The night I took someones keys,,,, Baton Rouge Louisiana February 2009

by Mindy Weller
(San Diego, CA)

I was reading some of these heart wrenching stories of lost loved ones with anger despair and sadness and I started to think of something that happened to me. Knowing people who have lost loved ones to death due to drunking driving any time I go out with friends I always make it a habbit to be the designated driver. This night was no different however I was not prepared for what was about to happen.

It was in February of 2009 and you could find me typically at that time hanging with my friends in the local bars on the weekend. I did not drink. I was just there to make sure my friends were safe because I loved them. I usually stayed until 2am because my friends wouldnt be caught dead leaving early and if any of them would leave I always made sure I would give them a sobriety test before they would go. If not I would sit with them or be the one driving and crash at their house so everyone was safe. Well it was approaching 2am and this man I did not know what sitting next to me was drunk. The bartender said alright its time to close up lets get out of here and go home no more selling of alcohol. I did not know that man who was sitting next to me but my friend who was the bartender along with a few other people i knew also knew this man. He begged for one more drink. My friend said no. As soon as he got off the barstool he fell straight to the floor. I knew this man was obviously drunk and like a good samaritan I helped him from the floor to his feet and started asking him who was bringing him home. He insisted he would bring himself home. I said sir I do not know you however I think maybe we should wait awhile before you drive home. He did not refuse my offer so there were four of us sitting with him waiting for him to sober up. He had drank so much he never did. I knew this man couldnt sober up and we all had to start getting home. So I did something that I thought I would never have to do. I asked to see the mans car keys to see what kind of car he drove. Not paying attention to my tatic due to his drunken stuppor he freely gave me his car keys and I immediately stuck them in my purse helped him to his feet and said come lets get you home its almost 3:30am and your family must be worried. I must have been crazy in my head I told myself. That I was going to drive a stranger home. But I couldnt allow this man in his state drive home and risk hurting himself or someone else. The man got angry with me and insisted that I give him his keys back. I took my stance and said no. I had taken 3 years of self defense so I did not have fear of him attacking me just very cautious as to what his next move was. He was angry with me but I was ready. I couldnt back down. I was very firm and I told the man sir I need to go home it is late and I must drive my other friends home because they are not sober. I gave him a choice either you allow me to take you home or I will call the police and you can sober up in jail. By this time the man came at me and I had taken him to the ground. I told my friend to call the police and I told the man to take it easy and not to move. The police showed up and asked what had happened. I told them this was our friend and we gave him a choice that either i drive him home or he goes to jail. The police officer praised my bravery and told the man the choice either you have her take you home or i will personally take you to jail. The man caved in and finally with the persuasion of the officer allowed me to take him home. As I was driving the man home the officer followed me. I turned on to the mans street and I saw a woman walking down the street. I think about this woman from time to time and if I had not been so adimate if he would have hit her or worse. I think about if she had a family if she was married had children. In any case, I finally got the man home and his family was waiting up for him. They were worried sick. They were happy to see him and were surprised to see me. I gave them the keys and explained what had happened and showed them to officer in the street. Thats when I found out more about the man. He had a wife and two very young children. They were relieved thanked me repeatedly. The officer took me back to my friends so i could drive the rest them to my house which wasnt much further away. As I got in the officer's car I looked and saw the woman one last time and smiled knowing that I had done the right thing. I still to this day do not regret my decision for taking this mans keys and if given the opportunity I would do it again. For those of you that have lost someone I am terribly sorry for your loss but please remember there are people out there who really do care and will do anything to make sure that no one is put in harms way due to someone elses lack of judgment and stupidity. I personally can attest to this. Every time I drive someone home I know in my heart there is someone out there who gets to hug their loved at night knowing they are safe, and not crying due to someone elses foolish decision to drink and drive. Remember friends do not let friends drive drunk. Stay safe always. Love you all ---- Mindy

Comments for The night I took someones keys,,,, Baton Rouge Louisiana February 2009

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Feb 25, 2012
please forgive me! NEW
by: Anonymous

