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Mother Of Drunk Driving Victim Makes Plea Ahead Of New Year’s Holiday

By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Lauren Leamanczyk Lauren Leamanczyk
Lauren Leamanczyk is an I-Team Correspondent for WBZ-TV News and is...
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BOSTON (CBS) – State Police are warning drivers that they will be cracking down for the New Year’s holiday.

Barbara Riley’s son Michael wanted to be a DJ but he never got to live out his dreams. He was killed in 2008 at the age of 19 while walking home from work on Soldiers Field Road in Brighton. The driver had been drinking.

Barbara Riley's son was killed by a drunk driver.

Barbara Riley’s son was killed by a drunk driver.

“It can happen in just a split second that you can lose a loved one,” says Barbara.

The holidays are hard for her, especially those times of year when she knows many people will make the choice to drink and drive. That’s why she’s become an advocate, appearing Friday with State Police at a press conference urging people not to drink and drive.

Massachusetts police have cracked down on drunk driving this year, arresting 4,800 drunk drivers, 1,000 more than in 2011. They’ll have even more officers on for the New Years weekend.

“Our goal is to remove dangerous and drunken drivers from our roads before they hit anyone and cause a tragedy,” said State Police Colonel Timothy Alben.

Barbara can attest to the tragedy. She says Michael’s death ruined more than just one life.

“It doesn’t pay,” she says of drinking and driving. “The family of the driver and himself will never get over it.”

This New Year she has a simple plea for those out celebrating.

“Call a designated driver, call a cab, walk if it’s not too far,” she says. “Do anything except drink and drive.”

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