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BALTIMORE (WJZ) – WJZ viewers share their comments about how drunk driving affected their lives.

“I was hit by a drunk driver on 12-9-06 while returning home from dog obedience class with my fiance. I was completely stopped at a stop sign when he veered off a main thoroughfair and T-boned my car. The driver side and rear windows were shattered and the side air bag deployed. He did not possess a driver’s license and had three prior DWIs. His blood alcohol was three times the legal limit. This incident has affected us in many ways. I received injury to my ear with permanent scarring due to the glass going into my ear from the air bag. My fiance was hospitalized twice and had hiccups for 13 days following the accident. I needed to be cut out of my vehicle which was a total loss.The person who hit us served approximately one year of an 18 month sentence. He is now incarcerated again due to three probation violations. He sought no treatment after his release and continued to use Carroll County roads. I just made my last car payment on 12/11/2009 for a car that was destroyed by this person-which I never intended to buy. I feel that my testimony may have saved other citizens of Carroll County from similar encounters with this drunk driver. I consider us very fortunate to have walked away from this accident. The drunk driver stated that he knew he was too drunk to cut wood so he decided to drive home. This is when the accident occurred.” — Susan

“My daughter, Mary-Kathryn and her boyfriend, Jon were killed on Father’s Day 2009. Over the years, I’ve had friends and neighbors killed in drunken driving accidents, and while those have been tragic, I would have never dreamed that it would hit so close to home. From the time the Maryland state police officers arrived at 5:30 in the morning to inform us of the accident, until now, her death has left a tremendous void in our lives. Mary-Kathryn was the type that would light up a room when she entered. She was always the life of the party, and you always knew when she was present. Her laugh, her smile, her voice, her hugs will be greatly missed! No parent should have to go through the agony of losing a child. In the natural order of life, a child should not pass away before the parent. She will never have the opportunity to finish up her education, get married, have children, and participate in the hundreds of life events we take for granted. When a drunk driving accident occurs, the person responsible doesn’t realize (or doesn’t care) how their actions not only affect their lives, the lives of the victims, but also the lives of those around them. Just as a pebble ripples in the water, the reverberating effect goes throughout entire circle of friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances and community. We applaud WJZ and the Maryland law enforcement’s efforts to curb drinking and driving on our roads, and to prevent this type of tragedy from happening to another family. — Dave from Columbia

“On October 14, 2000 our family’s lives changed forever because of a drunk driver. My nephew was on the Baltimore City Police force and loved his job. While driving with his sergeant in the car with him he was struck by a drunk driver and the vehicle was slammed up against a telephone pole due to the impact. They were both killed instantly. My nephew left behind a 9-year-old daughter which he was raising by himself and his sergeant left behind two young children as well. It is something you never forget and it will always be on our minds every day. It is something you never forget. The sad part is the drunk driver served six months in jail then walked away with a smack on the hand. That just seems like a very light sentence for killing two people. Never take anything for granted as you do not know what tomorrow will bring or if we will be here tomorrow.” — Doris 

“I was a victim of a drunk driver on a motorcycle. Last Nov. 1, 2008, I asked if I could ride with an acquaintance. He accepted. On the way back to my truck, he crossed the center line and hit an SUV on the left front. We were both taken to Shock Trauma, where eight days later, they had to amputate my lower left leg as a result of that accident. How has this affected my life? I am now a below the knee amputee. I’m not able to ride my own bike (which wasn’t running that fateful night). I can’t go down my basement steps to do laundry. I had to learn how to ‘walk’ all over again when I got my prosthetic leg in July. I have to use a cane to walk now. I’ll never be able to walk down a beach with my husband or my grandkids. I can’t go shopping for food or gifts if the store doesn’t have the handicap wheelchair carts. I’m very blessed to be alive. I won’t be asking someone for a ride anymore, unless I know that person very well. I wrote a short article on it at www.hub.com on Living Life After Amputation. I think if you go to that site and search for that title by B.Morgan, you will be able to view it. Thank you.” — Barbara

