She went to American River College in Sacramento and afterwards wed Steve Lightner. Lightner rapidly formed Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (after Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to raise consciousness with this issue and also to fight for tough laws against wrongdoers. She was named to some national commission with this problem by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The next year, Lightner left MADD. She’s continued to focus on societal and legal problems as an activist since that time.
Her dad served in the U.S. Air Force, and her mom worked for this military division as a civilian. She was employed as a dental assistant to get a time and wed U.S. Air Force officer Steve Lightner. The couple had three kids together twins Cari and Serena and son Taylor—before divorcing.
Following the divorce, Lightner settled with her children in Fair Oaks, California. She began working as a property agent there. On May 3, 1980, Lightner endured a great loss. Her 13-year old daughter Cari was hit by an automobile while walking into a church carnival having a buddy. She was hit with such power that she was knocked from shoes and thrown 125 feet. Cari died not long following the injury.
The motorist that hit Cari never halted, also it was afterwards discovered that he’d been drunk at that time of the injury. This is not his first drunk driving injury. He’d been detained a limited time before for another event associated with drunk driving. She chose to direct her anger and despair into fighting drunk driving. “Departure due to drunk drivers is the sole socially acceptable type of murder,” she afterwards told People magazine.
Four days after Cari’s departure, Lightner started up a grassroots organization to recommend for harsher punishments for drunk driving. She quit her job and used her savings to finance Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (afterwards known as Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Before beginning MADD, Lightner had been uninvolved in societal reform or politics. “I was not even registered to vote,” she clarified to People magazine. After that year, Lightner joined forces with Cindi Lamb, whose daughter was left paralyzed by way of a drunk driving injury. The pair went to Washington, D.C., that October to raise consciousness about the problem of drunk driving.
Lightner was among the very first individuals made to the commission. Lecturing and lobbying across the united states, she became a leading activist with this problem. Through MADD, Lightner helped get new anti-drunk driving laws passed in individual states and nationwide. Among the group’s most important achievements from using this time was the national law that increased the legal drinking age to 21. Lightner left the organization she founded in 1985 amid claims of fiscal mismanagement. MADD was accused on spending an excessive amount of cash on fundraising instead of on plans.
Regardless of the conditions of her departure, Lightner had helped develop MADD into a worldwide movement during her tenure. She told CNN the group had almost 400 chapters throughout the world and acquired 2 million members within the initial 3 years.
After MADD, Lightner continued to act as an social activist and public speaker. Four years after, Lightner found herself under fire for agreeing to act as a lobbyist for the spirits business. She described to the Chicago Tribune that she did not find the spirits business as the enemy. “They are just as influenced by drunk driving as anyone else. Drunk driving definitely does not improve their business,” she said. Today, Lightner continues to be sharing her expertise as an organizer and campaigner through her firm C L and Associates. She also focusing on creating a new nonprofit to address problems of public safety.