"I had my whole life planned. I was going to have my sweet 16th party 16 days prior to my car wreck," said Linda Hales, a victim of drunk driving.
Hales will always have a spot on Mothers Against Drunk Driving's memorial pictorial wall. Consider her lucky. She's one of the few who didn't die at the hands of a drunk driver. But her life since that wreck in 1966 has never been easy.
"Part of my life did die. I don't remember being 16, 17, 18, or 19. That's sad," Hales said.
Her wreck left her in a coma for three and a half years and with more physical disabilities than she can count.
"I'm completely blind in my right eye," said Hales. "I have tunnel vision in my left eye. I was paralyzed completely on my left side."
And so the Highway Patrol unveils its yearly campaign with people like Linda Hales in mind.
"There will be checkpoints around the state looking for the impaired driver along with erratic drivers. And we believe this will certainly make a difference," said Lt. Steve Gladney of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
Federal grants allow authorities commercial airtime and the ability to put more troopers on the roads. It may not make a difference in Hales' life.
"All my girlfriends are married and they have children and some of them are lucky and have grandchildren. I will never have children. I won't ever get married," she said.
But Hales said she's pleased it may save someone from going through the heartache she's endured since her wreck some 38 years ago.
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