WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — DWI offenders in Westchester County went through shock therapy Thursday, ordered to sit and listen to victims of drunk driving tell of their losses.
More than 300 DWI offenders, some with their parents and others with probation officers, were greeted with Breathalyzers at the Westchester County Building in White Plains for the powerful, court-ordered lesson.
One offender brought his wife to the lesson to translate after he was convicted just days ago of drunk driving.
“First and last, hopefully,” wife Wendy Gonzales said. “After all this, he better.”
The offenders filled the auditorium as jarring pictures of injured or dead accident victims flashed on the screen – and video of one crash as it happened.
One woman, who would only identify herself as “Jen,” told her own emotional story of being a drunk driver behind the wheel and killing her best friend. She had the audience in tears.
“I don’t understand why he died, and I lived, and this is the question that I will have to live with for the rest of my life,” she said.
Carol Sears spoke of losing her husband, Andy, to a drunk driver in Georgia. Their family was shattered, but is now on a mission.
“What we’re saying is don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking,” Sears said. “My worry is that three months later, six months later, it disappears and they forget, so that’s one of the things I said, is to please remember us. I always say that.”
After all of the speeches, and the Breathalyzers, organizers hoped the result will be that the offenders are scared straight, and never drink and drive again.
In Westchester County alone, there are 1,600 DWI offenders currently on probation for using alcohol or drugs behind the wheel.
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