Did MADD go too far?

Few would disagree with the wisdom of keeping drunk drivers off the road.  And while many full-service restaurants saw red over .08 BAC measures in recent years, it seems a happy medium has since been found: Even with the restrictive BAC level (which nearly all states have adopted under pain of losing federal highway funding), customers can still enjoy a couple glasses of wine with a restaurant meal, then drive home without running afoul of the law.

But maybe not. In March, the political-action group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) issued the "Child Endangerment Report," a 32-page document that primarily calls for legal action against adults who drive impaired with minors in their cars. Few would disagree with the wisdom of that either, but page 9 is where some in the industry felt that MADD went too far.

The group called for mandatory provisions in all divorce and separation cases where children are involved which would prohibit either parent from driving after having a drink—even one. If caught, MADD mandated both incarceration and termination of parental rights. "This once admirable group has slipped into pure anti-alcohol zealotry," countered the libertarian-leaning American Beverage Institute.

Maybe. But one thing's certain: anything that'll keep customers from ordering a glass of wine is sure to have restaurateurs seeing red all over again.


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