“A few years ago, a friend was walking home from work on North Point Road, and a drunk driver was coming down the road and hit him knocking him into the next lane. He was hit by the second car then hit again by a third car. It turns out, the drunk driver wasn’t just drunk, he was doing drugs, too. Due to that, we lost a friend who still had a life ahead of him. So before you get drunk, think of the lives of people you could harm, and give the keys to a driver who is sober and is able to drive or call a cab! God bless and be careful!” — Angel, Dundalk “It was December 1998. I was driving home from my job as an elementary school library media specialist. It was 3:30 p.m. I was on Broken Land Parkway. As I approached the Columbia Mall, I realized there was a car driving toward me on the wrong side of the divided highway. He was in the left hand turn lane. I moved right but he, I guess, realized that he was going the wrong way. He started to U-turn in front of me. My Chevy Nova met his van. I ended up with bilateral femur fractures, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, and a partially collapsed lung. I was cut out of my car and taken to Shock Trauma. I had a metal rod put in my left femur and a plate and bone graft in my right femur. I had to have several surgeries on my legs. I was bedridden for three months. My son was 12 and waiting for me to pick him up. He received a phone call that I was in an accident and taken to the hospital. He had to contact my husband, his dad, on his own. I was in Shock Trauma for over two weeks and spent a month in a nursing home/rehabilitation center and six weeks in a hospital bed at home. The driver was 19 driving his father’s van. Since it was mid-afternoon, I don’t think a checkpoint would have caught him. I believe he had previous DUIs. I know we were contacted a couple years ago by a state’s attorney asking about my case. Apparently, he had not learned a lesson from my accident. ” — Janice, Columbia

“I’ve been convicted of drunk driving. That only reflects one event. What about all the other events before and after? I finally made the decision if I drink, I don’t drive. However, if the state of Maryland had a zero tolerance, no PBJ, no fines, but mandatory jail time for first time offenders, that in itself will reduce the number of violations and deaths caused by drunk driving.” — David, Severna Park

“I was six-years-old, and a female driver was drunk and she hit me with her car. She had no idea that she hit me and as I was pinned up under the car being dragged around like a ragdoll. My head was about to go under the tire, and the passenger in that car stopped the car. As a result, I was in a body cast for eight months and a regular cast for two months. I had severe head trauma and swelling. The worse part of this is that I still suffer from this day. I have severe dizziness that makes me severely ill, and I also have pains in my legs. I have a picture of me that I have shown my children as well as their friends so they understand the importance of why you should not drink and drive. My life will never be the same and God how I wish the dizziness would just go away.” Terrie, Edgemere

“On New Year’s morning in ’04 my three-year-old son was in a vehicle which was hit by a drunk driver. We let our son go with his grandparents to a family New Year’s party for 2003 into 2004 while my wife and I went downtown to go ice skating. At 12:15 a.m. New Year’s morning, a drunk driver hit the car my son was ridding in as they were waiting at a traffic light. They were hit at 65 mph in the rear end. Police said 3-5 mph more, our son could have died. The driver that hit them blew a .18 at the scene. From that day on, my son cannot take loud noises, and his mother and I are afraid to let him go out that time of year. The thing is, his mother and I both were in our early 20s and didn’t drink and drive. I don’t know what I would have done if I would have lost my baby. I do know I will never drink and drive. The drunk driver in this story was slapped on the wrist and was given six months suspended license, and a fine for almost killing a baby. I would love to let this man see the pictures of my son crying on a backboard begging to let him up saying, ‘Daddy help me.'” — John and Danielle, Perry Hall

