"What is it going to take?"

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POSTED: Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, January 2, 2012 - 9:47pm

EL PASO - Drunk driving is a horrible problem in El Paso. We're seeing more people with multiple DWI's, and it seems drunk drivers are causing crashes nearly every week. Many times, the victims of those accidents don't survive, but we found an entire family that did.

"I just wanted to give up on life," Ruben Alvarado said.

Ruben, his wife and one of their sons were hit by a drunk driver nearly four years ago. The crash left Ruben in a wheelchair, and it changed their lives forever.

"As I woke up, we were already in the emergency room. My son told me he was okay, and they would not tell me anything about my husband," Rachel Alvarado said.

"I broke 5 ribs on the left side, punctured a lung, ruptured a spleen, and my aorta ruptured," Ruben said.

Ruben was paralyzed from the waist down, and he dropped down to 98 pounds in the hospital. Now, the entire Alvarado family is living with pain caused by a drunk driver. That's why it's hard to hear the news of another deadly crashed fueled by alcohol.

"I get a little angry. I try not to, but it gets frustrating to see almost everyday," Ruben said.

"You're trying to get from one place to the other, make it safe, and all of a sudden someone has been drinking. They hit right at you, and your life is changed in that split second," Rachel said.

Members of Mother's Against Drunk Drivers know that situation all to well.

"What is it going to take? How many more lives do we have to lose in order for the message to sink through," MADD West Texas Executive Director Virginia Gonzalez asked.

Those are questions she wants you to answer. As for the Alvarado family, the 9-year old son has something for you to think about.

"What happens if you don't get that chance to go back home," Eric Alvarado asked.

You may have noticed that in our story we always referred to the car wreck as a crash. That was at the request of Eric. He says a drunk driving crash, like the one that paralyzed his father, is not an accident, because it could have been prevented.

So, what is it going to take to stop the DWI problem? Let us know in the comment section below.
 

Comments News Comments

I have an idea to with the DUI issue here during the Holidays. First have the EPPD conduct several DUI check points at 0100 and 0400am On I-10 West bound at Sunland Park and East bound on Lee Trevino. Second have a toll free telephone number that you can call to report a DUI driver and the caller would received a gift certificate of $25 dollars from a local restaurant or business, if the driver is arrested. And a more aggressive campaigned to make sure that El Pasoan take a cab home.

Ozzy

The Answer is as simple as jail time for attempted murder and take away their vehicle.

One of the main problems here in this city is the lack of entertainment for people to go to. It is surprising that many of the drunk drivers are young people who are already veterans in the party scene. If you have a teenager then you know what I am saying. Our young adults have little to no activities in their lives other than partying, drinking, and of course driving. There needs to be somewhere we as adults can turn to in times when our young adults are making bad decisions that affect us all

I've been reading some of the comments that folks have left about the latest DWI tragedy, and some people need a "Mindset Adjustment". I agree with Eric, DWI isn't an accident, it's a choice & it can be prevented. We need to continue to educate people, someday it might sink in. If you are old enough to drink, you are not a kid that makes bad choices, you are an ADULT & it's time to make the right choices.

One night of fun is NOT worth the pain you could bring to someone else's family. And not only is it a nightmare for the victim's family, but think of the pain you'd bring on your family too. HORRIBLE situation for all involved that could have easily been avoided.

El Paso is one of the few cities where people don't plan ahead by taking a cab. Other cities I've visited I've noticed that most everyone arrives in or leaves in a cab. Also, DWI consequences have to be stepped up. Phoenix has tent city, and EVERYONE knows of the severe consequences if you're caught. Also, as a former bartender, I don't think people realize how little alcohol it takes for a person's BAC to reach .08. Two drinks in an hour will put a 125 lb woman right near that.

A long term, heavy EPPD presence in the Cinci district that doesn't turn a blind eye to drivers who are leaving bars drunk, (as long as they're not swerving down Mesa towards the freeway) is a start. Irresponsible drinkers will still be irresponsible drivers. They won't pay attention until it actually happens to them, or someone they know. Even then, they'll still continue to drive drunk and endanger everyone around them because they're to lazy or stupid to know when they've reached their limit.

The problem will only be solved if we take away the drunk driver's car right there on the spot (either when they are stopped for DWI or when they're involved in a crash).

People have to realize that driving is not a right - but a priviledge.

I couldn't agree more with you!

EL PASO IS GONNA HAVE TO GET STRICTER AND "ACTUALLY" PUNISH ALL THE DRUNK DRIVERS AND FOR PEOPLE WITH MULTIPLE DWI'S TO ACTUALLY SERVE SOME KIND OF PRISON TIME AND NOT BE LET GO "EASY" JUST CAUSE THEY ARE SOLDIERS EVERYBODY SHOULD BE TREATED THE SAME, OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM HERE IN EL PASO IS A JOKE. PEOPLE ARE GETTING AWAY WITH THINGS TWO OFTEN IN THIS CITY AND INNOCENT LIVES ARE BEING TAKEN JUST CAUSE THE COURT SYSTEMS CANT DO THEIR JOB RIGHT......

YOUR SOLDIER COMMENT IS IRRELEVANT. WE HAVE TO FOLLOW MILITARY LAW AND CIVILIAN LAWS. LOOK UP THE STATS OF EL PASO DWI'S. MOST ARE COMMITTED BY YOUR BEAUTIFUL EL PASO NATIVES, STATS DON'T LIE. A SOLDIER IS PUNISHED BY CIVILIAN LAW JUST LIKE ANY OTHER CITIZEN AND HE GETS PUNISHED BY MILITARY LAW. YOU TRY DOING SOMETIME IN A MILITARY PRISON SOMETIME. THE MOST RECENT TRAGIC WAS COMMITTED BY A CIVILIAN 22 YEAR OLD, AND HE KILLED TWO KIDS IN THE CAR.SO THINK BEFORE YOU POST YOUR IGNORANT COMMENTS

Close the Three Legged Monkey!

Stiffer penalties....bottom line. It is sad that a person can get a DWI(manslaughter), and get a slap on the wrist. The same person can kill a dog by not feeding it, and the person is sent to prison for at least a year. Protect dogs more than humans? Really? I guess it all starts up top in the FREE STATES, and with all the corruption.....when will it ever be fixed. You better drink up and drive to get dog food....cause if your dog starves, you will be locked up.....(crude humor, but true)

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