Victims of DUI incidents need to know where to turn for help, just as perpetrators need to know who they can go to for assistance with their cases and bringing about a positive lifestyle change. A wide variety of organizations and individuals can aid in both parties’ search for support.
Alcoholics Anonymous: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a voluntary fellowship made up of men and women with a common goal to end their addiction to alcohol. Membership is entirely free, and the organization is not affiliated with any one denomination, organization, or institution; it attempts to be as open and accommodating to its members as possible.
The only requirement of its approximately 2 million members throughout 180 countries is that they share the desire to stop drinking. Under complete anonymity, members abstain from alcohol one drink and one day at a time, following the group’s outlined 12 Steps for recovery from alcoholism.
While anyone can attend an open AA meeting, closed sessions are for alcoholics only. Meetings are held for members to help learn, grow, and recover through sharing personal stories and experiences.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a group with the mission “”to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime, and prevent underage drinking.””
After expanding greatly over the past 30 years, the organization is now led by a president and a national board of directors and advisors comprised of celebrities and key leaders willing to lend their voice and support to MADD’s mission.
The heart of MADD, however, is their expansive network of volunteers. Anyone is welcome to join MADD. Volunteers are offered opportunities including:
- Assisting with legislative activities.
- Working with drunk driving victims and survivors.
- Volunteering with youth.
- Court monitoring.
- Aiding with the speaker’s bureau program.
- Organizing special events.
MADD’s website also hosts several pages worth of information catered to people under 21 regarding drunk driving facts and statistics. It also provides chat rooms and forums for discussions addressing the prevention of underage drinking.
Students Against Destructive Decisions: Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) has expanded its mission since its inception over 25 years ago. Its current goal is “”to provide students with the best prevention and intervention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, and other destructive decisions.””
With over 350,000 active student members, the organization has grown to become one of the nation’s largest peer-to-peer youth prevention organizations through its constantly growing number of chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. SADD’s approach is to get students involved, supporting and assisting their peers in making intelligent, healthy decisions.
The Internet is rife with attorney websites for lawyers interested in representing drunk driving offenders as well as victims. However, choosing the right lawyer is an important and difficult decision. It is best to do your research before settling on a legal representative. Also, be sure to get informed about state law regarding DUIs, including your rights and possible consequences and sentences. Additionally, you should consult DUI aid directories for counseling and lawyer referral.