Deputy Teri Dollar (holding wireless mic) talks to LHS students about the grim reality of drinking and driving.
Polk County Sheriff's Deputy Preaches to LHS Students About the Dangers of Drinking and Driving, LIVINGSTON, March 30, 2012 - On the morning of March 29, 2012, Polk County Sheriff's Office Reserve Deputy, Teri Dollar, put on a presentation to the students of Livingston High School about the realities and the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Dollar can speak from experience, on March 12, 2006, Dollar (then a constable in Harris County) made a routine traffic stop in Harris county. She had a vehicle pulled over and was sitting in her patrol unit when she was slammed from behind by a drunk driver. The impact totaled her patrol unit and sent her crashing through parts of her car and into the front wheel well of the vehicle she had just pulled over. "Honestly, I don't know how I ended up in that wheel well, but they had to cut me out of it". The violent collision caused Dollar massive internal injuries, including multiple broken ribs, a punctured lung, multiple damaged organs, and her hand was nearly torn off. Dollar wasn't expected to live, but she didn't give up and proved to be the fighter. More than six surgeries later, Deputy Teri Dollar moves about and talks perfectly normal. Dollar still has shattered glass in her arm. For the man who hit her, it was his 3rd DWI (a felony), he's still in prison today. "I wish that someone would have stopped him from driving that night. I'm sure he wishes someone would have stopped him. I wish that I could've pulled him over and arrested him before he hit me". "I feel the impact of it every time there's another person killed due to drinking and driving" she told the young audience. Dollar stressed to the kids that just a couple of drinks is all it takes, and because alcohol is a nerve depressant, just a small amount alters the mind and judgment. Dollar also pointed out the cost of DWI in terms of medical bills, damage to property, lost lives, and the hurt that's inflicted on entire families due to one moment of bad judgment. "Is it worth going to prison for?" she asked the students. At the conclusion of Dollar's presentation, the students were invited outside to view the vehicle of a Texas Tech student (Amber Menefee) that was killed in 2006 when she was struck by a drunk driver. The vehicle was in the parking lot and mounted on a trailer with a picture of the student. The wrecked vehicle was a real life reality check on the dangers of drinking and driving and how just one moment of bad judgment can change lives forever. Dollar told PolkCountyToday.com that in May they will have a simulated life like DWI scene put on at First Baptist Church in Livingston.