I have stopped many people from drinking and driving and never imagined I would need someone to stop me but no one did. I am ready to face charges for my second dui. By the GRACE OF GOD I did not hurt anyone but I will never allow myself to forget what could have been by continuing to look up these kind of stories. Mindy, you are awesome and thank God for you!
ALTHOUGH NO ONE STOPPED ME THAT NIGHT, I AM GRATEFUL THAT EVERY NIGHT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I CAN STOP MYSELF!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Feb 25, 2012
please forgive me! NEW
by: Anonymous

I have stopped many people from drinking and driving and never imagined I would need someone to stop me but no one did. I am ready to face charges for my second dui. By the GRACE OF GOD I did not hurt anyone but I will never allow myself to forget what could have been by continuing to look up these kind of stories. Mindy, you are awesome and thank God for you!
ALTHOUGH NO ONE STOPPED ME THAT NIGHT, I AM GRATEFUL THAT EVERY NIGHT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I CAN STOP MYSELF!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Feb 25, 2012
please forgive me! NEW
by: Anonymous

I have stopped many people from drinking and driving and never imagined I would need someone to stop me but no one did. I am ready to face charges for my second dui. By the GRACE OF GOD I did not hurt anyone but I will never allow myself to forget what could have been by continuing to look up these kind of stories. Mindy, you are awesome and thank God for you!
ALTHOUGH NO ONE STOPPED ME THAT NIGHT, I AM GRATEFUL THAT EVERY NIGHT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I CAN STOP MYSELF!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Jul 12, 2011
Thank you
by: Gail

Mindy, God Bless you. I wish there was more people like you. A person who really cares about others and their loved ones.
Thank you for who you are. You are an angel. God Bless

Apr 13, 2011
Way to go Mindy
by: Anonymous

Mindy -
What you did that night was very brave. Since my 13 year old was killed by a drunk drive a little over 2 years ago, my husband and I have worked to stop this crazy crime. It is only through the brave work of people like you that things can change. Please continue to do what you do and share it. Perhaps others will join in and this country will be a safer place!

Valoree Lalime

Apr 13, 2011
Suzanne your grief does not go unnoticed
by: Mindy Weller

Ms. Suzanne,

I want to say I am sorry for your loss. I hope my story that I had shared with you encourages you and gives you hope that there are people out there who are doing the right thing. I know each story that I read and hear gives me more courage each day to continue to do the right thing. I was telling my husband just yesterday that I would do this again if I had too. He said that I was crazy. I said to him I maybe crazy but I could not live with myself if I had a chance to stop someone and something horrible happened. I said I dont have it in my heart to allow not one person to get into a car to drink and drive. I made it a motto in my life. Your husband will always be remembered. Your grief does not go unnoticed. There are people out there who do care. Continue to be strong and continue to spread the awareness showing others the consequences of drinking and driving. I will pray for you that healing will continue to pour upon your heart.
Best Regards
Mindy

Apr 13, 2011
Thank you!!
by: Suzanne

Mindy,

I could only have wished there was someone like you in the place where the man had been drinking the night he killed my husband...Stay true to your heart Mindy, your a true Hero....Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. I wish there is one of you where there needs to be....Saving another family from the heart ache of all of this...Thank you!!

Apr 13, 2011
Your sons death is worth remembering Ms. DeFrain
by: Mindy Weller

To Ms.DeFrain,

Your sons death is worth remembering. Its stories like yours that keeps me driven to do the right thing. I am sorry for your loss. I have a son who is not quite 2 years old and he means everything to me. Just like your son means everything to you. Keep telling people about your son. People will listen. There are people out there who do care and are doing the right thing. Its losses like yours that acts as reminders to us all of the severe consequences of drinking and driving. Education and awareness is the key. We all have a responsibility to make sure we ensure the safety of others. Even if drastics measures are taken like forcing the removal of someone elses car keys. I comend you on your own bravery for taking the time to telling me about your son and I encourage you to continue telling others about your son. You never know whose life you will save with your and your sons story. Thank you again I will pray for you always. Stay Safe and remember there are people out there who care. Best Regards

Mindy

Apr 12, 2011
I commend you
by: Debra DeFrain

Mindy, I commend you for your bravery and taking a stance for your beliefs. How I wish my son would have had the fortune to have a person such as yourself at the New Year's Eve party that he attended Dec 31 2008, perhaps he would be alive today. This man that you assisted and his family should consider themselves quite blessed that you held your ground that night. Keep standing up and making your voice heard Mindy!!!

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