“On a snowy evening in January 2002, my husband, two kids and I were returning home from sleigh riding at a friend’s home. Sitting at a red light, a car came spinning toward us and hit us head on. The two young men in the other car were strip-club drinking and needless to say felt no pain. One went off to Shock Trauma where he remained in a coma for two weeks, and still suffers from his injuries. The other was sent to Franklin Square Hospital, treated and released. Thinking that we were all fine, our truck towed away, we arrived home. The next morning I could not use my right arm. After several hospital visits we found out that I did apparently bang my head, and blew out two disks in my neck. I ended up having spinal fusion on two disks in my neck and have a metal plate which will stay there forever. I did have knee surgery from where my knee hit the dashboard. I missed like nine months of work that year; thankfully I have a very nice employer. I’m extremely happy that no one in my family was injured, just wish mine wasn’t so bad. I’m very leary of driving in bad weather, still nervous when driving. I have limited movement in my neck and still suffer the pain. I do report every car that I see weaving and take down their tag number and call it in. I just wish someone would have done that that day in January 2002. I’d like to see everyone have a designated driver when going out, or just stay home and enjoy their adult beverages — much cheaper for them!” — Susan, Middle River

“After seeing my 20-something sister drink and drive and crash at least four times, it only gets harder. Her last accident, though thankfully she wasn’t hurt, opened both of our eyes. Sitting with her in the hospital watching her being poked and pricked and watching the doctor search her eyes under fluorescent lights for glass made me realize just how close I came to losing her. I think she realized it too.” — Leigh

“Years ago my family and I adopted a dog from our local shelter. The dog had been abused and was terrified of everything. After awhile she came around,she learned about love and trust and we were all happier then we had ever been. Christmas had just passed and the storm of 2003 hit. Our dog was out chasing the kids on the snowmobile in the fields when a drunk driver lost control of his car hitting and killing her. Luckily the children were unharmed but we lost our best friend and none of us has been the same since that day.Drinking and driving kills…it kills people,it kills best friends. It’s a horrible thing and people really need to think about what they’re doing before they get behind the wheel.” — Dawn

“Mine is a story of shame and confession. You see, it was on the night of September 25th/26th that my infamous event happened, and it wasn’t at all pleasant. I was the only person involved and the only person injured was myself, my car was totalled, and they actually had to extricate me from the vehicle. I had been drinking earlier that evening at Souris’ Tavern in Towson, and I do not remember leaving that place, much less getting into my car or driving to where I had the accident, some 8 to 10 miles from where I live in Pikesville. The accident occurred on Worthington Avenue and Sagamore Forest Lane, at the little overpass where the road passes over the Delaware Run, I glanced off of two trees and struck the bridge abutment on the bridge which crossed the run. My car rolled over and pinned my left arm underneath the vehicle crushing the left humerus and many of the tendons and nerves as well as damaging the elbow. I also lacerated my forehead, and broke the calcaneus of my right foot, though don’t ask me how. I was taken in a semi-conscious state to Shock Trauma where they essentially saved me life, although at times, I wish that I would have just been allowed to die in that crash. I spent 8 days in Shock Trauma and the next Month and a half in a Rehab/Nursing Home on York Road in Towson. I am facing 3 counts of DUI/DWI and 1 count of Negligent Driving and I am ashamed of what I have done, and I am just glad and grateful to God almighty that I did not hurt or kill anyone in the course of my actions. I am 51 years of age and this is my first and only DUI/DWI and I am afraid that I will have the book thrown at me. And to be honest I should. But to be honest too, I should have just been allowed to die in that crash and God must have saved me for a reason, and not to be publicly humiliated for this egregious wrong and misdoing. I am not a bad person, I just did a bad and wrong thing and I am truly sorry and repentant for it, and I will do whatever I have to do in order to make it right. All I ask for is forgiveness, and I know that God has forgiven me, it is the people of this world that I dread the most with their need for vengeance and their cries for blood.” —  Rommel John

