Candlelight vigil honors local victims of drinking and driving - WNEM TV 5

Candlelight vigil honors local victims of drinking and driving

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

It’s a tragedy no family wants to go through, but nearly 20,000 people lost their lives to alcohol-related crashes over the last two years.

Organizers of Mothers Against Drunk Driving held a candlelight vigil in Mid-Michigan to remind people of the sobering consequences of drinking and driving.

"In 2003 my dad was killed by a drunk driver. When he was on his way home from work," Becky Stevens said.

Stevens said her family was robbed a father, son and friend. Stanley Williams, 46, would never see his family again.

She said they come to the annual candlelight vigil to keep his memory alive.

"My favorite memory is he taught me how to drive. So he took me to a school parking lot and he had a Firebird for me and put me on one side and told me to punch it!" Stevens remembered.

Stevens’ story resonates with everyone at the First Baptist Church of Grand Blanc.  M.A.D.D. of Genesee County hosted the event for those affected by alcohol-related crashes.

"It's really for support if you go through something that we have went through. Having another family to talk to is very helpful," Connie Ayres said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, on average two in every three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.

"We just don't want it to happen to another family and if I could say anything, please don't drink and drive," Ayres said.

The group lit dozens of candles for each victim in the area. 

"We do it to honor him, to make him a part of my kids’ life. We miss him," Stevens said.

Police have been making big campaigns for safer driving with Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, but according to the CDC, nearly one-third of all traffic related deaths involve alcohol. 

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