Tuesday, 19. November 2013
Below is the story of Brian Hoeflinger, a high school senior who lost his life after making an ill-advised decision after a night of drinking. As criminal lawyers, we understand all too well the negative outcomes of drunk driving. Some people believe a DUI is the end of the world, but there are much graver consequences at stake. That’s why we felt compelled to share a passionate plea from the family that experienced the greatest loss as a result of drunk driving.
Brian Hoeflinger had his whole life in front of him. He was four months away from high school graduation, and he had already been accepted to the University of North Carolina. He was looking forward to college, but like most high school seniors as graduation approaches, Brian was ready to celebrate the end of his high school days.
On February 2, Brian went to a party with some of his high school classmates. During the night he drank some vodka, and although he had previously told his parents he wouldn’t make the mistake of drinking and driving, Brian got behind the wheel at the end of the night.
A short while later, Brian was being rushed to Toledo Hospital, clinging to life after crashing his car. Unfortunately for Brian, the ones who knew him, and for those who would have been impacted by him in the future, he succumbed to his injuries later that night.
The Hoeflinger family received the call that no parent ever wishes to receive in their lifetime; that their child had been in a car accident. They rushed to the hospital, but Brian had already passed away.
Brian’s parents said one of the hardest parts of the ordeal was telling Brian’s siblings that their brother had passed away. In a letter to the graduating class of 2013, Brian’s parents spoke of the painful time in their life.
“We took them back to the hospital to see Brian. It was heartbreaking to watch Kevin, Julie and Christie say goodbye to their big brother forever that night. That life we had with Brian is over and an unwelcome new life without Brian has now taken its place.”
Brian’s parents penned the letter to the graduating class to tell them that what happened to Brian could happen to any of them. Brian was a smart teen – A 4.5 GPA and a 32 on his ACT – but he made a bad decision to consume alcohol that February night. Brian’s parents urged teens to think before they drink alcohol, because it’s harder to make good choices once alcohol is involved.
“We tell you this story because Brian could be any one of you, if you choose to drink. And we say choose, because it is your choice and nobody else’s. Once you take your first drink of alcohol, you are not making the decisions, the alcohol is. You are putting yourself and others at risk for injury or, even worse, dying like Brian. You see, you can’t make good decisions when you drink alcohol. No matter how much you think you can, you can’t. Brian proved that.”
The Hoeflinger family concluded their message to the graduating class by urging them to learn from Brian’s mistake.
“It is a privilege to be alive and to be able to make a difference in the lives of others. Brian lost that chance with a bad decision but we’re sure he wouldn’t make that same mistake twice. But for Brian, there is no second chance. No chance to redo things. As for you, you still have the chance to make a difference in your life and in the lives of others.”
To learn more about Brian’s life or to contribute to a fund established in his name, visit www.BrianMatters.com.
Related source: BrianMatters.com, Toledo Free Press