Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Mohawk Valley

Officials remind people not to drink and drive

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Albany/HV: Officials remind people not to drink and drive
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RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. -- "You can be anywhere and this can happen,” DWI crash victim Stephen Smith said.

Like East Greenbush.

Smith said, “The person who hit us was going half a mile down the road for cigarettes, but he got into his car up to 70 and he changed a lot of lives because he did that when he was drunk.”

Smith spent Saturday out on the roads in the very town where his life changed forever. Rallying against drunk driving because he personally knows the pain it can cause.

“We're just reminding people, especially at this time of the year, to not be drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car.”

“We've been doing this now for, I lost track how many years,” William Dikant said.

Alongside Smith, another man who has turned his life's loss into a life's goal. William Dikant was forced to say goodbye to his wife and two children over 30 years ago, when a DWI accident claimed their lives. He says he does whatever he can to ensure others don't have to do the same.

Dikant said, “You might be in that hearse back there. And somebody's going to pay for your stupidity.”

This annual checkpoint is a preventative one, urging drivers to make decisions beforehand.

“Everybody who gets behind the wheel of a car thinks they're ok,” Smith said.

“Make that decision before you go to the party, before you start drinking, when you're of clear mind,” Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino said.

Especially in a season of surrounding yourself with those you love.

Dikant said, “Look and turn around. There's two or three people missing, one person missing. It isn't right.”

“The greatest present we can all get this holiday season is to have all of our loved ones with us and be safe and healthy and happy,” Jimino said.

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