“At approximately 6:15 a.m. on Monday, March 15, 2004 I was at work and the phone rang. It was my husband screaming, ‘She’s dead. She’s dead.’ My beloved mother-in-law had been killed by a 19-yr-old man with a .20 level of alcohol, driving close to 100 miles an hour. I will never forget that day. It has dramatically impacted our lives, from the court dates to I, myself reading our family victim impact statement. I was one who would read or hear about drunk driving deaths and think, oh poor family, while in my mind saying it won’t happen in mine. Well, I learned never say never and I myself am very careful if I drink or if my loved ones drink. We decide a designated driver BEFORE we go out. Thank you for letting me share my story.” — Leslie

“My story was actually reported by you guys. On July 19, 2009 my life would change. My little sister Katlynn was killed by a drunk driver. This would have been his 3rd or 4th DUI and he got away with it. So thank you WJZ for helping enforce Checkpoint Strikeforce.” — Shannon

“The lives of myself, my husband, our youngest son, and our entire family have been forever changed. On the night of the 11th of February in 2003 my eldest son Jason was returning home from work and was struck head-on and killed by a drunk driver. This kind of thing affects you in unimaginable ways. Your whole life is just turned upside down. Birthdays and holidays are especially rough. I don’t have the Christmas spirit I used to have. For me, it’s just another day. It can be a real struggle sometimes to just make it through the day. If I don’t keep my mind occupied with other things, Jason’s there. You just can’t imagine how hard it can really be unless you’ve personally been affected in the same way. You don’t just “get over it”. It will be there every day for the rest of your life. The worst part of the whole thing is that it could have been prevented. My son, along every other person that has ever been killed by a drunk driver, could have lived the life they were meant to live. All it would have taken was sense enough to let someone sober drive. If there’s not someone available that’s sober enough to drive, call someone else to do the driving. It’s all about prevention. So many lives could be saved. I work for a law enforcement agency in our area and I know that our officers do the best they can to get drunk drivers off the road, but they need help from the judicial system to keep them off the road. ALWAYS DRIVE SOBER.”  — Mary

“My niece was killed by a drunk driver Sept. 3,2007. She was 17. She was planning her graduation and had been accepted to college. She was not your typical teenager. She had a job and was going to pursue a career in teaching algebra. Everyone loved her. The driver who killed her was 42 at the time and a repeat offender. He was also high on heroin. The moment i got the phone call from my sister @ 8:05PM is burned in my memory forever. My whole family has never been the same. We find it very difficult to move on and find ways to enjoy life now. He not only took her away from us but many others who she had planned to teach and help as a teacher. I think people who choose to drive drunk should not be allowed to drive again. Its not right he gets 3 shots and a cot and complains that he can’t do the time. He should have been the one who died.” — Patty

“After years and years of drinking, I finally learned my lesson, with the help of the Lord above. After two DUIs, numerous damage to my car and an overnight stay at the police station, sleeping on a floor mat, together with young people (as old as my two sons) I felt terribly embarrassed and devastated. That was April 2006, and to this day I have not had a drink, nor do I want to take a drink.” — K. Kelly

“Though I personally wasn’t involved with a drunk driving accident, one of my best friends made a tragic mistake and decided to drink and drive. After attending a party with our friends, I got a ride home from someone sober, but my friend decided to drive with her childhood friend and another in the car. Sadly, she lost control of her car and crashed, killing her long time friend. This destroyed her life and she spent time in jail because of it, being charged with DUI and involuntary manslaughter. If it wasn’t for her friend’s mother, she would have gone to jail for a long time, but the boy’s mother asked for leniency because she felt her son was also responsible because he chose to get into the car just as my friend chose to drive. She was lucky and ended up with probation and banned from drinking alcohol, but sadly she has to live with this tragedy, knowing she was responsible for killing her best friend. Her life has never been the same and this one time happy girl with her whole life ahead of her lost her way and not only destroyed her friend’s family but also her own. Everytime I drink, I remember what happened to her and I know now that if I drink and drive, I may hurt someone innocent. Her tragedy made me aware of my actions and I have not driven drunk since.” — Melissa

