"I have never felt more pain. Nothing comes even remotely close to this. Nothing." The words of a father who lost his son to a drunk driver. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon reality.
Each year, more than 10,000 people die from drunk driving crashes. Our partner and friend, Marcus Kowal, found out first-hand when he and and his wife, Mishel Eder lost their 15 month old son Liam to a drunk driver in Hawthorne. Since then, they have been advocating for stricter laws and change.
Two and a half years ago, 15 month old Liam Kowal lost his life when a drunk hit and run driver crashed into his aunt and him while they were crossing a street in Hawthorne. Moments later, his family realized what happened.
"I ran down Hawthorne Boulevard in the middle of the road to find my son's stroller in two pieces and my son's little green frog just lying on the ground," Marcus Kowal said.
Luckily, Liam's aunt survived the crash. However, the reality of losing a son was unbearable. "It's a pain that will never go away. You learn to live with that pain," Kowal said.
Since the crash, Kowal and his wife are continuing their fight against drunk driving. They created Liam's Life Foundation, a non-profit that specifically advocates against drunk driving.
Part of their efforts (and SAFE's as well) is AB1713, known as "Liam's Law," which they are hoping to turn into state law. The bill would lower the legal BAC for California drivers from 0.08 to 0.05 percent.
"It doesn't bring Liam back. We understand that. This is to help save other people," Eder said.
Dr. Kimberly Petrick with Kaiser Permanente says a 0.05 BAC reading is when drivers start to become impaired. "At 0.05 you already have an impaired ability to react, say there's a pedestrian or a car changes lanes, there's already an impairment of reaction timing and ability to coordinate and concentrate on the road."
Critics say that the lower limit would criminalize social drinking. Kowal says it's the price that could save lives. "It's been a very difficult journey. It's a journey that no parent should have to go through," Kowal says.
If AB1713 passes, California will hold one of the strictest drunk driving laws in the nation.
We are proud to stand with our partner, Liam's Life Foundation, in advocating for stricter drunk driving laws and supporting AB1713 "Liam's Law."
Please visit LiamsLife.org to find out how you can help.
Sample Support Letter for AB1713
Info on AB1713
Sign The Petition
--- Credit to LiamsLife.org
for quotes, background and copyrighted information.