WWL>Topics>>2-17-14 3:10pm Angela: on drunk driving

2-17-14 3:10pm Angela: on drunk driving

Feb 17, 2014|

Angela talks with Charlsey Wolff and Linda Le, who both had family members killed by drunk drivers, and Floyd Johnson, director of M.A.D.D. Louisiana.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well I hope you got to spend some time -- over our last two hours when we talked about love and marriage. I'm so appreciative to our two counselors they were they were terrific and it's one -- that we're gonna tap into periodically because it's a subject I think a lot of us have thoughts on. And and perhaps need help. And that's what they're there for so thank you very much for joining us. We're gonna do a mental shift right now to a subject that is extremely important. 28 people will die today in the United States the result of drunk driving. That's 28 today when he tomorrow. Every day 28. And those are just the deaths. Every ninety seconds someone is injured in a drunk driving crash. We know which risking dangerous and wrong to drive drunk but many continue to do it. Our two guests know all about that Charles Wolf lost her 23 year old daughter to a drunk driver. And literally. Lost for mother three years ago to a drunk driver and I wanna say first of both of you. How incredibly sorry I am for those losses I can't even imagine. Your daughter your beautiful daughter and your wonderful month. But it brings the reality of this subject. So if I could start with Charles what -- Tell me that your daughter. Issues like water and she was the love of my life we word. Very very close and you know my daughter's a daughter and -- I have a son who's not so wonderful beautiful child by an adult but. My daughter was vibrant and active and her name -- butterflies in and shoes just you know beautiful interesting. True friend to many many people. She had just graduated from -- university she was living in Boca Raton Florida. And we were opening up a a massage and before her hand to I did that it was right after Katrina and I did that says that Ike hit just an excuse to maybe spend a little bit more time we. We were very close we talked every day and you know it's just a wonderful mother daughter relationship that we -- and I and grateful that I spent all those years with her and anyway. So she was opening match and she was. -- it she went she was killed. It was devastating but. She was also engaged to a wonderful. Young man. And she. Was ready to live the rest her life and so in the evening October 21 2006 she went out with some. France three other friends for a girls' night out in Delray and they are to stand. Getting back together talking about their lives and what they re doing and -- drove home. Down the interstate there and off I 95 it. -- -- And and when Perez came through a red light. And hit the car and brought cited the car and killed the driver Jessica who was the NASA's. To be her bridesmaid. And on the -- from the backseat and she was killed instantly. And the other two girls were seriously. Injured with horrible. Injuries that they did. That's my daughter she's still. With me and spirit that she's no longer hear. I just. Can't comprehend. Getting that phone call. -- call in the middle of the night. You know as a mother it's interesting because the NASA was coming home. To us then next week and so. You know that evening for whatever reason that Friday night I talked to world -- day and then Friday night she she went out and issue is -- -- with different he initiated that work the next morning non pot. And something was wrong that night and I guess I knew it and so when sheriff's Jefferson Parish sheriff's office officer. And our -- now it's 5 o'clock in the morning and I just knew I was by the way. Yeah it's horrible. Absolutely. London three years ago on your mother is on her way to church yes. Tell me about your mother first. My mother was. She was so overlook guys she. Go to church she's active she's very active for the church armed. Why must my father you know fat and so. After -- my -- she was. She's always been concerned that the -- you know she was filed with the Akron. She kind of kept us together she had a really big heart and you know with. I always believed to help anyone. He did a lot of she helped a lot of charities. Orphanage. Basically apt term -- my dad you know is just can't move back to New Orleans to be closer to her. And you know it can she beat him out. My mom she just was she took care her how old she was just really act she you know. She worked out she went you know walking daily and to -- the grandkids and when she wasn't doing Nash who was involved with church and again issues just vicious of real big heart person issue which is geared to -- open. Arms to anybody. And -- of this particular morning three years ago she was on her way to church yes by her son yes my mom goes to church every day. Armed with -- -- helmets so our lady from soccer doesn't have masse that morning on the charity. So issues. Traveling north prone on parent's -- to northeast. And armed to have morning should happen to be really really foggy. And the puck crossed the media. Yeah and he just hit Iranian owned. -- Very very difficult. -- sorry no -- Wednesday that screen makes -- years old. Now. I feel so badly I feel so badly for both -- you don't ever apologize for. Missing your mother's loving your mother. Respecting enough. For all that she was. And is still lives in your heart. That's what's so very very difficult. One we take a quick break we'll be right back from work and continue talking to two people. Who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers and then we're going to talk to the man who's executive director of met. In New Orleans we'll be right back. Are subject this hour is drunk driving. We have just heard from two really incredible women. Charles C -- lost her 23 year old daughter almost seven years ago to a drunk driver. And Linda -- lost her beloved mother. They do not to not to knock joke who was only 57 years old. And as we were just saying in personal literally in a blink of a nine. Life changes and so painfully. To these families. Two incredible women. 