Woman, police warn of holiday drunk driving

For Ginger Parker, nights like New Years Eve offer a painful reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving.

"It's just hard, because first of all my mom is gone and secondly, somebody else is going to get hurt," Parker said.

On July 4, 2008, Parker's mother, Clara Lester and her father Joseph were out celebrating the holiday and their 39th wedding anniversary.

"We were just having a good time and it was getting pretty late," Parker said.

So, the couple got in their car and headed home to Roxboro. Parker says she dozed off on the couch and then suddenly, the calls started pouring in.

"Whoever it was on the phone told me that my parents were hit head-on in a collision," Parker said. "I kind of thought I was still dreaming."

But she wasn't --a man, who had been drinking, plowed into her parent's van, killing her 58-year-old mother.

"This is 100 percent preventable," Raleigh Police Sgt. Brinn said.

Raleigh Police say they will increase patrols on New Year's Eve as people head out to celebrate. They say they encourage people to come out and enjoy the holiday, but ask that they do so responsibly.

"Phone a friend, call a cab, designated driver, just please don't drink and drive," Sgt. Brinn said.

Parker says she will be spending New Year's Eve night at home remembering her mother and hoping others will learn from her pain and make the right decision Friday night.

"Just don't drive, it's not worth it," she said.

Last year, Raleigh Police said they had 20 DWI related crashes during the holiday season.

So far this year, they have seen nine. They say they want to get the message out so that number does not increase on New Year's.

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