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MADD’s Skelley: Drinking And Driving Has Impacted Family For Decades

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
MADD’s Skelley: Drinking And Driving Has Impacted Family For Decades

As you prepare your New Year’s holiday party plans, keep Upper Cumberland resident Norris Skelley in mind.

The MADD Tennessee State Board Member had his life impacted by drunk driving. Skelley’s brother-in-law was killed by a drunk driver on August 14, 1993. He said it is something that impacts generations when a family loses someone to a drunk driver.

“Last week, when we had our Christmas celebration with our family there in Jamestown, there is still that empty seat,” Skelley said. “He’s been missed all these years, and there are younger family members who have come along who have never had the opportunity to know him but you see in them.”

Skelley said the drunk driver who killed his brother-in-law was a repeat DUI offender. He said he had a .309 blood-alcohol level.

Skelley said he understands people want to go out and celebrate the holidays, but he said to make sure to have plans how you are getting home if you plan to drink. He said the risks are too great to get on the road intoxicated.

“You’re endangering everyone out there on the roadways,” Skelley said. “You can severely injure yourself or kill yourself. It could be friends. It could be family. It could be total strangers. It’s simply not worth it. A simple DUI charge can cost you up to $10,000.”

The legal limit in the state of Tennessee is .08.

“No one ever goes out with the intention of causing an alcohol related crash where they injure or kill someone,” Skelley said. “There’s never that intent, because most people think well I’ve done this before, and I’m just a little ways from home. They don’t think of the consequences of what can happen.”

Skelley said every 79 seconds in the United States someone is injured or killed in a drunk driving accident.

“That is a tremendous amount of people impacted due to the choices that someone else has made,” Skelley said. “I just ask that you not be a part of the problem. Be a part of the solution. Make the choice not to drink and drive.”


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