LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana is one of the top ten states when it comes to fatal vehicle accidents due to drinking and driving. Last year, according to centurycouncil.org, Louisiana had 339 fatal vehicle accidents, related to alcohol. 33 where caused by people who were under 21 years of age.
On December 26, 2008 a fatal accident took the life of a five year old boy, all because someone allegedly had too much to drink.
Last year around this time five year old Garret Vice opening Christmas gifts, little did he know, it would be his last. This year, Chris Vice and his wife and daughter are trying to make it through the holidays, with the loss of a loved one on their mind.
"It has been a really hared time, and the next few days are going to be even harder, with the holidays coming up, and the anniversary of the wreck," said Chris Vice, Garrett's father.
On December 26, 2008 Angela Oripuk allegedly made a choice to get behind the wheel intoxicated. She lost control of her vehicle and hit someone, causing a chain reaction crash.
"I am very very sorry for the Vice family. It is all I think about. My heart goes out to them. I am just really sorry," said Angela Oripuk.
Despite the tough memories, Chris has made a promise, to himself and his family, to still try and take part in all of the Christmas traditions his family shares.
"Garrett was so proud of how the house looked. He said we had the prettiest house in the neighborhood. I was not able to put up everything, but I put some of his favorite things back up," said Chris Vice.
And, to the people who think they are above the law, Chris has some advice.
"It is just not worth the risk. Look what happened to our family, and what happens to many other families. Most of the time, it is not them that gets hurt. It is the people they hit," said Chris Vice.
So, before you leave the bar with one too many to drink, remember little Garrett Vice. His life was cut short, all on account of someone else who made a bad decision.