State police and past crash anecdote warn against NYE drunk driving

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Every year, it’s the same message…”don’t drink and drive.”

Every year, and especially on New Year’s Eve, people will do it anyway.

That’s why Illinois State Police are upping patrols, ready to bust drunk (and this year, high) drivers.

“Roadside safety checks do allow us to identify impaired drivers and get them off of the roadway,” said State Trooper Joseph Rush. “It allows us to conduct standardized field sobriety testing on these drivers, and make sure they’re not out on the roadways.”

Wherever an ISP trooper is stationed, every driver coming through will be stopped…even if they’re not suspected of impaired driving.

But if the risk of getting caught isn’t enough to keep people from drinking and driving…one family hopes their story is.

Alyssa Camp was hit head-on by a drunk driver in October 2014. Camp survived, but to this day, she struggles with the traumatic brain injury she received that night.

Alyssa Camp, following the crash that almost killed her.

“Let’s just say I was reborn, cause, I had a new start. I didn’t remember anything,” said Camp.

“It was a new Alyssa,” said her mother, Kim Downs. “We had to learn who she was again. She had to learn who she was again.”

They hope the message sticks…that it goes beyond New Year’s, and becomes a New Year’s resolution.

“I think it’s a temporary thing,” said Downs. “I think people see it at the time. They see what she’s going through and then they’ll stop…but then I think it fades away after a while. I think we need to remember, not only at New Year’s…every holiday, don’t drink and drive.”

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