Not intentionally, mad is stealing my tax dollars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave MADD $400,000 of your money to “monitor drunken driving” proceedings in court.
This is wrong on many levels.
1. Watching court is free. Anyone can watch court. It costs nothing. Why they need $400k is beyond me.
2. MADD has an annual budget of $52,000,000. They don’t need taxpayer money.
3. MADD already received over $700,000 from the Department of Justice. How much tax payer money do they need?
The idea is that if MADD is sitting in the court room it will scare the judge and prosecutor into being tough on DWI. I heard rumors about this when I was prosecuting but I never saw any MADD operatives my court.
As an ADA I refiled many DWI cases as Obstructing a Highway. As far as I knew no one complained. If I thought a defendant did not need a DWI conviction or the case was weak it was a candidate for OAH. In Texas, the state adds a $1,000 a year “surcharge” for 3 years if you get a DWI conviction. I did not have to be a party to government extortion.
DWI can be a life ruining experience (unless you are George W. Bush or Dick Cheney). We have criminalized drinking for no reason. Lowering the BAC to .08 and destroying the 4th Amendment has not made us safer. It has made us less free.
I hope NM judges are not intimidated into giving out harsher sentences just because MADD is present.