On the morning of April 18th, 1985, Clarence opened his eyes and found himself again in familiar surroundings: the county jail. He was fifty-two years old, not a young man anymore; it was getting more and more difficult to recover from his binges. His head was splitting and... how many drinks had he had last night? “Ten?” he asked himself, “Twelve?”
He pushed himself up and found a soft coil on the edge of the mattress to sit on. As he stared at the peeling grey floor and rubbed his stinging neck, bits and pieces slowly returned until his heart suddenly jumped and he stumbled forward against the metal bars.
“Officer! Hey, officer!”
The deputy looked up from a newspaper and raised his eyebrows.
“My car... “
“Your car? Your car?”
Insult flashed across Clarence’s face. “... I was in a little Chevy, is it still, uh, drivable?”
The deputy shook his head and threw the paper down. “Your concern is touching, but yeah, it’s a miracle that the girl in the Mustang you T-boned is okay.”
“Oh... right... the girl.”
“Besides,” the deputy added, “I don’t think your temporary license is going to survive this one. This is your fifth D.U.I. and the laws have tightened up a bit since your last one. Better make your phone call now that you’re sober.”
Sometimes, one life can be the beginning of change. And sometimes, one death. Clarence wasn’t that one life, but Cari Lightner, the thirteen year old girl walking to a church carnival that he mowed down while driving drunk five years previously was that one death. Outraged at the light sentence that Clarence Busch received for her daughter’s slaughter, Candice Lightner began a relentless push for tougher laws combating drunk driving that culminated in the formation of M.A.D.D.