There are few things more heartbreaking than having someone you love get hurt, or killed, in a car accident involving a drunk driver. If that's something you've had to walk through, sending you so much love today.
Drunk driving remains the number 1 cause of death on our roadways. And it's preventable.
When I was much younger and admittedly more naive, there was one time when I'd had two drinks and decided I'd be okay to drive home. I figured people did it all the time. I assumed since I'd stopped and grabbed some food at a drive-thru on my way home, I'd be okay.
I was wrong. 
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Halfway home, I realized I was impaired. Thankfully. No, I wasn't drunk but my ability to drive was compromised. I decided to pull over in a neighborhood and sleep. (It was really late.) I was scared. I felt stupid.
But I'm so grateful that I'd had the mental capacity to understand that this was the preferable option to taking my chances on the highway and hurting myself--or worse, others.
This is not meant to be accusatory to anyone else who has found themselves in that situation. Truly, we're all human and we make mistakes. But this is one that totally preventable.
Next time you're tempted to drive while intoxicated, please reconsider. Call a taxi, an Uber, a friend--just. don't. drive. 
And now I'd like to take a moment and say thank you and congratulations to two Athens police offers who've recently been honored by the East Texas chapter of MADD--Mothers Against Drunk Driving for their vigilant service fighting against driving while under the influence.
Shout out to Corporal Marshall Passons and Officer Joshua Ames. Congratulations on receiving an award from MADD this past Monday for "leading the department in DWI arrests." The awards were presented by East Texas MADD representative Kathy Davidson.
According to the Athens Police Department Facebook page, Davidson wrote an email to Police Chief John Densmore saying "this is just a small way to show our appreciation for all the hard work that you do to educate our youth and remove drunk drivers from our streets. Without your agency we will never have a world with no more victims. Thank you so much for all you do to keep our communities safe."
They were also given recognition during the "Take the Wheel Law Enforcement Recognition" Zoom event, which was hosted by East Texas MADD a couple of weeks ago and MADD President Alex Otte was the speaker.
Officer Ames comments in regard to the award were shared via the Athens Police Department Facebook page. He said:
"Prior to working in law enforcement, I never really paid much thought to the motorists around me or to how an intoxicated driver could really change the direction of my life and/or end it completely. However, since I began my law enforcement career in 2019, I have observed first hand the consequences of DWI-related crashes. It really puts in perspective how fragile life is and how easily a poor, senseless decision can not only change someone else's life, but that of an innocent person, their family, and friends lives as well."
Kathy Davidson and Officer Ames, Photo courtesy of Athens Police Department
Corporal Marshall Passons' comments:
"DWI enforcement helps with keeping the community safe while traveling on public roadways, it is a safety measure for the suspected impaired driver as well. Aside from the large amounts of paperwork, impaired drivers can sometimes cause damage to personal and public property and injuries to themselves and/or others. Impaired driver's effect all parties involved."
Kathy Davidson and Cpl Marshall Passons, Photo courtesy of Athens Police Department
Thank you for your efforts. You are saving lives. Respect. 

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