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Illinois woman shares personal drunk driving story with students

An Illinois woman hopes to reduce drunk driving this prom season by sharing the story of her own alcohol-induced car accident. Seneca Beverage Company is even bringing the woman to high schools in New York from April 30 to May 2 to share her story. She has been giving her presentation for over eight years and has presented to approximately 40,000 students.

At one time the woman was a gifted college volleyball player, but she eventually dropped out of school and accepted a job as a bartender. On Aug. 23, 2003, the then-21-year-old drove home with a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit. The life-changing car accident occurred when she went off the road and missed her exit. Her car rolled four times, and she was thrown through the back window. 

She lost her left arm as a result of the accident and had more than 30 surgeries, including facial reconstruction. She said she still suffers from chronic pain and a lack of social acceptance. However, she also said that she wouldn't change what happened because the accident has helped her grow closer to her family and allowed her to positively impact the lives of others.

The woman was the only person injured in this incident, but that's not always the case in drunk driving accidents. Victims of negligent or drunk drivers often suffer devastating injuries that can lead to disability and even death. Expenses related to the injuries can be costly.

Accident victims may benefit from speaking with an attorney. An experienced accident attorney could pursue damages to cover costs like medical expenses and loss of quality of life. If the accident was fatal, the attorney could help the victim's family pursue damages for funeral expenses and pain and suffering with a wrongful death claim.

Source: Star Gazette, "Speaker shows area students dangers of drunk driving," Bob Jamieson, April 20, 2013

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