BALTIMORE (WJZ) – On the field he is protected by men twice his size, but on the streets Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knows he is as vulnerable as any of us to the deadly potential of a drunk driver.
Vic Carter reports Rice joined state officials Tuesday in kicking off a massive plan to arrest drunk drivers and save lives.
He moves down the field with power and grace, but make no mistake about it, Ray Rice is in touch with his mortality. He has suffered a loss.
“We got the phone call saying he didn’t make it. His wife died instantly. So today I’m just left with a memory,” Rice said.
Rice is remembering his cousin Mashawn Rice and his wife who were both killed by a drunk driver in 1998.
“He was fighting for his life and doctors said he would never be the same again. He probably wasn’t going to make it. My family decided as a whole to pull the plug on him because he was hit by a drunk driver,” Rice said.
Rice joined state highway, transportation and law enforcement officials in kicking off this year’s “Checkpoint Strikeforce,” a series of sobriety checkpoints to get drunk drivers off Maryland roads.
“Last year in Maryland 152 of our neighbors were killed due to drunk driving and 24,000 people were arrested for driving while impaired. That is almost 66 DUI arrests a day,” said Anthony Brown, Maryland Lt. Governor.
Even with that, Maryland has one of the lowest DUI rates in the country, so Brown and Rice have simple advice…don’t do it.
“I’ve been out before, but I’ve never ever gotten behind the wheel drunk,” said Rice.
“Do the smart thing: Don’t drink and drive,” said Brown. “If you do we are going to pull you over. You will be arrested. You will spend time behind bars.”
Over the next few weeks the airwaves and newspapers will be saturated with the messages of “Don’t Drink and Drive.”
Most of the messages will be targeted toward males between the ages of 21 and 35.