Distracted and drunk driving raise major concerns during graduation and prom season

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Prom season is wrapping up, but graduation is right around the corner for teens and young adults in the Chattahoochee Valley.

Some of the main concerns for parents are distracted and drunk driving.

Almost ten years ago, on May 17, 2008, Renota "Lolly" Tyus was 21 years old when he was killed by a drunk driver.

"The driver was going 67 mph in a 25 mph zone. I couldn't save my son, but my goal is to try to save others whether it's young people or older people," says Carolyn Tyus.

Carolyn Tyrus is hoping to help prevent other parents from experiencing that kind of pain by volunteering and going to schools to speak to teens and young adults during the graduation and prom seasons.

She's not the only one who is affected by a drunk driver. David Campbell says he lost two friends to a drunk driver in high school.

"They were enjoying a nice night when a drunk driver came out of nowhere and completely sidelined them and they were dead when police arrived on the scene. It tore my school apart," says  Cambell.

According to the Centers For Disease Control, young drivers ages 16 through 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent than when they have not been drinking at all. It says teen drivers are three times more likely than experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash.

Those in the community say it's not worth the consequence.

"That's something that you would have to live with for the rest of your life, if you were to injure someone for the rest of their life or possibly kill them. So you need to think twice, says Columbus resident, Melony Kawamura.

"He walked away completely unharmed while two of my friends didn't. So realize your actions have a much bigger consequence," says Campbell.

The Centers for Disease Control says the percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has decreased by more than half since 1991, but more can be done to lower the numbers.

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