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Grassroots Activities

MADD chapters in 20 States conducted grassroots activities. The strategies used varied widely, but tended to relate to one of four general areas:

  • Recruitment – MADD chapters enlisted law enforcement agencies to participate in the National Crackdown and encouraged them to increase their levels of participation; MADD chapters wrote letters, made phone calls, and met with law enforcement leaders to persuade them to participate in You Drink & Drive. You Lose. See, for example, MADD Indiana, Nebraska, or New York , Appendix A.
  • Participation – Many MADD chapters believed it would be inappropriate for MADD to ask law enforcement agencies to participate in high-visibility impaired-driving enforcement without MADD itself being involved; while MADD did not itself “enforce the law,” MADD provided assistance for officers before or during sobriety checkpoints or saturation patrol operations, such as by speaking during roll call, handing out materials, helping to direct traffic, holding up signs or just bringing coffee and cookies. See, for example, MADD Delaware , South Carolina or Virginia , Appendix A.
  • Publicity – MADD helped generate increased media attention to these law enforcement activities; they organized and participated in press events, wrote letters to the editor, provided victim stories, and generally worked to make sure that enforcement activities had a maximum reach in the media. See, for example, MADD Alaska, Minnesota , Missouri , or Tennessee , Appendix A.
  • Recognition – Law enforcement officers (particularly those working traffic) often do not receive the recognition they deserve. MADD sought to recognize law enforcement officers and agencies for their hard work and long and late-night hours. Some MADD chapters hosted recognition ceremonies; others recognized officers or agencies in more simple ways, such as with a badge, with an article in the local newspaper, or by supporting law enforcement training, equipment, or attendance to a national meeting. See, for example, MADD Arizona, Massachusetts, or Texas , Appendix A.

A good example of all of these working together is MADD Georgia , as you can see in Appendix A. These strategies can be implemented separately or in combination with each other, as they are mutually reinforcing. Strong grassroots law enforcement support programs use strategies in each of the four areas. Discussed below are tips, or recommendations, for increasing the effectiveness of the strategies in each area.