“I am used to telling this story and it never gets any easier. It was February 2008 and I received a phone call that my father had taken ill, it was quite sudden. Within a week he went down hill and we lost him on February 15, 2008. After returning home from WV, trying to put our lives back together, I lost my father in law in April. He lost his battle with cancer. The family was trying to put things back in order and I received another phone call from a friend. He asked me if I was sitting down, and I looked around for my girls, they were safe and I ask why. He asked again if I was sitting, once again I asked why. He then told me that a dear friend of mine was just killed by a DRUNK DRIVER. It was his 4th DUI. Mr. Hill was a bus driver for Queen Anne’s County, he was 39 years young, a wife and 6 children. I cried harder with this news than I did after losing my 2 dads. I went to the services and there were 350 + people there and a lot of them were students he had been driving to school. I have worked with MADD, (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) for 2+ years. Every time I speak at a VIP, (Victim Impact Panel), I tell this story and I also have a video I show as well, there are at least 75+ people in the panel. I am also a public speaker on the dangers of Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking. You see I used to be that Drunk Driver, and have been sober for 19 years now. This pain will never go away, because we are reminded every day of a Drunk Driver. We need to stop this so no other family has to go through what the Hills and myself went through, and every other family that has suffered.” — Tom McKnight 

“I made a few bad decisions…luckily the only damage was to my finances. Every time I see a story where a drunk driver took a life, I am beyond thankful that I was not that driver! I was one of those people who “just snuck by” because it had been over 5 years since the last time I got caught driving drunk. It petrifies me to think about how many lives I put at risk between those arrests. While I still drink regularly, I will NEVER put other lives at risk…I know that this is my own decision & a risk to my life only.” — RW

“My 29-year-old son, Donnie, was struck and killed by a drunk driver on May 29, 2007. When he died, he left a wife and a 9-month old baby girl, Hayden. Donnie was a fun loving person who was loved by numerous friends and family. More than 500 people visited us at the Stauffer Funeral Home in Mt. Airy and again at the funeral service, plus approximately 100 cars were in the procession to the cemetery in Frederick, Md. At the time of his death, Donnie was riding his motorcycle and on his way home when the defendant made a left turn into Donnie’s lane and hit him. His loss to our family has been extremely difficult, especially since his “baby girl” will never know her Daddy. Donnie missed his 30th birthday three weeks after his death, not to mention he missed Hayden’s first steps, first words and her first birthday. We are doing all we can to make sure that this little lady (now 3-years old) will “know” her Daddy through funny stories about him and pictures, etc. I am Donnie’s mother, and I will go to my grave wondering why when people who drink feel they have the RIGHT to drink and then drive. To add salt to the wound, the defendant (who had prior DUI/DWI’s) got off on a technicality, with only a minimal punishment, no jail time; no fines, and only some community service and probation. I just don’t understand our judicial system.” —  Jeanne

“A drunk driver recently took the life of my aunt and uncle in Street, Maryland. They were wonderful loving people. This guy is out on bail for Christmas. But I am hoping he gets locked up for a long time! Christmas hasn’t been the same without them! we all miss them so much!” — Patricia

“I don’t drink and drive, I don’t even drink alchol, but when I was 18 I was in a bad wreck. I was hit by a drunk driver and my bf at that time was killed in the wreck. We had to be cut out of our car. The thing is that made it even worse was the guy who hit us was my sister’s husband’s brother (my brother-in- law’s brother hit us). He was drunk and driving and hit us head on. I did not know for days later who had hit or that my bf died in crash as I was in hospital as well. But I can tell you that when you go through something like that it stays with you. Then at age 20 was hit head on by another drunk driver and also at age 26 I have been in 3 wrecks caused from being hit by a drunk driver.I am now 50 and still very scared when out in traffic of being hit by another drunk driver.Please do not drink and drive. Save a life if you must drink, give your keys to someone, call a friend to take you home, rent a room sleep it off, call a cab anything but get on the road driving and drunk. It could be your own relative you kill or your own son or daughter or mother or father etc.” — Brenda 

