Tougher Drunk Driving Laws

The color of red was spread across the road. Paint and blood mixed together on the snow covered street the result of being rear-ended at 70-mph by a pick-up. Inside the car two 18-year old boys gasped for life. Randy Lounds, one of the boy’s fathers describes the scene "a fireman actually lay on the pavement for close to 2.5 hours and pumped air into his lungs while they cut his car apart to get him free." The first teen was quickly transported to a nearby hospital. Matt Lounds was airlifted to a trauma center. "And only after he was taken out and they were ready to move the wreckage off the highway did they find my son's best friend in the wreckage of the backseat." said Randy Lounds. While rescue crews pronounced his best friend Anthony MacAmeal dead Matt barely clung to life. The doctors induced a coma to slow the swelling. For nearly three weeks Matt's father sat by his side. Randy Lounds said "they told us as a matter of fact if he woke up he would be a quadriplegic, a vegetable or he would wake up and remember anything or anybody about his whole life". Finally, emotionally exhausted and desperate, randy asked a priest to stop-in to bless his son. "And my daughter actually called me about two hours later after the priest left my daughter called me screaming into the phone. Daddy, Daddy he's awake and he knows who we are.” Although awake and a live, Matt's brain injury destroyed the section of his brain that controls the fine motor functions for his right side. To add insult to injury the driver of the pick truck was a three time drunk driver. "And I've got to tell you. It's frustrating seeing the same people continuing to come into the system." Paul Logli said. And legislators agree. They've given prosecutors a new tool to rattle the cages of repeat offenders - longer prison sentences. A six time offender use to face a minimum of a year in prison. Now they get at least 6-years and up to a maximum of three decades. Paul Logli adds, "You know obviously they're not going to get any help. It’s a long shot for them to turn their lives around. I think our job is to put them away as long as we can to keep them off the roads." Five years later Randy still thanks God for giving him his son back. But he is still constantly reminded of Anthony MacAmeal family's loss. "Because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone chose to drink and drive at 18 he was sentenced to death." As for Matt he will never be the same. But Randy says that hasn't stopped him. In high school he was a straight a student and this winter he will graduate from Winona State in Minnesota. Once again on the Dean's List. "My son has basically become my hero he's done so much more than anyone ever expected him to do after this."


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