23 year old and a 57 year old for much to live for. Vanessa was going to be married she just started her business. This beautiful woman had grandchildren. And had just lost her husband. And had her family and lived such an active life and drunk drivers kill them. Two Charles it first of all your daughter and her friend that's another one young woman was killed as well. Were killed. Did they catch that guy. Oh yes yes he immediately immediately OK immediately he as the car was totaled the car was impacted. So badly that you know at at it stopped traffic for hours and hours and hours and you know. He was there that night and we were we listened through the trial. Was a five day trial I believe and and you know he was there that night they captain. Sitting on the side his passenger he was bringing home. A friend he'd been drinking -- and I believe he was angry at having to drive all the way across town from the apart from its front home. And so he was speeding and driving very recklessly even before. The crash so yes he -- he was stopped he was not hurt. -- -- her he was not there and how much time yet. He is now serving forty years. Fifteen years for -- life fifteen years for Jessica's life. And five years for the other two -- some forty years total without the benefit of parole. Plan to I'm very happy. Did he ever. Show remorse. None whatsoever. None we went to every hearing. Over the course of about a four year period every hearing my husband and I made the trip for. And to he never would look -- in the line even the very first time. I went to court passionate passionate pictures to him and the two girls he killed. And he never showed any. Just a blank affect nothing and he never did and his parents. Could never really look at sending guys. Insult. Them too great injury absolutely easy it would have been for him just say I am so profoundly sorry. That's true. Forty years of his life so we'll get to think about it. Correct he'll be he'll be he was thirty when this happened. Was his passenger hurt yes. Depends the passenger was heard it was a huge impact. Linda. Your mother. On her way to church. Guy crosses the median pitcher had gone I. Which he convict. Did tests. He 35 years from his -- illegal immigrant. So he's gonna do 35 and and what he's done with that they send them back whose country. And he was in denial. Yes. -- Through the whole thing heat there was two other guys who was in a car and they -- intoxicated. So did a whole process. He -- clean never admits to the fact that he was the driver. Com and he basically point fingers. And through are on they get some blood work and there was blood on those they're both that they did the work on an matched him. But there's -- whole process he never admit. To being the person -- was driver. Did. Either of these men who were drunk have prior DW I arrest. They did and went pro rested yes this was his third offense. Third offense in Florida yes. -- three times around. Now he's at now now he's out I say yes horrendous. Word the previous two. Relatively close to the one that killed your daughter. I think so I think so I mean. I truthfully I don't know we -- well -- it. We're just now. Becoming okay yeah you know it it he matters so little to -- Well you are. Carrying on with your life without your beautiful daughter and your wonderful mother and they're doing something terrific because. They are creating or re creating a chapter of Madd Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Here in New Orleans which we had one but is sort of laying dormant so over their rebuilding it and that is a wonderful thing in there. Here also talk about an event that's gonna happen in April on the elections stay tuned to that. But in our studio also is Floyd Johnson who -- the state director of Madd Mothers Against Drunk Driving. And this must it's painful to listen to this very simply it's it's heartbreaking. And yet this is what you see probably more than any. Unfortunately yes it it is and I really appreciate Charles Ian Lindsay Linda come in and -- shared her story because. It in our office we hear a lot across the state every game and unfortunately. What we are trying to do. He is its -- clone. That is that we don't want other people to join. And so we we wanna get the word out there we're going to create awareness around drunk driving because this is 100% preventable. All you have to do is just not drink and drive. -- not against drinking. We're just against drinking and driving statistic there's extra steps those precautions at a time and everybody list. So simple and we've heard that message really I think pretty strongly for awhile and yet it continues. What do you attribute that to. That they're just in isn't gonna happen to me. I don't know I mean it's it's the most insane thing you can't stop cancer you know you can. You can have cancer go into remission you know -- drunk driving it is the exploits and 100%. Preventable. Designated driver take you can't take it can. You know help our economy walk sure and -- just don't drink if you don't have any other resource to get yourself back to. Safely and without harming society. Think we have a special problem here in New Orleans. You grow up accustomed. To drinking it's it's the usage and I you know part of our focus. The reason I got involved in with -- is because since the NASA who went to -- -- her. Her classmates four of them decided to form a scholarship. Foundation and its. At the NASA Lauren -- Scholarship at Cabrini