SAN ANTONIO - The father of a drunk driving victim is doing everything he can to make sure his son's death wasn't in vain. Seven year old Matthew Jimenez and his neighbor 14-year-old Ricky Zamarripa were killed by a drunk driver in 2006. Edward Jimenez was driving the boys home from community pool night at Palo Alto College and he and his older son survived the crash.
Now, Edward is a crusader against drunk driving and he has a new proposal which he believes could save lives. Called the "At the Counter Initiative," it would ban people arrested for alcohol-related crimes from buying alcohol.
"Alaska does alcohol restrictions so if you get arrested for an alcohol-related crime, they actually put a stamp across the front of your driver's license that says Alcohol Restricted," Edward explained.
For his proposal to work, the state would have to require ID checks 100 percent of the time for all alcohol sales, regardless of the buyer's age. The initiative also includes punishments for businesses or people who illegally sell alcohol to someone on restricted status. A business would have its liquor license suspended for a weekend and a person caught illegally selling would also be placed on restricted status. The length of the alcohol buying ban would be up to a judge. Edward's initiative would be enforced with other initiatives like ignition interlock devices and alcohol-detecting ankle bracelets.
Edward informed legislators of his ideas Thursday while he was testifying at the state capitol about other proposed DWI legislation. He is hoping legislators would approve his ideas, in honor of Ricky and Matthew, some time this session.
Edward has both an active website
supporting his efforts and a Facebook page
set up to educate others about the dangers of drinking and driving. He has posted a complete copy of his proposal on the website.