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Mother remembers painful impact drunk driving has had on her family

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 8:34 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Drunk driving is the leading cause of death and injuries on roadways across the country. According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving there are more than 300,000 incidents involving alcohol and driving daily.

Three years ago, Laura Liveoak’s life changed forever after her oldest child, Marlena Hayes, was hit and killed by a drunk driver. The days since have been a nightmare for her and her family. Now she’s partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to remind you that there’s no reason to drink and get behind the wheel.

“We should not be losing any lives whatsoever to a drunk driver,” says Liveoak. “If they feel like they have to drink, have you a cab. Stay the night wherever you’re at. Call somebody to come get you. There are so many options.”

Liveoak would like to see stronger repercussions for those who choose to drive while intoxicated. She’d like to see laws changed for driving under the influence, especially for repeat offenders.

“Most of the time when they do get pulled over, it’s not their first time that they’ve been driving drunk,” says Liveoak. “Until we put a stop to it and make these sentences strict enough that they think twice about it. Because you’re just going to get your hand tapped and told not to do it again. They’re going to keep on.”

Liveoak has seen how families on both sides suffer in situations like these. But she would like to see victims and their loved ones treated more fairly.

“The way it’s set up. The offender has all the rights. The victim doesn’t have any,” says Liveoak. “I know that sounds crazy. But my daughters blood work was done way before the guy who hit her blood work was done. All she was doing was driving home she wasn’t the cause of the accident. She had done nothing whatsoever”

Liveoak says she shares her daughters story at schools across Alabama in hopes that no other mother has to go through what she’s experienced.

For more information on Mothers Against Drunk Driving, visit https://www.madd.org/

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