A San Antonio family is honoring the memory of their loved one killed in a drunk driving crash ten years ago. They are pleading for sober drivers on New Year's Eve and all 364 other days of the year.
“Even though it pains us that she's gone, she still remains alive with us in our hearts and our memories,” said George Torres who went to 1st grade with Guadalupe Zavala. Family says the mother of three passed away following the crash in 2007.
“I can't believe it's been 10 years already,” said the victim's granddaughter, Cheyanne Zavala. “My grandma and me were so close. She missed my prom, she missed sweet 16, she missed graduation but I know she was looking down on me.”
Years have passed, but the pain still lingers.
“Funniest person I'd ever met,” said her nephew Mike Diaz. “She would keep up happy, keep us laughing.”
Dozens of family members gathered along Callaghan Road Tuesday night to hold a vigil. They say the drunk driver served several years in prison for the crime.
“We cannot forgive, this is a memory we will never forget. It's just like it had happened yesterday,” said Michelle Diaz, Guadalupe's sister.
The family says they have an unexplainable feeling, knowing that the pain could have been avoided if the driver made a different decision that night. They don't want any other family to endure this grief.
“Drinking and driving causes accidents like this,” said her son, Fabian Zavala. “If you want to enjoy the New Year with loved ones and families just play it safe.”
In planning for your next party, staying sober will play it safe.
If you have a designated driver, touch base with them ahead of time.
Remember you have other options if the designated driver ends up drinking. Cabs and rideshare services will get you home. There are even pedicabs available in downtown San Antonio.
As a last resort, AAA is offering tipsy tow on New Year's Eve. It's a free tow and ride home within 10 miles.
Even with all these options, Texans are still driving under the influence.
The Texas Department of Transportation reports that between December 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017 there were 2,321 DUI-Alcohol related crashes leading to 82 deaths and almost 200 people seriously hurt.
If you run into surge pricing with a rideshare company on the holiday and are tempted to just drive, TXDOT reminds us that drivers under the influence of alcohol could face up to $17,000 in fines and fees. They could also lose their license.