and the girl. There's a contest every year the -- -- students. And the girl with the girls who participate write an essay about what how drunk driving has impacted their lives. And it's fright frightening. To think what these young girls have gone through. Whether they've been in a car accident that parents that they've lost loved ones and this is just -- small population of Cooper meaning. And you know so I think it I think article this is education and so we we'd like to go into the schools and and -- can address that more -- You know I think part of the problem. Starts with the community and our. Expectations. What's socially acceptable here so my goal is to focus on the -- And you're right we are very loose in this community band. Very party oriented and and it's good to have a good time don't misunderstand me. But it does have a responsibility. It really does. One we take a quick break we'll be right back and -- and continue to talk to these. Really wonderful people who are gonna continue to fight against drunk driving now let's go to John names in the newsroom. We're talking about the real tragedy of drunk driving and how attack not only takes lives impacts lives that. The ripple effect to families is goes on and on. We are with them -- see who lost her beautiful daughter and -- who lost her wonderful mother. And Floyd Johnson who's the state director Mothers Against Drunk Driving let's talk Florida if you would about what the state organization is doing now. What were you doing to try to stop this. Three things that we we focus on we have a three pronged approach our mission and we want to first of all we want eliminate drunk driving. Because we do you believe it it is 100% preventable. We also provide services to victims who's -- of them. Experiences tragic. Impact on their on their families and then we also have a component. Do we deal with though we want to eliminate underage drinking as well we focus on underage drinking and we provide programs to. Two parents that to talk to their children about. The effects of underage drinking and the effects of honor not only on there. Just person that they're bigger. Metabolism and their their brain development. There the impact is if your college student for instance and you wanna become a lawyer. He had a DW on here on your record. Then you may not be admitted into a bar. Two the bar association Obama but I it's a different kind of -- right. But so it's just stick to to help people understand him he understood. -- impact around underage drinking as well. Let's talk about. When you say if you happen did you -- -- -- what is the long now if you have one DW lives he wouldn't automatically go to jail. Not talking about a -- harmed anybody you've just been picked up cricket. -- not necessarily usually it's it depends upon a lot on the sentencing the judge. And some judges sentenced to letter. Of the wall some judges do not. It's news. For instance you it would be there would be a fine and it's usually -- tickets are less than a thousand dollars. And supposedly some some jail time between two and five days. There's some commitment to community service components from judges to it's usually litter abatement. And then they also do a man has a victim impact panel where we have victims who who share their story about the loss. And a lot of judges will sentenced. Offenders to come to you to listen to that message at the panel. There's some money involved to have fun there's some some time since our -- calls. Here's the actual fine you're if you get it engage an attorney there the earth is he can be so. You know we we keep hearing about. That someone had two or three or more. And it. Is it escalating at that point first ball or their fines escalating and expending any time in jail are they getting the message. I think it depends upon the severity of the Kern because you -- if if it's for instance. For every person he's arrested and -- about 30000 people crossed Louisiana every year that are arrested. On average that one person arrested is driven eighty times but prior to being arrested. Has driven drunk -- counts that's a whole lot of people out there driving. And just the two stories you heard today from -- from Charles and drunk driving. It happens in the morning -- it happens in the afternoon happened tonight it's not only when the bars close and that yellow line of the white lines that that are on the road that is our magic. To keep people from crossing the median there's no there's nothing not to so we have to be extremely. Cognizant of our our our surroundings and just aware. Almost certainly would love to hear if we have a caller let me grant him Martinez. From -- Yeah that's what -- call. Are going to say that economic outlook for like if you need to be RI on the West Bank. I didn't hurt myself or anybody else could have. Our -- -- -- I was sweeping back and forth in the state trooper pulled me aside in. -- -- the terror and they basically told him in the condition they capacity to take me out just how much -- it. Back then on the people need to be all right -- these churches and licensed or ninety days. Are they gave me -- believed it was like 500 dollar fine. And I -- do -- -- all hours of community service. Also on -- to take our 32 hours are dropping out strategies clash so practice. I am not saying that and not gotten another VWR. And and content of mine -- last -- -- our party that was in 86. Still sober today. Can't chew on -- incidents. And one night that you want in -- car. So virtual -- about -- economic -- somewhat disappointed with -- injury do you are so I wanted to share my experience and you know it's it's quite it's a very serious. Serious incident. Have you ever been behind the -- all. Having been drinking since that in 95. Unfortunately yeah it wasn't as much as. That they -- theory