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Michigan man who lost family in crash urges people to stop drinking and driving

Posted at 9:01 AM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 09:01:56-05

(WXYZ)  — The organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls drunk driving a preventable crime that only occurs because of poor planning and the driver allowing the alcohol to make the decision for them.

Video from Troy Police dash cam shows a wrong way driver on Stephenson Highway January 16. Fortunately officers stopped the driver, who they say was drunk with a blood alcohol level five times the limit, stopping them before anyone got hurt or killed.

"Imagine getting the knock on the door at 2 in the morning and finding out that your loved one, whether it’s a parent or child or whoever it may be, was in killed a drunk-driving crash. Your life is never the same again, and you never will be the same again," said Doug Scoles, MADD regional executive director.

Scoles says over 10,000 people die in the United States every year because of a drunk driver. Over 250,000 are injured, some for the rest of their lives. And he says 1 out of 3 people will be personally impacted by drunk driving in their lifetime.

“He hit the car my dad was driving with all of us in it head-on, going over a 100 miles an hour, killing my stepmother and my father instantly," said Jason Waldron.

Waldron says 42 years ago, at 10 years old, he also lost his brothers in the crash. He was the lone survivor. And to this day, he's still suffering from his injuries, both emotional and physical, finding the strength to share his family’s story to save a life.

"Maybe somebody will think about them before they decide to turn the key in a car. I’m very, very descriptive,” he said.

And if they don’t think of past victims or their potential victims, West Bloomfield Police Deputy Chief Curt Lawson says maybe they’ll think about the sanctions.

"Attorney fees alone can run you $10,000. You’re going to get 6 points on your license. You’re going to lose your license," said Lawson.

He says there’s never an excuse to drive drunk with so many options to do so responsibly, starting with having a plan, also using Uber, Lyft, a taxi, a designated driver, calling a friend, or staying put.

"Fall asleep in the back seat of your car," said Waldron. "Anything and everything you choose outside of getting behind that wheel is over the next day when you open your eyes. When you get behind the wheel, you may never open your eyes again. You may cause somebody else to never open their eyes again.”

If you see someone who appears to be driving impaired, call 911 immediately.