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MADD recognizes local law enforcement drunk driving efforts

Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 8:02 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving awarded certificates to law enforcement officers that have gone above and beyond in the number of DWI’s they’ve cited last year.

Impaired driving is an ongoing issue that has devastated many families. The Louisiana chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants to bring awareness to the horrific consequences these choices could have.

Barbara Dartez lost her only grandson, Ryan Vezinot’s, who was 24 at the age of his death, in 2008 to a drunk driver. Since then, she’s made it her mission to share his story and continue to fight against drunk driving.

“Every time I talk about him, you know, I can feel him, and I can see him. But I do it in his memory.”

It has been about 13 years since he’s passed, but Dartez still gets choked up talking about Ryan.

“We miss him every day. You know, part of your life, part of your heart is missing. You know, it’s never going to be the same.”

Dartez is a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a campaign that works to eliminate drunk driving as well as underage drinking.

“Whatever I can do - my part to help, that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Throughout the state, MADD is recognizing law enforcement who’ve done their part by citing impaired drivers.

“We’re honoring them. I have a certificate for them. And hopefully, they can continue doing what they’re doing.”

Among those awarded are Calcasieu sheriff’s deputy, Cameron Hicks, and state police officer, Amanda Willis.

“You worked 2020 removing impaired drivers from our roads and have saved more lives than you can imagine,” Dartez said during the presentation.

The certificate congratulates law enforcement officers who’ve cited 25 or more DWI’s in 2020.

“We’re not against drinking. Drink at home. Don’t get behind the wheel.”

Dartez said that much of her concerns focus on the issues of underage drinking, as that often results in impaired driving. She encourages parents to have a conversation with their children to prevent more accidents from happening.

For more information about MADD, click HERE.

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