“Back in 1997, mind you I’m now 26, I was involved in a car accident on Eastern Ave. by Hawthorne. We were on our way home late at night, my mother driving with 2 friends in the car, and a drunk driver made a turn in front of us into hawthorne as we passed the intersection. He spun our car around several times and we ended up in the front sign of what was Hardee’s then. I almost died, twice. My spleen was ruptured and needed emergency surgery (twice) and my mother and friends were also injured, though not as severe. Luckily no one was killed. He tried to run but was stopped by a witness. He was drunk, 3 times over the legal limit in Maryland back then. As I recall only served less then 1 year, after this was his 3rd offense. And to this day, almost 13 years later and a huge scar across my stomach, it still affects me and the way I feel about how someone almost took MY life because they were irresponsible. I get upset to see the news and people killed and family members hurt by the actions of others. Enforce the checkpoints for the holidays not only for the safety of people like me who have been affected, but also to protect the families who may actually lose a loved one due to someone else’s stupidity!!” —  Sarah

“I spent 34 years as a volunteer firefighter riding with Woodland Beach,Deale and Dunkirk Vol.Fire Depts.There are several. One that sticks in my head is a drunk driver who hit a family head on on Riva Rd., killing the wife on Thanksgiving Day. One year later the same drunk driver hit another family head on on Md Route 253, killing the husband on Christmas Day.” — Steve

“I actually have two stories I would like to share. The first was my sister that is no longer with us. She was a druggie and alcoholic. However, on one New Year’s Eve Night her and three other friends when out partying. One friend stayed sober and clean to drive home. On their way home a drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit the vehicle my sister was in. My sister and 2 of her friends died on impact. The one friend that stayed sober is now paralyzed from the neck down. She is unable to do anything for herself. The driver that ran the stop sign was never charged for anything at all. I lost my sister when I was almost 3 (I am now almost 28). I never even got to know her. My second story involved myself. My boyfriend at the time and another couple that I was friends with and myself were involved in an accident back in Aug. 2002. The boyfriend was driving my car on Route 13 North in Seaford, Del. At the intersection where the Walmart is he ran the red light and T-boned a SUV coming from Walmart. My boyfriend, the couple in my car, and the driver of the SUV had minor injuries. I was not so lucky. I spent the next 2 weeks in the hospital fighting for my life. I have 3 broken toes, 1 dislocated toe, lacerated liver, fractured clavicle, and other minor injuries. The reason for this accident was my boyfriend at the time was drunk and paying attention to me and not the road. Since the accident 7 years ago I have never been the same. I cannot enjoy things that I once did. I am unable to go places that I used to go. Everyday is a struggle to do what come natural to most people. I would love to be able to go to mall and shop for Christmas presents, but I am unable to even walk through a department store without hurting and feeling wore out. Please next time you head out that door to a party, a bar, a friend’s house, whatever..plan ahead. Have a designated driver and be safe.” — Rachel 

