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 appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Commission on Drunk Driving.
Candy Lightner became the President of We Save Lives, which campaigns against drunk, distracted and drugged driving.
Lightner, although unconfirmed has been accused of receiving 2 DUI's since her daughters death
- "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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- "Giving Sorrow Words". Hachette Book Group. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
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- "Team". We Save Lives. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
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- Hanania, Ray (1995). Lightner's departure from ADC: A death knell? Arab American News, 31 March 1995
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- "One woman can make a difference: Candy Lightner and Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD." Vogue, 1986, 176, 170
- "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+