Drinking and driving up from holiday weekend

Drinking and driving up from holiday weekend

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Drinking and driving, it's something we all know not to do. Yet people continue decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

This Memorial Day weekend, police say they saw a spike in cases.

Ohio State Highway Patrol says they had 91 OVI's this weekend with more than 45 in Lucas County alone.

Oregon Police saw six alcohol related cases which is about double their average.

For Carol these numbers bring back painful memories of when she lost her beloved sister to a drunk driver.

It was June 20,1997.

Patricia Diehl was walking home from the store when a drunk driver went over the curb and hit her. Her sister, Carol, says she flew 80 feet and died from her injuries.

She recalls the moment she found out almost 20 years ago.

"I said what's wrong," explained Carol Plenzler of her priest who came to deliver the news. "He said 'There's been an accident.' And I said, 'Is Pat okay?' Here I have four kids. Never even thought of them or my grandkids. He said, 'No she's with God.' That's how I found out."

Despite time passing on, Carol and her family continue to remember that day.

"Holidays come around, Pat was usually here," remembered Carol. "When I go by her apartment I think of her. It just chokes me up I miss her."

Police say they have seen an increase of OVI's and say the consequences will cost you.

"About $10,000," said Assistant Chief Paul Magdich. "You talk about attorney fees, you talk about elevated insurance, you talk about the possibility of lost time at work talk about spending time in jail. There's just so many different ramifications that come with that."

Police continue to push those who drink to have designated driver or use a service with a sober driver next time.

Carol spends her time advocating against drunk driving. She even speaks to offenders, including the man who killed her sister two decades ago.

She said she was speaking to a class about her sister's death, and she looked over and saw him weeping so she went up to him afterward.

"He needed to hear me say I forgave him and so has God. He needs to forgive himself," explained Carol. "I needed to hear him say, 'I am so sorry.' That's all. I forgave him, but I won't forget."

Carol and her family still carry the burden of Pat's death every day, but they also work to stop others.

Police say they will be patrolling all summer long to protect the roads and your family.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2017 WTOL. All rights reserved.