The message has been repeated endlessly over the years and there are still people who don't get it. The message: Don't drink and drive. Or do some people get the message and think it simply doesn't apply to them? It's hard to know.
What we do know for sure is that Wisconsin law enforcement officials about 150 miles to the east of La Crosse are charging a man there with drunk driving and causing a head-on car crash that left an Omro man dead and his son injured.
An Oshkosh man, 32 years old, was charged last week in Winnebago County Circuit Court with homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.
He faces a possible 25 years in prison if convicted of the charge.
His victim, however, has not even that dismal prospect ahead of him. The May 21 crash left the victim, 84, dead of injuries sustained in the collision.
The crash was at about eight in the evening at an intersection where a road and state highway meet. The 32-year-old drove his car through a stop sign there, the dead man's son -- who was driving his dad at the time -- told law enforcement officials.
The 61-year-old told them this at the hospital where he was being treated for injuries; the same medical center where his father was to die that night.
The 32-year-old other driver apparently admitted to deputies that he'd been drinking in a tavern that night before the accident. He said he was at the time out of jail on bond that prohibited him from consuming alcohol or entering a bar.
We wish the family of the victim all the best as they come to terms with their loss.
Source: The Northwestern, "Charges filed against Jeremy Derks in fatal Highway 21 crash," May 24, 2012