Feds: Drunk driving deaths decrease in Alabama

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Less than three weeks before Christmas, Robert and Kricket McCrory try to keep it together.

Their son, Montgomery Police Officer Eddie McCrory died in 2007--killed by a drunk driver.

"I wake up every morning and that's the first thing I think about, and it's been almost 2 1/2 years," Robert explained.

Law enforcement officers are trying to curb the numbers.

New statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show drunk driving deaths in Alabama decreased by 13.1% between 2007 and 2008.

State troopers tell WSFA 12 News they've investigated 500 traffic fatalities this year--99 fewer cases than in 2008.

"That's 99 people that get to spend Christmas with their families," explained Sergeant Steve Jarrett of the Department of Public Safety.

There's still work to be done, especially this holiday season.

"One of the things we primarily do is to do more checkpoints. Be more visible, and hopefully deter DUI offenders," Jarrett said.

"Every day, we can turn on the computer and find that someone has been arrested for DUI or someone's been in a wreck for DUI," Kricket McCrory remarked.

While families hope for common sense to prevail, drivers take their own precautions.

"It can ruin your future. [. . .] Always have a designated driver.  Just have a couple of friends on call that are ready to come wherever you're at," advised Wes Anderson, a sophomore at Huntingdon College.

It's advice that seems so simple, yet it could mean a world of difference for a family.

"You don't get in a car and say, 'I'm going to kill somebody tonight. I'm going to have a few drinks and then I'm going to run someone down.' But it happens. And it happens so quickly," Kricket McCrory explained.

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