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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT Video Pays Tribute to Victim of Drunk Driving Crash  

Drunk Driverz show no regard

for society or for the laws

your victims, they have no rights

when you drink and drive at night

we're MADD!

That's the refrain from a rap song written by Johnnie Williams, an inmate at the Jefferson City Correctional Center. The song, "Drunk Driverz," captures the devastating impact a drunk driver had on Phaedra Marriott's life.

Marriott, of Florence, was 22 years old when she was hit head on by a drunk driver while traveling home on Highway 5. She spent the next four months in a Columbia hospital where she struggled to overcome the near-fatal injuries inflicted upon her by another person's decision to drink and drive.  

Not only did Marriott struggle with extreme internal injuries, but for more than five weeks she was placed on a respirator that had to breath for her. The day the respirator was removed, Marriott literally had to learn to breath on her own. She defines this as her greatest accomplishment.

Marriott's son was four years old at the time of the crash. Because she was in the hospital for such a long period of time, someone else had take over as caretaker for her son.  

"Someone else bought his first school supplies for Kindergarten. Someone else picked out his clothes for the first day of school. Someone else watched as he got on the school bus for the first time," Marriott said.

Marriott, who uses a wheelchair because of her crash, shares her story with people all over the state in an effort to make sure there are no more victims. It was because of her public speaking that the rap song "Drunk Driverz" came about. Marriott met Williams, who wrote the lyrics to the song featured in the video, when she was speaking to inmates as part of the Restorative Justice Program at the Jefferson City Correctional Center. Williams was so touched by Marriott's story that he wanted to write a song to reach people and possibly change their behavior.

Drunk Driverz Video (mpg, 15 m)

Drunk Driverz Song (mp3, 503 kb)

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