Mother Of Drunk Driving Victim Speaks Out

Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 9:10pm

As El Paso continues to battle it's DWI problem people in the borderland gathered today to take a stand.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) held their third annual "Walk Like MADD" event to raise awareness for victims of drunk driving. 
MADD says it's important for the community to step up to say they’ve had enough.

Grace Talamantes knows exactly what it's like to lose someone to drunk driving.

"My daughter had just turned 19-years-old on October 29, 2007 and she was killed two months later on December 29, 2007,” said Talamantes.

Grace Talamantes recalls the death of her teenage daughter when a drunk driver took away her life.

"My daughter had just graduated from Burges High School. She graduated top 10 percent of her class. She was very active in school. She was a cheerleader, was in golf, theater, choir,” said Talamantes.

This sobering reality happens to other families as well. MADD says 2011 was one of the most deadly for alcohol related crashes on record.

Thursday night El Paso police arrested 41 -year-old Alberto Ortiz for his 13th DWI, when someone called police saying his Dodge Ram was swerving on Interstate 10.

"We all share those roads. We are not safe anymore. A drunk driver is not going to discriminate. They are not going to say,’ I'm not going to hit that car because it's a mom trying to get to her parents or I'm not going to hit that car because it's a doctor who's trying to save lives,’" said Talamantes.

Talamontes says even if you think you are okay to drive after a few drinks, thinking twice can save a life. That way, another mother won't have to bury their child.
"Even if you have had a few drinks, you know you can't have that mentality that it's not going to happen to you. Some people get behind the wheel and say,’ Well I only live a block away, I'll make it home.’ It's even at that block that you can turn that block and still hurt somebody,” said Talamantes.

MADD also raised money during Saturdays “Walk With MADD” event to spread awareness against drunk driving.
The organization reports one in three people will be in an alcohol related car crash during their life time.


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