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Professional Knowledge and Abilities

The organization I chose to write about is Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). This organization is designed to stop drunken driving, support victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. By becoming involved in this organization, criminal justice students and public individuals can make a huge difference in the lives of innocent victims and also to stop underage drinking before it starts. MADD’s campaign to eliminate drunk driving is a bold program with an attainable goal to eliminate drunk driving through:

• High-Visibility law enforcement • Ignition interlocks • Advance vehicle technologies • Public support “MADD supports law enforcement agencies nationwide in their efforts to reduce drunken driving fatalities and injuries” (http://www. madd. org/Drunk-Driving/Drunk-Driving/Campaign-to-Eliminate-Drunk-Driving/Law-Enforcement. aspx). They support high visibility law enforcement crackdowns during busy holidays and set up patrols and sobriety checkpoints.

Although not every city supports the sobriety checkpoints, it has been proven that these checkpoints have become valuable intersections to stopping drunk drivers. “Checkpoints are typically publicized in advance and signs are posted at the approaches to the checkpoints warning drivers that a checkpoint is ahead” (J Stud Alcohol 59 (1998): 462–468. ). MADD supports the work of researchers to create voluntary in-vehicle technology that prevents an impaired driver from operating a vehicle.

When they think about how far technology has come from anti-theft sensors that can shut down the engine to a car, it is more than likely known that in 10 years cars will have alcohol sensors to stop drunken driving altogether. MADD supports the technology needed to research this development. As a member of MADD, to ensure the success of this organization, the public is urged to donate time and money, and to be an avid spokesperson and volunteer. A volunteer is asked to sign the pledge that eliminates drunken driving, become of member of the community that supports the organization, and donate to the cause.

Money donated is used to end drunken driving, support victims and families of drunken driving crimes and to prevent underage drinking. “MADD is dedicated to supporting state legislation that expands the use of current alcohol ignition interlock technology so that interlocks are mandatory for all convicted drunk drivers” (Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving State Progress Report (2007). An alcohol ignition interlock is a small device installed into the starting circuit of a vehicle.

A driver blows into the device and if the driver has a measurable amount of alcohol in his body, the vehicle will not start. The interlocks can be set to have regular intervals of breathing in the device so that a sober friend cannot drive the car. If the driver fails the test, the lights will blink and the horn will go off. In order for the device to go off an officer is alerted and sent to the scene. MADD also has a parent handbook to aid in underage drinking. It has a website for parents to interact with other parents.

The website also has many helpful resources for parents who want to make a difference in a teen’s life and a community. They provide parent workshops, which parents can ask questions and obtain answers to underage drinkers in the home. MADD is the largest crime victim assistance organization in the world. “In 2008, MADD served about 55,000 people who had been impacted by drunk driving” (Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving State Progress Report (2007). By becoming an advocate for MADD, a member can make a difference in the community and for a family.

A member can send e-mails to MADD about important issues and concerns regarding the laws of drunken driving. Through this knowledge and awareness of this organization people may increase their professional knowledge and abilities and take it with them to their profession. References http://www. madd. org/Drunk-Driving/Drunk-Driving/Take-Action. aspx Morse, BJ and DS Elliott. Hamilton County Drinking and Driving Study: 30 Month Report. Boulder, Colorado: University of Colorado, 1990.

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