My teenage life was never imagined. When I was 16 in 1992, a drunken driver hit me. After the 30-40 minute extrication, I was airlifted to a hospital. I stayed in a 4-month coma, had paralysis, broken and dislocated bones with brain injuries. After years of hospitals, surgeries and therapies, I can walk and talk.

My plans to wear a fancy dress to prom vanished. High school events bring excitement. Teens have no experience drinking alcohol and assume it brings fun. Just from sips they can become clumsy or ill. It’s insane to believe you can drive in that condition.

Proms are happening. For instance, Tracy High will have prom on April 1. I missed prom like many other high school traditions, and graduated in a wheelchair. My plans to go to college vanished. Please, think before you drink. A drunken driver changed my life. For 30-plus years, I cannot watch television without closed captioning, I text on the phone, read lips and cannot drive.

Drinking and driving do not mix. Be sober when driving.

Lori Martin, Tracy

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