Stay strong, drive sober and the future will benefit you

April 10, 2022, marks 30 years after a drunken driver hit me when I was 16 years old. I had a four-month long coma, broken bones, paralysis and brain injuries.

My gait is not perfect, I read lips and my speech is not ideal. I deal with these problems daily. Years of therapy and personal strength paid off. Inspiring people is my goal.

In April 2006, I started speaking at Every 15 Minutes retreats with the California Highway Patrol and other first responders teaching teenagers to not drink and drive. I also spoke to schools and groups in six cities for 14 years.

From 2007 to 2020, I sent letters to California newspapers during special occasions reminding readers to drive sober.

I received three CHP Certificates of Commendation then granted the highest honor in 2014 for my work: CHP Commissioner’s Medal of Distinction.

The 21st century made history like no other. California had its share of disasters: blackouts, companies declared bankruptcy, drought, inflation, pandemics, smash and grab robberies, supply chain shortages, unemployment, wildfires (e.g., Chicken Fire), etc. People are tired of masks and the “new normal.”

It is tough to adapt to the changes and I know it is. My uphill struggle brought unexpected outcomes: CHP awards and a prestigious medal. Stay strong, drive sober and the future will benefit you.

Lori Martin
Tracy, California