Mother Educates Students through her Daughter's Story

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

This isn't the scene of a car accident, but it is a piece of what can happen when you drink and drive.

"When they see it on a video that's one thing but being able to come and actually walk around after they've heard the story and they know the people in it, they feel connected to the car and it just makes a bigger impact," said Renee Napier.

Renee Napier is talking about her daughter's story.
In May of 2002 her 20-year-old daughter Meagan and friend Lisa were both killed after they were hit by a drunk driver.

"It's a story that so many people need to hear," added Napier.

And students at Houston Academy got that opportunity Thursday.

"This message truly inspired me. It told me to not drink and drive," said Houston Academy 10th grader Sullivan Brakefield.

"Really moving, it was a really great message. I was really surprised at how she could sit up there and talk about it," said Houston Academy 10th grader Mabry Jones.

Renee says going through the pain of talking about it is worth it when it makes a difference.

"My biggest message is just to have a plan before you go out with friends."

A plan, some students say after today, they have squared away.

"To have a designated driver, if I do drink and if I really need someone to drive me, to call my parents and trust them and even if I do get in trouble," said Brakefield.

"I always thought it was not right to drink and drive but this definitely confirms that I'm never going to drink and drive."

Renee says impacting even one student is a mission accomplished.

"I got a bunch of promises today, which means a lot to me," added Napier.

Promises to not drink and drive.

After the assembly, each student received a copy of a letter, the driver Eric Smallridge wrote from his cell, encouraging them to not make the same decision he made.

This is also a message of forgiveness.

Eric Smallridge was actually sentenced to 22 years in prison for two counts of DUI manslaughter.

That sentence was reduced by half after a request by Napier and Lisa's family.
Smallridge is expected to be released sometime next month.

To learn more about the DUIPROMISE campaign log on to or visit facebook.Com/duipromise

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