Candace Lynne "Candy" Lightner (born May 30, 1946) is the American organizer and founding president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). On May 3, 1980, Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a hit-and-run drunk driver at Sunset and New York Avenues in Fair Oaks, California. The sentence given to the repeat offender of driving while intoxicated (DWI) outraged Lightner who then organized Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. The name was later changed to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The object of her organization was to raise public awareness of the serious nature of drunk driving and to promote tough legislation against the crime. Lightner appeared on major television shows, spoke before the US Congress, addressed professional and business groups, and worked for many years to change public attitudes, modify judicial behavior, and promote tough new legislation.
She left MADD in 1985. It was reported in 2002 that she had stated that MADD had "...become far more neo-prohibitionist than I had ever wanted or envisioned... I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving". In 2010, she was quoted saying of MADD: "I think they're moving in the right direction", and supporting ignition interlock devices for drunk driving convicts.
Candy Lightner is a recipient of the President's Volunteer Action Award, an honorary doctorate in humanities and public service, and was the subject of a made-for-television movie, "Mothers Against Drunk Drivers: the Candy Lightner story." She is the co-author (with Nancy Hathaway) of Giving Sorrow Words. For her work, Lightner was commended by President Ronald Reagan in helping to spread awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.
Candy Lightner became the President of We Save Lives, which campaigns against drunk, distracted and drugged driving.
- "Candace L. Lightner – 05/30/1946 – 2025 Cornell Pl Port Orange FL 32128". Flvoters.com. 1946-05-30. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
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- "MADD pushes for device to keep intoxicated people from starting cars". The Dallas Morning News date=2010-11-14. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- "WIC Biography - Candy Lightner". Wic.org. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "Team". We Save Lives. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
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- "Original thinkers: These five helped reshape the way we see our world --and live and work in it." Life, 1989, 12(12), 167-171
- Sellinger, M. "Already the conscience of a nation, Candy Lightner prods Congress into action against drunk drivers.” People Weekly, 1984, 22, 102+