A Mississippi Drunk Driving Victim Helps Cops Launch New Anti-Drunk Driving CampaignBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 18 Aug 2011 03:06pm |
Law Enforcement officers around the state are beginning a late summer anti-drunk driving enforcement campaign today. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that cops have a new slogan and a new public face for their efforts.
"I was coming around a curve and I looked, coming at me was a car on my side of the road. And the first intention I thought of was 'Get out of the way',"
That's Dewayne Morgan describing the summer day in 2009 when he was hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle near Ripley.
The collision nearly killed Morgan, breaking dozens of bones and landing him in the hospital for 45 days where he lost part of his left leg and went home with a 1-point-2-million dollar hospital bill.
Morgan is going public with his story as part of the Mississippi Highway Patrol's new anti-drunk driving campaign called "drive sober or get pulled over".
"If can just prevent it from happening to one, it has been worth my time. And my family is not the only victim either. This young lady that ran over me family's a victim also. Now she is in Parchman and her husband is without his wife. And her children are without their mother," Morgan said.
The new slogan is part of a state wide drunk driving enforcement campaign that starts today and runs through the Labor Day weekend.
There were 231 alcohol related crash last year, and Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz believes the slogans and high profile enforcement crack downs explain the decline.
"You cannot argue with the numbers. And you cannot tell me that this not directly reflect the reason there were fewer fatalities and crashes last year," Santa Cruz said.
The MHP estimates that all drunk driving crashes and arrests cost the state more than two-billion dollars a year.
For Dewayne Morgan, his scarred body and steel leg are living testaments to the dangers drunk driving poses.
"I think a lot of people don't understand the impact until they see it....physically see it. I think it has a greater impact than just people talking when you see what truly has happened," Morgan said.
The nearly fatal crash has not kept Morgan off his bike; he says he is going riding tomorrow.
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