'Shattered': Memorial Day Weekend DUI patrols
By Moses Small,2023-05-27
Right now, drivers are hitting the road for the long holiday weekend. Meantime the California Highway Patrol is on the lookout for drunk drivers.
Bruce Mezan knows firsthand how dangerous drunk driving can be, as he starts every morning putting on his prosthetic leg.
"It's uncomfortable to wear," said Mezan. "Even at its best, it's uncomfortable to wear."
It's a lasting impact after a drunk driver hit him three years ago.
"Proceeded in the intersection and I got T-boned by a drunk driver who was driving through the intersection at 50 miles per hour," said Mezan. "He broadsided me, I went flying about 25 feet and landed on my back on the sidewalk. As luck would have it this happened right near an Encinitas Fire Dept. substation."
EMS crews arrived seconds later to save Mezan's life. He woke up in a hospital after a week-long coma, losing more than his leg.
"Lost my spleen, damaged my kidney," said Mezan. "Lungs were collapsed, ultimately developed pneumonia and a blood infection that nearly killed me. My pelvis was shattered."
This year Mezan met the driver who hit him to learn why it happened.
"He started drinking at a very young age and then it became normalized," said Mezan. "People around him were doing it, they were drinking as well and everyone was getting away with it."
Mezan says that the crash changed his life in ways he didn't expect.
"My life is different now because I'm reaching out to people. I'm doing my part to educate people about the dangers of drinking and driving," said Mezan. "But that's not to dismiss the difficulties that I have from medical issues. and the difficulty of moving through life with a prosthetic leg."
The California Highway Patrol says officers arrested more than 900 suspected drunk drivers around the state last Memorial Day Weekend, and DUI crashes killed 45 people.
CHP's maximum enforcement this weekend will last until 11:59 Monday night.