DALLAS (April 11, 2019) — This year for Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) CEO Adam Vanek sent an open letter to the American Judges Association and the American Bar Association emphasizing that drunk and drugged driving crashes are never “accidents.”

The letter, in response to an American Judges Association article describing individuals that make the choice to drive impaired as merely “social drinkers who went a little overboard,” has received endorsements from nearly 2,000 MADD supporters who have signed on to the letter over the past three days.

Unfortunately, the sentiment that drunk and drugged driving crashes are accidents is not rare. Fighting this mentality continues to be vital in shifting the country’s perspective.

“We must be clear here. Drunk drivers violate the law. Drunk drivers commit a crime. If we are going to create a world with no more victims of these crimes, we must speak the same language. Drunk and drugged driving is a crime and one that is easily preventable,” said MADD CEO Adam Vanek. “Further compounding this issue, attorneys still commonly advertise using this improper language. Even those that seem to have victims’ best interests in mind inadvertently minimize this tragedy by calling this crime an accident at all stages of the process.”

MADD calls on both organizations to develop a section of their professional code of ethics that identifies drunk and drugged driving as the crimes they are.

In addition to an option to sign Vanek’s letter, supporters can visit madd.org/crimenotaccident to access social media tools to share the message, using the hashtag #CrimeNotAccident.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save nearly 380,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Contact: Becky Iannotta, becky.iannotta@madd.org, 202.600.2032