD`s bad faith is how it
attacked the new group
Mothers Against Illegal Aliens and threatened it
with a lawsuit because of MAIA`s name:
MADD warns off foe of illegal aliens (Washington
Times, October 27, 2007).
Michelle Dallacroce, president of the Phoenix-based
advocacy group, received a certified letter Oct. 10
stating that MADD owns the rights to the name
"Mothers Against" and giving her 10 days to stop
It`s not like there aren`t dozens if not hundreds,
thousands, of groups of various sizes using that
phrase—from Mothers Against
Methamphetamine to Mothers Against
Blogging (!) and Mothers Against the
Funny how MADD apparently has no problem with
Mothers Against Jesus. But a group trying to protect
America`s law and borders is a threat.
There`s no danger of anyone with an IQ over 60
getting the two Mothers Against organizations confused,
so what`s behind this kabuki dance?
MADD very likely wants to reaffirm its diversity cred
with its friends in La Raza et al. Hispanic enemies of
American sovereignty certainly don`t want the message
culture has a problem with safe and sober driving,
anyone can become the victim of a traffic crash
caused by a drunk driving illegal alien. It`s one
minority group that`s open to all.
In the same way that Mexicans are the
worst possible immigrants overall (i.e.,
criminals, and corrupt to the point of
bribing teachers for good grades), they are also the
worst possible new drivers to have sharing our roads.
By not insisting that the border be closed to illegal
Mexicans, MADD is essentially saying, "Welcome, new
drunk drivers! Please sign up for our program."
MADD`s baseline message has been one of prevention:
if more people are convinced not to drive drunk, then
there will be fewer deaths in alcohol-related traffic
Therefore, if the Mothers genuinely cared about
roadway carnage, they would have to insist on
keeping out the thousands of new potential killers
But MADD doesn`t, and its integrity is questionable
as a result. Border security and workplace enforcement
are obviously part of any comprehensive program of
preventing drunk driving deaths.
It`s a no-brainer.
MADD`s apparent view that alcohol-prone foreigners as
fodder to be processed into responsible drivers some day
is immoral. MADD tacitly accepts the collateral damage
dead Americans killed by drunk driving illegal
aliens who haven`t yet received the Good News from MADD.
Brenda Walker (email
her) lives in Northern California and publishes two
ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. After all this trash talk
about alcohol, Brenda recalls
Ben Franklin`s saying, "Beer is proof God loves us
and wants us to be happy."