For survivor, St. Patrick's holiday prompts thoughts of DUI crash victim

Local law enforcement is stressing safety on St. Patrick's Day. (WSYX/WTTE)

Law enforcement is issuing its annual warnings about drinking and driving during the St. Patrick's holiday weekend, but one Central Ohio woman knows the cost of drunk driving too well.

Jackie Brown lost her best friend to a drunk driving crash almost 16 years ago and said this holiday always reminds her of the pain.

"I say best friend, but we were more like sisters," Brown said of her friend. "We have been friends since sixth grade."

Brown said a drunk driver fleeing police hit her friend's car head on. The woman was thrown from the car; her three year-old son was killed when the car burned.

"It's still very devastating," Brown said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said it would have more cruisers on the roads this weekend in Delaware County. The Franklin County DUI Task Force plans what it calls "saturation coverage" through the weekend in an effort to stop drunk driving. Some bar owners are taking part in a program in which coupons for cab rides are distributed to patrons. Troopers reminded folks that drunk drivers could be out at all hours.

"A lot of peole have in their mind that your typical drunk drivers are out at the bars late at night," said Lt. Marcus Pirrone, commander of the Delaware OSP post. "A day like St. Patrick's day gets them out as early as six a.m."

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