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

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Norman210
Pope190
Big Stone180
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 36437

Reported Deaths: 776
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Polk7803188
Woodbury338645
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Johnson15438
Linn145684
Dallas145133
Scott117410
Marshall112519
Dubuque105423
Story8978
Pottawattamie85913
Wapello71731
Muscatine70945
Crawford6823
Sioux5190
Tama49329
Webster4485
Wright4081
Jasper37517
Louisa36813
Plymouth3645
Cerro Gordo3569
Warren3481
Dickinson3123
Washington2559
Hamilton2071
Boone1741
Clay1521
Clinton1471
Clarke1463
Allamakee1384
Mahaska12417
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Bremer1227
Carroll1211
Franklin1170
Poweshiek1148
Pocahontas1091
Des Moines1052
Emmet990
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Henry943
Cherokee871
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Floyd832
Benton811
Taylor810
Jones801
Monona780
Butler742
Jackson740
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Sac690
Hancock672
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Lyon650
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Jefferson640
Iowa631
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Humboldt621
Madison612
Kossuth580
Delaware571
Palo Alto550
Lee542
Mills540
Monroe547
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Clayton513
Mitchell510
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