Drunk Driving Increases During Holidays
With all the celebrating that takes place, the number of drunk drivers on the roads hike up every year during the holidays. A Saucier resident’s tragic story may change the minds of some when it comes to getting behind the wheel under the influence. News 25’s Gina Tomlinson has this story.
“The last thing I said to all of them is that I love them.” Saucier resident Bill Downs hasn’t experienced holiday cheer quite the same since losing his three kids in a car accident nine years ago.
Samantha, Brad, and Chris lost their lives when they were hit by a drunk driver in Gulfport during the fall of 2007. Th drunk driver died too after crashing head on into their vehicle at the intersection of Highway 53 and Audubon Lake Drive. “I’m 55-years-old. I’ll live the rest of my life without those three kids. I’ll never be a grandfather,” said Downs.
Pain from losing his loves ones to the crash has motivated Downs to become an advocate against drunk driving. As intoxicated drivers increase during the holiday season, his message could not be stronger. “That’s one of the things I told my son when I put the first dirt on his grave. Until I take my last breath, I will be your voice.”
In 2015, nearly 300 people lost their lives due to drunk driving. This year, police on the Coast say they are ramping up efforts to make sure that nobody starts their car and gets behind the wheel and drives under the influence. Lieutenant Doug Adams with Pascagoula PD said, “We definitely encourage you to use a designated driver or call a cab, stay where you’re at, get somebody else to come and get you.”
“Stay Sober of Get Pulled Over:” a sobering message that Bill Downs will never stop preaching. “It’s better to be late going somewhere than to arrive dead because you are taking that chance.”