Drunk driving conversation important after Lodi accident

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Matthew Cordle, 22, posted a YouTube video confessing to killing a 61-year-old man while drunk driving. It went viral. In his confession he said, “you can still be saved your victims can still be saved.” In October, he was sentanced to 6 1/2 years for his crime.

In age drunk drivers range between 21 to 25, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey from 2010, published on the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) website.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics on the MADD website show that more than 9,000 died from drunk driving accidents in 2011. An average of 27 lives a day.

In addition to a recent collision in Lodi, drunk driving has also claimed the lives of two Delta College students. Today, many students voice opposition to drinking and driving.

TRAGEDY IN LODI

October’s six-vehicle car crash in Lodi received intense local media coverage.

The Lodi-News Sentinel reported that the driver suspected of causing the crash was traveling at about 100 miles per hour while under the influence.

Prior to the crash, the suspect had allegedly drank a bottle of UV Apple Vodka with his father around 4 p.m.

Less than an hour and a half later, the driver collided with numerous other vehicles at the intersection at Ham Lane and Vine Street, including the pickup truck of the six-member Miranda family.

Only 9-year-old Eden Miranda survived. His father, three siblings and pregnant mother passed away.

STUDENT VICTIMS

In the summers of 2010 and 2011, Delta College students Destanee Little and Dominic Deiro were victims of drunk driving accidents.

Destanee Little had graduated from Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in 2009. She was a musician and was learning how to play two new instruments.

On the night of June 12, 2010, her car was rear-ended and sent crashing into a signal pole by a driver with a Blood Alcohol Count (BAC)  that was almost three times the legal limit of .08.

Destanee died from her injuries.

Dominic Deiro aimed to transfer to the University of the Pacific. An essay he wrote at Delta about his position on the DREAM Act was published in a national textbook.

On Dec. 22, 2011, Deiro was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver. The driver lost control.

The Deiro family made the decision to remove Dominic from life support, due to severe brain damage.

DELTA STUDENTS VOICE OPINIONS ON DRINKING AND DRIVING

“If you consider risking your life and the life of others for having a good time with some friends, you probably should re-evaluate your morals. You won’t just hurt yourself, but most likely injure or kill an innocent person, and forever scar their family,” said Adrian Hernandez.

“The people that are always drunk driving never end up dying but always end up killing other people that are sober,” said Quincy Van Steenberge.

“Some people swear they can overcome the amount of alcohol they took in, and then be okay. I know people who’ve died doing that. It’s just stupid,” said Monica Guzman.

“I will take your keys, and if you still insist, I will still not give you your keys. I will drive you home. You can talk the whole time about how horrible I am, but I am still not going to let you drive,” said Rebecca Kinney.

DESIGNATE A DRIVER

The Dominic Designated Driver (DDD) program, founded after Dominic Deiro ‘s tragic accident, emphasizes the importance of having a sober driver.

“ORANGE BAND KEY IN HAND”

Whenever wearing an orange band given by the organization, sober drivers receive free food and beverages from participating bars and restaurants. To find more information visit dominicdesignateddriver.com.

DRINKING AND DRIVING: PUNISHMENTS LAW BREAKING

According to the Supreme Court ruling in the case of People v. Watson, a person can be convicted of second-degree murder if someone dies as the result of their driving under the influence.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV Penalties for 1st-Time Offense, under the age of 21 include:

• One year suspended license
• Attendance to a DUI school
• High cost fines

First time offense for 21 years or older:

• Suspended license
• Up to 6 months in jail
• Up to $1,000 in fines, plus legal fees
• $125 fee for license reissue
• Installation of an ignition interlock device