When you or a loved one has been injured, or if a loved one has been killed, because of a crash with a drunk driver you are likely going through a difficult and emotional time. There are resources available to help the victims of drunk drivers.
MADD was founded in 1980 by Candace Lightner. Lightner’s daughter, 13-year old Cari, had been killed by a drunk driver after she was hit while walking to a carnival with a friend. The driver had multiple prior DUI convictions and had just been released on bail, a few days before the accident, who went on to face light penalties.
MADD advocates for stronger drunk driving laws. One of the things that it accomplished in the 1980’s was to help get the National Minimum Age Drinking Act pass, which required states to increase the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 or risk incurring a penalty on its federal highway funds. One of its current campaigns (in 2017) is for every state to require every person convicted of DUI have an ignition interlock devices installed in their car.
MADD also offers victim services. The organization has a hotline and email that those who have been victims of drunk driving, or whose loved ones have been injured or killed by a drunk driver, can use to contact a MADD victim advocate. The hotline can also put you in touch with a victim advocate who is in your area. In addition, the group has online support material such as brochures on grief and information on other resources for victims. In addition, MADD has a local Colorado office.
The National Center for Victims of Crimes is the leading national resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. The NCVC operates a traditional telephone-based helpline 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846) as well as an online chat, in addition to providing information and service referrals for victims and their families.
The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States. NOVA provides resources and referral information for those who have been victims of crime as well as those who provide support for crime victims.
The Office for Victims of Crime is a federal program operated by the United States Department of Justice. The OVC provides federal funds to local and state organizations which provide services to crime victims. Their website also includes a directory where victims can locate local services.
In addition to holding the largest victim services field conference in the country to educate service providers and advocates, COVA offers a statewide directory that includes a list of service providers that assist in a variety of victim services.
Victim Outreach Incorporated provides residents with services including crisis intervention, risk assessment, informing victims of the rights guaranteed to them under the Colorado Constitution, and legal process support.