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A mom and organization's mission to help stop drunk driving in Olmsted County

A mother whose son died due to an impaired driver speaks out: "And this is all I can do for him, and this is what I have to do for him.”

Posted: Apr 30, 2019 8:50 PM
Updated: May 1, 2019 8:20 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Every day in the United States, nearly 30 people die in drunk driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.

Olmsted County ranks in the top 13 most dangerous drunk driving counties in Minnesota.

In 2010, Austin Melville was killed by an impaired driver in downtown Rochester.

He was 23 years old, a recent college graduate, and engaged.

“Austin had his whole life and his whole future ahead of him,” Sandy Melville, Austin’s mom, said. “He was engaged. He graduated with dual honors. He had a promising life and a promising career and it was all taken away from him in an instant by someone's choice to drive impaired. And this is all I can do for him, and this is what I have to do for him.”

Sandy is using his death to caution others about drinking and driving because she says it’s a deadly choice.

“Plan ahead before they go out, before they're incapable of thinking straight, and before they're impaired,” Melville said. “Plan ahead for that sober ride home ahead of time and plan ahead like you do before everything else in your life.”

Melville uses her voice to speak at victim impact panels, driver’s education classes, and even at the state legislature.

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge is an organization that hope they can play a part in helping decrease drunk driving in Olmsted County.

Director Tom Truszinski wants people who are struggling with alcoholism to know there’s help available.

“It starts with one person at a time,” Truszinski said. “Each person stepping up and saying 'what can I do to act more responsibly, to act in all that I can be for my fellow citizens?' But also to be that one person that's gonna stand up and say 'I'm gonna take control of my life and live better.’”

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, click here.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 282916

Reported Deaths: 3359
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin605241095
Ramsey25467477
Anoka20172216
Dakota19573179
Washington12799108
Stearns1254793
Scott764754
St. Louis763197
Wright683036
Olmsted616033
Sherburne522339
Clay449655
Carver420912
Blue Earth379511
Rice377732
Kandiyohi365915
Crow Wing324131
Nobles298029
Chisago28838
Otter Tail273315
Benton269340
Winona251828
Mower239723
Polk230621
Douglas228929
Morrison215321
Lyon200011
McLeod19289
Beltrami190415
Goodhue180926
Becker178810
Steele17296
Itasca170524
Isanti170216
Todd167412
Carlton161310
Nicollet148223
Freeborn14195
Mille Lacs136530
Le Sueur135010
Waseca131811
Cass12368
Pine12216
Brown121110
Meeker11187
Roseau10143
Martin100620
Hubbard100022
Wabasha9351
Redwood82718
Dodge7980
Chippewa7907
Watonwan7884
Cottonwood7431
Renville73118
Sibley7224
Wadena7166
Aitkin69224
Rock6779
Pipestone67318
Houston6242
Fillmore6150
Yellow Medicine58211
Pennington5576
Murray5433
Kanabec54112
Swift5266
Pope4910
Faribault4901
Stevens4552
Clearwater4456
Marshall4377
Jackson4291
Lake3654
Unassigned35856
Koochiching3475
Wilkin3305
Lac qui Parle3213
Lincoln3171
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Mahnomen2554
Grant2396
Red Lake1973
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Traverse1340
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Cook600

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 216579

Reported Deaths: 2240
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk32244325
Linn13583162
Scott1055981
Black Hawk10541131
Woodbury9984116
Johnson920835
Dubuque886590
Story656619
Dallas611456
Pottawattamie589167
Sioux356425
Webster345831
Marshall339244
Cerro Gordo332342
Clinton312337
Buena Vista293514
Muscatine273968
Des Moines270616
Warren264810
Plymouth261938
Wapello244071
Jones225313
Jasper208440
Marion196719
Carroll192621
Lee191716
Bremer187212
Henry17257
Crawford170715
Benton162716
Tama149440
Jackson138511
Delaware137221
Washington135813
Boone130711
Dickinson128510
Mahaska123427
Wright11835
Buchanan11249
Clay10964
Hardin109310
Page10854
Hamilton10477
Clayton10455
Harrison102428
Calhoun10237
Cedar102213
Fayette10008
Mills9977
Floyd98614
Lyon9858
Kossuth9675
Poweshiek95512
Butler9375
Winneshiek91510
Iowa89611
Winnebago88023
Louisa82316
Hancock8217
Grundy81711
Sac8077
Chickasaw8014
Cherokee7814
Cass77221
Appanoose7509
Shelby7346
Allamakee73211
Guthrie72415
Humboldt7205
Mitchell7204
Union7166
Emmet71424
Franklin68820
Madison6614
Jefferson6441
Palo Alto6114
Unassigned5961
Keokuk5537
Pocahontas5442
Howard5089
Greene5070
Osceola5031
Clarke4644
Ida45510
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Taylor4352
Montgomery43410
Monroe43112
Adair4218
Monona4032
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