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Course aims to prevent second-time DWI offenders

Posted September 29, 2009
Updated November 8, 2009

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— The Crash Prevention Network of North Carolina aims to stop people from driving drunk. The nonprofit group holds a monthly course in Durham where first-time DWI offenders hear from victims, their families and even other offenders.

Victims of drunken driving share stories Victims of drunken driving share stories

Kay Stokes, 61, was killed four years ago in a wreck in which Kenneth Wayne Maready's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. Her brother, Calvin Parrott, attends the courses to tell others about his loss.

“There are days when I wake up that I wish I wouldn't wake up,” Parrott said. “I’ll never get over it.”

Parrott said his sister was a half-mile from his home when she was killed on Stallings Road in Durham County.

“She had been to this wholesale company and was bringing me peaches,” Parrott said.

Before he crashed into Stokes’ pickup, Maready had stolen a car and fled from deputies who had pulled him over. At the time of the wreck, Maready had a revoked driver's license and six convictions for driving while impaired.

Parrott said he hopes that by talking about his sister's death, first-time DWI offenders will think hard before drinking and driving again.

“Maybe I can say something, or someone can say something, to stop these drunken drivers from getting on the road, and maybe (that will be) saving a life,” Parrott said.

Former WXII-TV anchor Tolly Carr also shared his story Monday with course participants. He was sentenced to 25 to 39 months in prison for felony death by motor vehicle after his car struck and killed Casey Bokhoven in Winston-Salem.

For hours after the 2007 crash, Carr's blood-alcohol level was reportedly  0.13. Drivers in North Carolina are considered legally drunk if they have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08.

“You can't 'good deed' your way out of it. You can't do anything to make it better. In this situation, Casey lost his life, and there is nothing I can do to bring that back,” Carr said.

Carr’s participation in the course is part of his post-sentence prison release. By having first-time offenders hear from people affected by drunken driving, group organizers believe they can bring about change.

“If we can bring an offender to speak, and someone will be more responsible and will not drink and drive, then we have done what our mission is set out to do,” said Ollie Jeffers, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Offenders pay $35 to attend the course as part of their DWI sentence. Only offenders who haven't been involved in a fatal drunken-driving crash can take the course. However, speakers often include people who have served time for death by motor vehicle.

8 Comments

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  • melhanpow Sep 30, 2009

    Really!! Maybe they should try an active sentence. Stiffer penalties. Higher fines.

  • OSX Sep 29, 2009

    I think this a good start to fix people before severe punishment is required. On a second DWI I think it is manatory 30 days.

  • readme Sep 29, 2009

    This is nice, but the real deterrent would be more severe punishment. I know I don't mind my tax dollars going toward keeping second time DUI offenders in jail for a while. They could at least make it a felony for a repeat offense.

  • Boogereater Sep 29, 2009

    6 DWI's??????
    This person should have been locked up. Meetings aren't going to do anything to prevent this severe of a case from happening again, only the court system which has apparently failed.

  • hkypky Sep 29, 2009

    They need to make the robes and suits take this class as well. Perhaps they would do more to keep these people behind bars and/or off the roads.

    This N&O story is sickening. States Maready had been convicted 6 times for drunk driving before killing this woman:

    http://projects.newsobserver.com/tags/kenneth_wayne_maready

    And after all that, it still took the State Supreme Court to finally put this guy away:

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/3505916

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Sep 29, 2009

    Glad something is being done, how about one DWI=vehicle installed breathalyzer for life. Have to blow anytime to get your car to start, on your dime.

  • whatelseisnew Sep 29, 2009

    Certainly it is worth trying to convince people not to drink and drive, but it is likely the people that will do this stuff, will just keep on doing it.

  • itsnews2me Sep 29, 2009

    Outstanding! They need to expand to include a similar program for people who cause accident fatalities because they were jabbering on their cell phone when they should have been concentrating driving, i.e. "my selfish need to babble incessantly while moving along at 65 mph in 2 tons of steel overrode my responsibility to the health and safety of others."