Drunk Driving Ruins Father's Life - Twice Over

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POSTED: Monday, October 11, 2010 - 6:26pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 10:38pm

Arturo Huerta lost two of his daughters to alcohol-related crashes in two separate car accidents. Today is the anniversary of his youngest daughter's death.

"For someone to knock on your door and notify you that your child has been killed and you have to go identify the body - it's devastating," Huerta said.

If its devastating once, what word could describe what is like to have the same thing happen a second time? His oldest daughter, Denise, was killed by a drunk driver in 1994. Unbelievably, his youngest daughter, Selena, was killed by a drunk driver just three years later on October 11 - a day after her 18th birthday. Huerta says the driver who was drunk had already had two DWI's.

"He was driving drunk and he slammed right into them," he said. He couldn't go into details involving the case, but Huerta says the driver was acquitted. Huerta now visits schools to share his story, even if it means revisiting the past.

"This is a pain that no parent should ever have to go through," Huerta said. "We're not supposed to survive our children."

"Drunk driving is not a seasonal thing," said Virginia Gonzalez, the executive director of the west Texas branch of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "It is happening every day." She's lobbying for sobriety checkpoints to become legal in Texas.

"Those have been proven as a key deterrent in states which they are allowed," she said.

Huerta argues that something must be done to protect other families from a grief that never goes away.

"Why, why me, why us, but it's something that will never be answered."

Drunk driving has already accounted for 27 deaths in El Paso this year alone, according to police. Over 2500 people have been arrested for driving drunk.

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It is sad that what happened to Mr. Huerta daughters is still happening. Just this past April a San Antonio family lost their second and only remaining son to a drunk driver, a little less than four years from death of their youngest son. This cannot be allowed to continue, those that commit this crime need to be held accountable and so do those that try these cases. Drunk driving needs to come to its end.LetsEndDrunkDrivingTexas

My prayers go out to you as you remember your beautiful daughters. May God bless you as you keep their memory alive and talk to others about the dangers of drunk driving.

I admire your courage and your commitment to both D.A.D.D. & M.A.D.D. I don't believe I would have been as strong as you have been through this senseless tragedy once much less twice. My extreme condolences on your daughter's anniversaries Art.

Yeah people get 3,4,5 even 10 DWIs and get no prison time.....They just keep on and no one does anything about it....It's just a slap on the hand! We need to make sure they don't get just another slap on the hand. WE NEED to enforce the 3 strikes you are out law...You would think they would learn the first or second time but since they just get the "Ok you're free to go but don't do it again" treatment, they keep on offending.

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