number. I -- one big twelve Beers and I think almost all politics Sheila that there it was a it was a burst out of it's there. Com. And to make matters worse it was in my eyes Auburn -- company truck. And that -- that this really act. I was very afraid in and -- scale what might happen. Column by C -- -- a little bit and told me you know -- and if you if you would help me out everything on to believe unpack. But I'm very calm I'm very cautious and are conscious of what I -- -- That they are feel that. In -- me and gone out of Ottawa but also open things. -- do not hesitate at all cute and -- she's someone else. No that's the message right there. Lesson learned I appreciate your honesty Martinez and thank you so much for the call. I think Q&A -- its occupant. Okay Patricia only Tuesday with -- we're gonna take another break we'll we'll be right back. We're talking about drunk driving and these horrific effects -- -- up with two women who have lived. One losing a daughter the other losing her mother and also with Floyd Johnson who's the state director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. So many things to talk about a personal let's go to our caller because she was nice enough to hold on Patricia. Hi all I'm glad to have -- and yes -- -- -- OK. I have to drink in total. Because it scared me that much. But what do I court appearances. That rule and this thing can tell you. We're really deter people. If they patted you can't assist states -- gives you -- guilty. Out of four minutes straight here. They say life and you have to put. Dove right into your car. Just started. -- have time you can call our. Samples. -- no way. You can get a picture. Guy with that device that car and everybody gets. Do you why should have to put Indian -- start -- it's did you break your little did you. Get. The right -- -- well first of all I applaud. I applaud you calling and talking about and also plus the fact that you not drinking anymore I mean that and that's our bottom line comic. -- Who will again thank you very for holding on and for telling us that story Patricia thank you very very much. Told you where I think at that DUI device should be in every ice scarf or she gets back at lunch it should be separated for a year. -- learn a lesson. Thank you a lot I. I want to exploit that what is the penalty right now for a second line. The second is it's what are the first is any and who want to call or start rousing -- in -- locker device and it it does work very very effectively. And and it there's also cost about that that they have to bear that usually anywhere from between. Depend upon the company being can be as high as a hundred dollars a month out of your pocket to be monitored by that. -- the second offense it's it's usually double -- that amount in jail time -- that can be. The fines are or doubled and in and so on on the way up and then. After I think I believe a third offense you can do jail time up to a year or more. And it can be you know the the farms grader and in India India and we've given stage here. It's not only the judicial side but it is. A couple of callers that you do lose your life and you have to go through administrative hearing at that at the office from our vehicles as well. You know we could talk six days on the subject because I think what they're also saying it. We're talking about death here and I'm just glad that they got strong sentences for your daughter and -- that that's that's a powerful statement unto itself. But what leads up to it and want to Charles he was saying in the break was. Some of these people are alcoholic some of these people are drug addicts so we got to do it at that and as well. Before we run out of time I wanna talk about they're putting together this organization locally. Mothers Against Drunk Driving they're going to have a terrific walk. It's going to be Saturday April 5 LaSalle park which is 6600 airline drive. And it's going to be some 30 in the morning they love for you to come out there. But I think more importantly if you. And you can support. The wonderful things are trying to do by doing this. But also equally important is if you have been affected. By. A drunk driver they want you to be part of the group. And for that we have a phone number which is the Baton Rouge office of but they'll soon be in the world's number but the Baton -- numbers 225. 9260808. Seriously I'm sorry I said that wrong zero cent. At 2259260807. If you. Again if this is where your heart could help I think they would love to hear from. There's much work to be done and it is getting as. Legislators understand the importance it's youth and that's what you're trying to say Charles it's all about getting young people young. -- you that's right changing perceptions changing there. You know their attitudes towards -- And and you -- line that's right and we can enjoy life with not just getting dumb -- correct and you can have a drink. And you can have several but you must be able to get -- Right our plan ahead yes designated driver in the street car. Walk walk we like that hit the -- it's just an ongoing battle and I hate that Louisiana is so high up. In this as we percent to implement the top three. And frankly not surprisingly. We are party city and we enjoy a good time. So if anyone can help us we would really appreciate that I would like to add that we're at WWW walk like -- that -- and you can -- in New Orleans and come in China us we have Whitney bank as a sponsor -- Morris -- -- -- sponsor race. And we're planning on having a really good time on April. And office. So come join us thank you so much for talking about what is painful. But it really is gonna make a difference if you can get some things going here thank you -- for coming acute rejection. Thank you everybody for listening and we will talk to you tomorrow.