MADD

December is Impaired Driving Prevention Month but this "Remember When" dates back three decades. The year was 1987, and I was in the 5th grade. I competed in a number of events that year, including an Earth Day competition (where I won a U.S. savings bond) and a poster contest for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (where I didn't win anything). Clearly not old enough to think about a rental car at the time, I spaced out on the sponsor of the poster competition.

The sponsor of "Drunk Drivers Destroy Dreams" was National Car Rental, in the same spring as the introduction as National's Emerald Club. Why would National sponsor a poster contest for K-12 students? 

National Car Rental, one of the three largest car rental companies in the world, is the first such company to support an anti-drunk driving campaign aimed at students. The company sponsored the contest because of its inherent interest in making the highways safer for everyone.

A lot has changed in the past 30 years; National's now owned by the largest rental car company (Enterprise Holdings) to compete with the second-largest (AvisBudget Group) and third-largest (Hertz Global Holdings) organizations. There are active campaigns in school settings such as D.A.R.E. plus ubiquitous national advertisements such as "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over", along with regional campaigns such as "Booze it and Lose It". In fact, annual highway deaths from drinking and driving have decreased by more than 50% since 1987 (although there's still a long way to go). 

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