Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports over the past few years, they've been called to as many as seven DUI fatality crashes in a single New Year's Eve night.
Well this year, they say they didn’t respond to one fatal crash involving alcohol.
According to AAA, 35 Oklahomans took a free tipsy tow back home. Patrolmen hope it’s because of their #ENDUI campaign.
“Being on social media now, we are getting plugged in so you're seeing our message more,” said OHP Public Information Officer Dwight Durant. “When a person dies in a dui crash, it's the family that suffers forever.”
Last year, serves as a deadly reminder. The New Year’s Eve holiday ended in two crashes and three deaths, according to Durant.
In one of those wrecks, off of the Kilpatrick Turnpike near Wilshire, a patrolman arrested then 30-year-old Craig Maker. When he placed him in his vehicle, a dashcam captured Maker saying this, "I mean, I'm not stupid. I'm not... I'm an alcoholic, but I'm not dumb. Ya know?"
The crash killed 37-year-old Mandy Starkey-Carson, as well as 18-year-old Nhu Huong, who died from her injuries later in the month.
“He (the trooper) had clocked the individual at an extremely high rate of speed,” Durant says. “Before he got there, the individual had hit another vehicle.”
In every fatal crash, patrolmen are charged with delivering the news face-to face to victims and suspects families. They say while the circumstances change, one thing never does. Almost every time, it’s completely heartbreaking.
“Their life is going on normal, everything is great. Everything is good. You know, you are on the way and you are the messenger, and you know when you get out and knock on that door, their life is getting ready to be destroyed.”
At last check, Craig Maker pled guilty in that case and received a deferred sentence.
News 9 found Maker has at least four other DUI charges dating back to 2011.
We want to mention numbers reported are only through OHP patrol areas. Local departments are not represented.
If you’d like more information about AAA’s Free Tipsy Tow Service please visit this link.