Authorities, local mom urge high school students against drunk d - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Authorities, local mom urge high school students against drunk driving

NEELYVILLE, MO (KFVS) -

As high school students in the heartland prepare for spring break, one Ripley Co. mom shares her personal story as she reminds teens about making good decisions.

"Shocked, denial, anger," Nancy Hart said.

Those were the three emotions Nancy Hart said she felt when she learned her son had been killed in a car crash involving a drunk driver.

"I never thought I would get that call," she said. "Austin was a smart intelligent child that was always concerned about other people."

Sadly, that day Hart said her son Austin made a life-threatening decision. He accepted a ride from a friend who had been drinking.

Since losing her son, Nancy has made it her mission warn high school students against the dangers of drunk driving.

"Its not easy," she said. "It's the hardest thing that I have to keep doing but I will continue to do it over and over"

Along with her heart-breaking story, authorities gave a real life view of how it is to be above the legal limit.

Aaron Burton is the district's safety coordinator. He said this kind of first-hand experience is exactly what the students needed.

"Its as real as it gets and they need to see it to be honest," Burton said.

Burton said with spring break coming up, it is important to remind students about the choices they make.

"Its always a time when kids get a little free time that it could lead to some bad choices being made,' he said. "I think this is the best time we could've had something like this."

Nancy said her hope is to touch students' lives so it never happens to them.

 "Hopefully by doing this now will put some thought in their head that," Hart said. "I just watched this young man video and he died, that could be me - but I'm not going to make that choice."

Hart is also working with a local lawmaker to crack down on adults who might be supplying minors with alcohol.

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