Family Tells Story of Loss, Hopes to Reduce Drunk Driving - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Family Tells Story of Loss, Hopes to Reduce Holiday Drunk Driving

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Too often the holiday season comes with holiday celebrations that cross the line into drunk driving. 

For Phillip and Pam Stucky, Tuesday will mark another Christmas without their father and husband, Dean. Although more than 20 years have passed since he was killed by a drunk driver, time has not completely healed their wounds.

For the Stucky family, this time of year comes with a constant reminder that someone is missing.

"It's hard seeing everybody together and big families, and it's just us," said Pam. 

"You could see other kids, their fathers were teaching them how to ride a bike, and I had my mom and the lady across the street help me," said Phillip.

This year marks the 22nd Christmas that Pam and Phillip will celebrate without Dean. He was killed by a drunk driver in 1990. Phillip was only 6 weeks old.

"It was two weeks to the day of my birthday, and a drunk driver with a BAC [blood alcohol content] of .23 percent crossed the center line and hit Dean head-on," said Pam.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to drive impaired. In 2010, 31 percent of all traffic accidents involved alcohol.     

The Stuckys are sharing their story now because the holidays often center around alcohol.

"I'm not trying to stop anybody's fun. I just don't want their fun to ruin my life, or change anybody's life," said Pam. 

"Especially working in the restaurant business now, you see where there's like two parents that are drinking and it's like, 'who's going to drive home?' Nobody thinks about that, "said Phillip.

Pam hopes that when people spend Christmas dinner with their loved ones, they will truly appreciate how blessed they are.

"How precious it is to have everybody there. We will have dinner, but it's just the two of us. I miss what we could have been," says Pam. 

If you are drinking this holiday, make sure you have a designated driver. You can also take advantage of the Sober Ride cab service, which runs from now until New Year's Day.    

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