New Iowa law gives harsher penalties for drunk driving

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New laws in Iowa make any person who has been convicted of operating while intoxicated three times could face up to 15 years in prison starting Monday.

July is the deadliest month, but one woman who has lost three friends to drunk driving wants to let people know this is a problem year round.

Allison Seys was a junior at Illinois State University when she was in a car hit by a drunk driver. Her friend Michael was killed.

Because of what happened to her, she wanted to let other people know this problem is 100 percent preventable.

Six months later, she got a call saying three of her friends were hit by a drunk driver. Her friends Danny and Andy were killed.

“I definitely was angry at first, right. You’re angry, sad, upset, there’s all the why questions, and I’m never going to have answers to those,” Seys said. “But as time went on, I realized that I wanted what happened to me and the loss of my friends to be more than a statistic and more than a number that’s up on a billboard.”

Seys is the program coordinator for MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She uses her platform to speak to offenders about what can happen when they drive drunk.

“When I’m in the room with those offenders, I try to remind myself that, you know, this is the safest outcome, but I want to make them realize that this outcome could have been so much worse,” she said. “It’s not just themselves that would be injured or killed if something happened, it’s other people on the road.”

Seys continues to tell the stories of her friends so that they are never forgotten.

“Even though my friends and I made the responsible choice, we still suffered the consequences because of someone else’s choice,” she said. “So really just sharing my story with offenders, I hope they realize that their actions could impact so many more people besides themselves.”

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