Annual 'Red Ribbon' campaign fights New Year's drunken driving

December 28, 2016 06:38 PM

ALBANY -  "Do one thing before you take that first drink, have a plan on how you're getting home not using your vehicle," Rich Mallow said, MADD New York State Executive Director.  

"Your life can change in the blink of an eye as it did for me," Sandra Laplante explained.

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Laplante was riding her motorcycle with her fiancé in Coeymans four years ago when Robert Dunn crossed into their lane hitting them head on. His BAC was .19. 

"Everything just started to go black and I remember the EMT saying pull her out we're losing her," Laplante recalled.

WEB EXTRA: Drunk driving victim talks about "Red Ribbon" campaign

When she finally came to in the hospital, she had lost her leg and her life hasn't been the same since.

"I'm still going through physical therapy. I've gone through nine prosthetics which they're having a lot of issues with me with inflammation, so I'm still not in one."

We first met Sandy last year in May. She says she tries to stay active by spending time with her grandchildren.

She joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the New York State Thruway Authority and Troop T in a press conference to share her story and hopefully put an end to drunk driving.

"If you're out there and you want to drink do us all a favor and find a ride, call a cab, do something so you don't end up in the shoe that I'm in, the life I'm in, it really stinks," Laplante said.

Through January 1, 2017 select toll plaza operators will hand out red ribbons to raise awareness about the campaign.

"Our toll collectors will be passing out red ribbons to everybody paying a toll and so even if you have E-ZPass we'd like you to go through and see a toll collector to tie on to your antenna," Bill Finch of the New York State Thruway Authority said.

MADD and state police recommend planning ahead and finding a designated driver or a ride sharing service to get you home if you plan on drinking.


WNYT Staff

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