Tuesday, May 31, 2011

High School Students See The Harsh Reality Of Drinking & Driving



Date:                May 31, 2011

Time:                6:45 PM


On May 25, 2011 the Levy County Sheriff's Office & the Levy County School Board sponsored, Renee Napier the founder of "The Meagan Napier Foundation".  Ms. Napier spoke to Bronson High School students about her mission in life which is to share the message of the seriousness and the consequences of drinking and driving. While sharing the message, Napier also showed a short video and brought with her a trailer carrying the actual car that her daughter was in on the night she was hit by a drunk driver so the students could see.


The nightmare began on May 11, 2002 when Eric Smallridge decided to drink and drive.  That decision changed the lives of many.  Meagan Napier (Renee's daughter) and friend, Lisa Dickson was driving home when Smallridge struck their vehicle sending it out of control.  In that moment two lives were lost and Smallridge was arrested for DUI manslaughter.  Smallridge had a blood alcohol level of 0.202.  Smallridge was sentenced to 22 years in the Department of Corrections.


After Napier spoke to the students, Eric Smallridge was escorted by deputies in an inmate uniform, ankle shackles and handcuffs.  Smallridge talked about his life growing up and he never expected that this could happen to him.  He explained to the students that this could happen to them if they choose to drink and drive. 


This presentation by Napier and Smallridge was extremely touching. In 26 years of law enforcement I have never seen a more heartfelt and compelling presentation. It not only drove home the consequences of drinking and driving but also the healing power of forgiveness.


With graduation upon us, the Levy County Sheriff's Office would like to remind the students to be wise, and not drink and drive.  Also remember friends do not let friends drink and drive.       


If you would like to watch the video you can go to www.youtube.com and search Eric Smallridge.  The foundation web address is at www.themeagannapierfoundation.com.





Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218