POSTED: Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 2, 2012 - 10:47pm
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.