They Must Be MADD—Jumping the Shark


I could be wrong, but it appears to me that the folks at Mothers Against Drunk Driving have finally Jumped The Shark with this plot line twist in their never ending saga to demonize alcohol and alcohol drinkers:

"MADD peddling margaritas—sans alcohol, of course"

The constant crusaders against all things drinks, alcohol, cocktails, wine and beer will begin distributing their own brand that include a virgin Mojito, Margarita and Pina Colada, a virgin Lager & Lime, non-alcohol red and white wine and a virgin sparkling wine.

Isn't this a little like the Tipper Gore producing a porn movie where all the actors wear clothes?

According to Chuck Hurley, CEO of MADD, "What's important to us is that a designated driver should be sober —
not just the least drunk. So a virgin cocktail perhaps
would be a little more festive than just a club soda and lime and allow
the person to participate in the festivities but be the sober driver to
get people home."

And why not have the designated driver belly up to the bar and demand, "Give me one of those tasty Mothers Against Drunk Driving Mojitos and two shots of Tequila for my friends over there."

I want to be the guy walking around Joe's Place with a bottle of "Mother's Against Drunk Driving Lager" in my hand…just to see what real ridicule feels like.

MADD's public agenda—reducing drunk driving—is admirable. But its tactics have demonized drinkers and alcohol in general. That's not a particularly rare set of tactics here in America where Puritans sought a community of believers governed by God's law, Prohibition not only was enacted but also lasted for more than a decade and where debates on whether or not alcohol ought to be sold on Sundays really do happen.

But a MADD Margarita?

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15 Responses

  1. chuck - September 21, 2009

    MADD Margaritas are pretty good. 3 parts mix to one part tequila.

  2. Katie - September 21, 2009

    Actually, I think the Tipper Gore equivalent would be her releasing a rap or metal album using words like “fudge” intead of “fuck”. Dee Snider would love that.
    Anyhow, I think it actually does the opposite of demonize drinkers because it tells DDs that they *should* be trying to fit in with the drinkers by being posers, rather than just saying, no, I’m driving, please give me a seltzer. It’s the same as saying, “Yeah, we get it, having a drink in your hand makes you look cool. So with our product, you can look like a cool drinker without actually being one” instead of saying “you don’t have to have a drink in your hand to be part of the crowd.” Maybe MADD has become Morons Attract Designated Drivers.

  3. WesHagen - September 21, 2009

    Bleearg! Bet it smells like stinky church pew and heavy-handed judgementalism.
    Boycott those who want to bring back prohibition. These MADD folks, and I know some have lost love ones to drunk drivers, have a broad anti-alcohol agenda, and are only a philosophical tick away from axe-wielding prohibitionists.

  4. MJ - September 21, 2009

    While they are at it, can you ask them to also bring back those candy cigarettes that we all used to fake puff on when we were kids?

  5. Marcia - September 21, 2009

    Is it all not a frightening oxymoron? “MADD wine” or “MADD margartia”? Katie’s got it right! It all smacks of you’ve-gotta-fit-in-with-the-drinkers-so-have-some-fake-liquor. Reminds me of my tabletop EasyBake oven and cake kits from when I was six or plastic pedal cars Mom and Dad let you drive in the driveway. They’re joking, right? It’s completely absurd.

  6. glass wine cork - September 21, 2009

    As has already been very adeptly pointed out by Katie and Marcia, it is silly to create a drink whose sole purpose is to make the non-drinker ‘fit in’. Look, if you do not drink or often find yourself the designated driver, the people you are hanging with should respect that and, in many regards, deeply appreciate your decision (they might need rides). If your peers can’t do this, then they are not people worth your time; it has nothing to do with alcohol.

  7. Chicago Pinot - September 21, 2009

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t the founder of MADD (who did lose a child to a drunk driver) have a major falling out with the organization about ten years ago over exactly what we are discussing here on the blog?

  8. 1WineDude - September 22, 2009

    “Hey, look – I’m not drinking but I’m still cool, right?”

  9. David Honig - September 22, 2009

    The point here is not to give somebody something they can drink to look “cool” while their peers tie one on. The point is not to give people a driving-safe alternative. The point is far simpler than that. The point is to make money. Yup, money.
    MADD is not a movement. MADD is a franchise.
    MADD has been pushing ignition interlock devices for years. Do they work? Not according to the California DMV, which says “second DUI offenders installing an IID had a 130% higher risk of a subsequent crash than suspended drivers.” But MADD gets boatloads of money from interlock manufacturers.
    MADD misleads in its reports of its work, identifying fundraising activities as educational activities, and otherwise doing far less to support its mission than to support itself. In Canada, it claimed millions in educational activities that were really self-promotion, promising to stop only when they got caught.
    MADD is a business, plain and simple.
    And that, my friends, is the point.

  10. Thomas Pellechia - September 22, 2009

    David is right on.
    As any good reporter should know by now–follow the money trail and you on the path to truth.

  11. Jared Brandt - September 22, 2009

    How ironic will it be when you someone at the bar, drinking MADD drinks with the booze added. It is bound to happen…

  12. Nate - September 22, 2009

    I am not sure why all of this does not make everyone angry. We have allowed the prohibitionist organization to dictate to use and the preverbial “Free Society” that we cannot have a drink. That the alcohol and beverage industry is wrong and that we do not have the right to have a drink after work. This is insane. One of our founding fathers was the largest brewer in the world at one point. I think the statistics in this organizaiton are false, I think they are in bed with NHTSA, and I think we have all been so distracted by the noise and debt in our society that we have let our law makers legislate our rights away. We don’t see this type of treatment when someone passes the Flu on to somebody else. There were more flu deaths last year than there were drunk driving deaths. The organization was to get “Drunk (.20 and higher) off the road” and not the social Drinkers. Candy Lindther the founder has quit the organization and works for the lobby she fought against for so long. What does that tell you? Somebody and it is probably going to be me is going to hold this organizaiton accountable for the statistics that are falsely portrayed (and they have been fined for this), and the fact they are swaying our law makers on the emotional aspect of this and not the truth.

  13. Make Wine Blogger - September 23, 2009

    No, not margaritas! Jokes aside, why is a man named chuck the CEO of Mother’s against drunk driving? I find that quite funny. I like to drink, but I also like to be the DD for my friends. I don’t like to get drunk. But there’s nothing wrong with me having 1-2 drinks in a night.

  14. Dylan - September 23, 2009

    As you said, admirable but slightly misguided. I think Today’s designated driver can survive by drinking water or soda. It’s rare that people would ever give you a hard time for being the one to drive you home safely.

  15. Kat - January 23, 2012

    I am excited I am pregnant and it is nice to be able to go out and have something that tastes like wine with my girl friends while keeping my baby safe.

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