Victims of those who decide to drink and drive, speak out

Thursday, August 26th 2004, 10:11 am
By: News On 6

Drunk driving should be such an easy thing to stop, because it's 100% preventable. But generally, drivers don't think beforehand to make arrangements to get a safe ride home.
The result is too often a family left torn apart by grief.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright talked to one such family.

Drunk driving crashes are in the news every week. Everyone hates to hear about them and all agree they are senseless. But it's always somebody else, until one day, it's you. Brooke knows what it’s like when drunk driving isn't just a phrase you hear, but, a horror you live. "It makes me so mad that they think their life is more valuable than somebody else's."

Brook's brother Dustin was only 24 years old when he was killed by drunk driver who ran a stop sign just 10 days before Christmas in 2002. Now, she's an only child and her family is forever changed, in big ways and small. "Even to this day, we used to go to lunch every week and I still think that's going to happen. I know it can't, but, you never want to let go of that."

With all the public education about drunk driving these days, you'd think the courts are really cracking down, but, that's not always the case.

The man who killed Dustin still gets to go on vacations, spend the holidays with his family, and hold a job. He was sentenced to one weekend in jail every month for seven years. That may seem like a lot, but, it's actually less than six months behind bars.

Of course, Brooke's family received a life sentence that fateful night, and because of that, would be hard pressed to feel justice was done. "I don't know if there's anything we would've thought was justice for Dustin's life. But, I do know that's absurd, I do.”

Brooke now only has memories to hold on to, memories made all the more special because they were all too short.

Tulsa Police targeted downtown clubs Wednesday night. Out of the 12 clubs they tried, nine sold liquor to an underage drinker. The three that refused, were Boston’s, the Crown Plaza Hotel and McInelly's.