Leaders from Dallas and Tarrant counties are joining forces to send a simple message: Don't drink and drive.
County leaders gathered for a press conference Wednesday in Grand Prairie with multiple law enforcement agencies, a vehicle that had been totaled in a DWI crash and a crash survivor, who said a wrong choice changed her life forever.
It's been almost 10 years, but Tonya Winchester said she remembers the day clearly when she was involved in a crash.
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“An 18-wheeler was approaching and smashed into us, at my door, and just pushed my Jeep yards away,” she said. “We flipped over and over and over and it knocked us all unconscious.”
Winchester said she was both a DWI victim and offender. She had too much to drink weeks after her high school graduation and allowed another drunken driver to get behind the wheel of her vehicle.
“I broke my neck. I had a lacerated spleen and liver. A crushed hip still causes me pain. I'm in constant pain,” she said.
Still, Winchester said sharing her story is allowing herself to move in a positive path.
“I've learned who I am. I learned my purpose. I've learned who my God is, and I feel worthy now,” she said.
Dallas and Tarrant county leaders want to get ahead of the message before the holidays arrive.
Simulation goggles showed attendees at the press conference what it’s like to walk while impaired.
“The drunk goggles gives you the feeling of what the impairment that we sometimes don't think we have after one drink,” said Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia.
Winchester hoped North Texans listened to her sobering message to not drink and drive this holiday season.
“Just be conscious about all of your decisions because every decision we make, good and bad, is important and affects the lives of everyone around us,” she said.