“In July of 2002 my stepfather and my uncle left the house early in the morning to complete a side job working on a friend’s house. They never made it there because a teenaged drunk driver crossed the double lines on the road and caused a head-on collision with my stepfather’s truck. He made it out scratch free. My stepfather managed to crawl out of the car, screaming for help while my uncle was jammed between the seat and the dashboard. I’ll never forget that phone call as long as I live. My mother and I were on our way to the hospital to visit my fiance, who was fighting cancer. Little did we know we would spend the summer going back and forth between two hospitals and a nursing home. My stepfather suffered so many injuries it would take far too long to list them here. His colon was severed and his heel was shattered, amongst others. He survived, and will walk with a limp for the rest of his life. His ability to walk properly isn’t the only thing he lost, however. He lost his best friend, my uncle. My uncle actually survived the accident for about 9 months, lying in a bed paralyzed at a nursing home. In the end, he ended up dying anyway. The young man who decided to drive drunk that morning took my second father away from me. He never had a chance to attend my wedding. He never got to see my fiance go into remission from his cancer. The unfortunate thing is that the drunk driver did not learn from this mistake. He was caught driving drunk again a few years later. It deeply saddens me to know that people like him exist in this world. How many more people will die because of this? If I had it my way, drunk drivers would be locked away forever, never to take anyone else’s life ever again.” — Ashley 

“I never thought I would get the chance to share this this way online but I am. In 1990 my brother and I and my friend were at my friend’s house with his family celebrating my friend’s departure for ENGLAND to live with a woman.We ate and drank there and decided to continue on with the celebration that evening. We went to a dancing bar with girls and before we entered my brother pulled out a joint that we all smoked. By this time between beer and wine at his families house and working 7 days a week for many years and going ot the gym occasionally but did that day I was getting tired. They wanted to continue from there and go down the Block to finish out the night on the road with more drinking. I was smashed so to speak. We left there and went to my friend’s apartment but never got there. When I made a turn onto Rossville Boulevard along with my brother who was on his motorcycle with my friend on the back of it i immediately went to the posted speed and thought my brother was behind me. I needed to get there fast ’cause i was falling asleep. When I saw my speedometer hit the posted speed and I fell asleep and jumped the curb. My reaction was to throw my car off the curb but I overcorrected and when I did I looked out my side window for my brother and never saw him but the impact of his bike against my car threw him and my friend onto the sidewalk in front of Franklin Square Hospital which at that time I didn’t even know existed. I ran to my friend who I saw first and he was on his glutes with only a scrape on his shin and then at the same time asked each other where my brother was. I looked up the sidewalk and saw a body laying across it. I quickly ran up to him and what I saw killed my heart.  My brother face had a look of a hard blow and grimace to his body with his eyes half open. I picked him up in my arms and called his name over and over and over and realized my best friend, my brother, whom I miss and loved so very much was not alive anymore. After 19 years of looking back, watching his 6 month old son, at the time of the accident and who is now 19 years old, grow up without his father. He finished school on the honor roll and his father would have been proud of him. I understand that the accident could of taken us all but fate instead took my brother. With the family support I made it through all of this as hard as it has been but still today I have carried myself with this in my heart and cry at times and talk to my brother in my sleep and am angered that when I realize after waking up laughing he is not here is difficult to take. So if you people out there read this story in my life, I’d hope that before you get behind the wheel and drive intoxicated and/or on drugs remember that it is a mature decision to absolutely not even think twice about driving. I would never want anyone to go through what I have AND IT COULD HAPPEN.I LOVE AND MISS YOU BROTHER, Merry Christmas, with tears.” — Bill 

“Well my mom was in a car a drunk driver hit right on her side on Feb. 19,1990 and she was six months pregnant and she lost it and her whole career went down the drain. Now she has head injuries and arm and seizures and she can’t work now and it kills her. I’m scared that I might lose her because of her health problems now and I’m lucky she was able to have me afterwards ’cause she can’t have kids now. It’s very sad and hard.”  — Angel

“Twenty-six years ago a drunk driver speeding through a red light crashed into my husband, nearly killing him. In court, the police proved that the driver was drunk but not that he was driving, since he was able to get out of his car before they came. It took rescue workers almost an hour to cut away the wreckage and extricate John before they flew him to Shock Trauma, where he was a patient for three months. He has been crippled and in pain for years because of someone else’s irresponsibility. Our family urges everyone: Don’t drink and drive!”  — Carol

