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MADD campaign urges parents to speak with children about dangers of alcohol

Wife, daughter of victim killed by drunken driver fight to stop DUI crashes

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Mothers Against Drunk Driving is behind a campaign in collaboration with the State Attorney's Office that focuses on prevention efforts by encouraging parents to begin ongoing conversations with their children about alcohol.

"It's a Tuesday night. (I) go to bed, and Wednesday morning, my husband went riding his bike, just like he always does in his preparation, and then that was it, and life changed," Maribel Reyes, whose husband was killed by a drunken driver, said.

Reyes' husband was struck and killed by a drunken driver two years ago.

Walter Reyes was cycling on the Rickenbacker Causeway when he was hit by a car that was driven by Alejandro Alvares, 21.

Alvarez was driving home after a night of drinking on Miami Beach.

"I don't want any other family members to suffer the way we have. This needs to stop, and it can. We just have to start now," Reyes' daughter, Jenny, said.

Reyes' wife and daughter urged the community to think twice about drinking and driving while enjoying spring break this year.

"Every year, at this time of the year, we start seeing a peak in the amount of people that get either injured or die in collisions," Dr. Gabriel Ruiz said. "We know alcohol is a big part of this problem."

According to MADD, one in three teens admit to getting in the car with a drunken driver, a statistic the Reyes family is working hard to break.

"What we are trying to do is make sure that people understand and realize that this is not a video game. There is no do over," Maribel Reyes said. "You don't get another life. Your choices -- once they are made, that's it, and you don't just impact you and your life, you impact so many others."

MADD is highlighting how family conversations about alcohol save lives, because their research showed that teens who don't get in the car with a drunken driver made the decision because their parents and peers have also made the decision not to ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking.