A former MADD chapter president has been arrested for drunk driving. Image: Flickr / MoneyBlogNewz / CC-BY

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has long been an anti-drunk-driving advocacy group. In Gainesville, Fla., a former MADD chapter president is not representing the group well. After being pulled over by officers, Debra Oberlin was arrested for driving drunk, with nearly three times the legal blood alcohol level.

Debra Oberlin arrested

Debra Oberlin was the president of a Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter in Florida for three years. After an officer observed Oberlin swerving and driving erratically, she was pulled over. In two breathalyzer tests, Oberlin blew .234 and .239 blood alcohol content. The legal driving limit in Florida is .08 blood alcohol. Oberlin has offered no comment to the media about her arrest.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

The non-profit Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization was started in 1980. The group uses a combination of advocacy, action and litigation to try to stop drunk driving and prevent underage drinking. Each chapter of MADD is operated semi-independently. The overall organization receives money from a variety of sources, some of which is sent to local organizations. Local groups are also given leeway to raise their own money as they wish. The chapter of MADD run by Debra Oberlin was closed in 1996 because of lack of funding.

Questions about funding MADD

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has not always been viewed as a “safe” nonprofit to donate to. Between 1994 and 2009, MADD was heavily criticized for paying out more than half of its income in salaries to employees. The American Institute of Philanthropy has rated MADD as a “D” nonprofit for because AIP questions MADD’s accounting practices. The leaders of MADD have always vehemently denied these claims, pointing to the difficulty of attracting and retaining talented employees for their cause. One thing is for certain – former chapter President Debra Oberlin will likely not be asked to re-join the organization.


KTLA: http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-madd-president-dui,0,153201.story
USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/money/2005-09-28-madd-change-usat_x.htm

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