“Families are dealing with my choice to drive that night and I do not want to cause more pain. I do plead with everyone who chooses to drink and drive. It’s OK to drink in some cases (if you are not an alcoholic) just don’t get behind the wheel. I personally made a choice never to drink again after I made a bad decision one evening not realizing my actions would destroy lives. Lives were lost that night and it should never have happened. It is a nightmare you live with every hour of every day. It affects your family, the families of the persons lost and thousands of others you don’t even know. There’s NO do-overs so do it right the first time and just stay away from behind the wheel. Save a life and don’t drink and drive. You don’t want to look into the eyes of a family member to say I am sorry. Then it’s too late.”  –Anonymous

“We were driving down Eastern Avenue just past Stemmers Run Road. We saw the red and blue flashing emergency lights. There was an accident. Little did we know, until we got to my mother-in-laws for my nephew’s birthday party, it was my sister-in-law. She was crossing the street at the intersection of Eastern and Stemmers Run. She had the light. A car came barreling down Eastern Avenue at a high rate of speed. The driver of the vehicle didn’t have her headlights on. She had just left a bar. She hit my sister-in-law, head on. She hit her SO hard that her purse was found in the back of the driver’s car. She hit her so hard, the driver had to jerk and swerve her car to shake my sister-in-law off of the windshield of her car. My sister in law’s head was embedded in the windshield. My family was all gathered there. My husband, her brother, my nephews, her husband. This was not only my sister-in-law, this was my best friend lying on the freezing wet asphalt, covered, waiting for a coroner to pronounce her dead, as we stood there looking on. We couldn’t go near her nor touch her nor hug her. We had to just stand there and watch her lying there in the cold pouring rain. How has this changed my life? The pain of the loss of my sister-in-law and best friend is undescribable, even after all these years. She was the sweetest, kindest woman I have ever known and I will always love and miss her terribly. Think twice before you drink and drive. If you’re going to drink, have a designated driver. If you don’t have a designated driver, don’t drink. If you do drink be prepared to pay the consequences if you get behind the wheel of a car. This could happen to you. This could happen to anyone.”  –Sandra

“It was December 21, 2005 when my life change along with a lot of people who cared for Bobby, who was a police officer for MDTA. Eight months later Bobby died at 39. Bobby died by a drunk driver on his 4th DUI charge. This person changed a lot of lives for the worse and has no idea what he has done to family and friends of Bobby. Bobby is greatly missed and loved very much. It was I think two years later that Bobby’s best friend Corey was hit by a drunk driver also and Corey also worked for MDTA. Two familes were taken and the hoildays are not the same. SO before you get behind a wheel and want to drive home and your drunk remember the other people on the road who have families and love ones waiting for them to come home safe!”  –Heather

“On Oct, 26,  2003 my father-in-law, mother-in-law, daughter and one of my daughter’s friends were on there way to the Baltimore Farmers Market when a vehicle crossed the center line hitting them head on. He was drunk, 16 to be exact. My mother-in-law and daughter’s friend were killed, my daughter broke her leg, ankle and cracked her pelvis and other minor injuries which caused a week’s stay in Johns Hopkins. My father-in-law was badly bruised and broke his leg. The driver who hit them was also killed, so he paid with his life. This changed the lives of several families. I ask we concentrate on drunk driving all year long, not just at the holidays.”  –Curt

“Months into my relationship with my future husband we were hit by a drunk driver on the Washington Beltway. The guy hit 2 cars, totalled both of them, including his, sent 5 of us to the hospital, 2 whiplash, 1 knee injury, and 1 was fine, and my husband ended up in surgery. They removed his appendix for major bruising. Thirteen years later my husband ended up in the hospital three times for scar tissue growth from that orginial surgery. He was in a coma for 8 days, following a third surgery. That was very stressful for me since at the time we had three small children. He lost a lot of work that year and we lost our house all due to one person’s error in judgement, and many years in between. This guy had been arrested three or four times before for drunk driving.”  — Angela

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