Friday, December 14, 2007

short, and 1 handed

for anyone wanting to read about my surgery, yesterday, I figured a better place for that was at First Do No Harm, so now I am going to attempt my usual Friday thing. But a short one.

So the holidays are upon us, and I figure this is a good topic for them.

There is this lady named Candy Lightner. She truthfully did not set out to live a life uncommon. She was born in Pasadena, California, and, raised in the "usual" fashion. After attending college, she met and married Steve, a Forest Serviceman. They had three children. Like many marriages, it ended in divorce, and she found herself selling reality in Fair Oaks, Calif.
On May 3, 1980, her life turned for the worst.
Her 13 year old daughter, Cari, was struck and killed by a drunk driver, who did not stop. He hit Cari so hard it was impossible to donate any organs...
The driver had 4 other arrests for drunk driving, including a hit and run the weekend before. The most jail time he spent was 48 hours.
Cari left behind a twin sister, and a brother who, also had a previous accident, hit by someone under the influence of tranquilizers, and has permanent brain damage.
A few days later, Candy learned that the asshat who hit her daughter was not going to serve any jail time. And almost instantly, Mothers Against Drunk Driving was born. Candy quit her job, and threw time, energy and money into lobbying for stricter laws. She did nothing but devote her life to MADD for 5 years, and then realized though she had done much that was good, she was leaving out the most important thing. Her family. She moved on, but MADD continues on, a force to be reckoned with. It is international, now, with over 3 million members. There is also, though, a story out there that the board of directors fired Candy, for having different "goals" for the organization.
Candy, after leaving MADD, realized she had never grieved Cari's death. Doing so, she eventually found herself writing a book, with a co author, about coping. She also continued to give lectures on Drunk Driving, and started yet another organization, the Victims in Action. She also, in what many consider to be a sellout move, eventually became a lobbyist (a well paid one, at that) for a group called The American Beverage Institute", who, ironically, had a goal of NOT lowering the legal blood alcohol level. She maintains that the higher leveled drivers are the majority out there, and cause 80 % of the deaths.
Whatever the controversy that surrounds her, if she "sold out" or not, she still managed to do something that needed to be done, in the wake of her own, personal nightmare. We needed stricter laws and punishment for driving under ANY influence, and, thanks to Candy,and MADD, we got them.


julie said...

We've come a long way since 1980, but it's not far enough.

Until driving under the influence of ANY intoxicating substance is taken more seriously by our society -- by enacting stricter penalties and relieving some of the ridiculous bureaucracy required to enforce the laws -- we'll continue seeing tragedies like this one.

*stepping off soapbox...*

mielikki said...

it's a good soap box to be on, though.

NanaKaos said...

We have way to many incidents of drunk drivers killing people and not serving time here. Nobody does anything. Recently an off duty police officer was run down on his motorcycle by a repeat drunk driver, a young woman. So another young Mom is left to take care of her family alone, while the drunk driver is running around free trying to get people to feel sorry for her(she still has her lisence). Her Lawyer is a guy who defends the lowest kind of criminal around here. Whenever some creep shows his/her face I always think their lawyer is so-and-so and sure enough there he is.
This year we have had bicyclists. pedestrians (walkers), motorcyclists and car drivers run down. Some times the idiots are drunk teenagers. Last year a 17 year old was driving drunk, two or three of his passengers were killed. His lawyer ( yes the same guy) got him tried as a juvenille and he wound up not serving any jail time and very little\if any punishment, he thought his guilty feelings were enough. God help us all. Mei, you understand our frustration over heavy drinkers who drive and put others at risk and never get caught. It's frightering. Sorry I get up on the Soap box about somethings.
Feel better, enjoy your gift. Nanakaos.

MM said...

There was a rumor floating around that in Jordan or Saudi, if you're caught driving drunk, they pull you out of the car and put a bullet through your head right there. I think that might have to do with it being against Muslim religion to drink than, any kind of MADD organization, but who says that we can't adopt that here? Darth Older Brother had a friend in elementary school who was mowed down by a drunk driver while she was on her bike riding home from school. I don't know what ever happened to the driver though, I was too young to remember and I don't want to ask DOB, because it might still hurt, he was riding right next to her when it happened.

mielikki said...

I can see this one struck a chord. It is still a problem, obviously more needs to be done. Hopefully, there will be more done. That's my official Christmas Wish. (one of many)

sybil law said...

It's definitely the repeat offenders that piss me off royally, and somehow (lawyers) they're the ones who get the lightest sentences! HOWEVER - the limit can be ridiculously low, so I can see how someone can get a DUI after having a couple of drinks and not even being drunk, or dangerous.
That is coming from someone who is anal about driving (or rather, NOT driving) after even one drink.
Anyway, I would agree that Candy is right as far as the limits go.