TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Pima County Sheriff’s Department says it's the time of year that law enforcement see's the most impaired drivers on the roadways.
“Last Christmas, I couldn’t even decorate," said Melissa Rosas, whose mother was killed in a DUI accident. "I had to force myself because I have children. And they’re the ones that decorated and I sat and watched them.”
Almost two years ago today, a drunk driver struck and killed her mother, Beatriz Alvarez.
“It’s empty, that spirit it gone, that crazy wild spirit," Rosas said. "It seems really quiet.”
Beatriz Alvarez is one of many who have died at the hands of an impaired driver. According to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, 33% of fatal collisions in the county this year involved alcohol or drugs. That number is expected to increase after the holidays.
“When you see it repeating itself, every time," Rosas said. "It's just sad to see that no one could tell nobody no.”
PCSD says there will be enhanced DUI enforcement every weekend, until the new year, but the department urges people who are drinking to stay off the roads.
Rosas says there are multiple avenues to prevent driving under the influence.
“Uber, Lyft, she had all these ways to not drive drunk,” Rosas said. “Even if you’re hosting a party, you have to limit your drinks.”
When she hears news of another victim, she thinks of her mom.
"It’s just heartbreaking to see another person die," Rosas said. "Their life is over.”
Tomorrow is the anniversary of Alvarez’s death. Rosas and her family will go to the spot where Alvarez died to release balloons in her memory.
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