“I find peace in knowing that each of you are out there every day”
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
My name is Alex Otte and I am the National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In two weeks, it will be 12 years since the day everything in my life changed and would never be the same again. I will never be able to say that things have gotten better over time, because that has not always been true for me. I can say that things have gotten different.
I am 25 years old. I live in Kentucky with my husband, who is a police officer, and our three dogs: Sheriff, Sergeant and Chief. Life is good, most days, but there will never be a single second that I don’t live with the consequences of someone else’s choice.
On July 2, 2010, I was run over by a drunk driver. My offender wasn’t driving a car, he was driving a 17-foot bass boat at more than 70 miles per hour. I was sitting across the narrow lake from my mom and brother, and the boat was headed toward them when he banked it to the left and never straightened up. The boat hit me going more than 60 miles per hour and threw me off the jet ski. I landed face down in the water and the boat landed on top of my body before it sunk. I sustained severe, life-threatening, and lifelong injuries from head to toe including a severe traumatic brain injury, classified as shaken baby syndrome, a shattered jaw, a broken neck, a broken collarbone, a lacerated liver, bilateral shattered femurs, and the loss of my right leg below the knee.
The man who ran me over was nearly three times over the legal limit two and a half hours later. This would be his fourth DUI. Boating under the influence is driving under the influence. It is a choice that can lead to devastating consequences.
I wasn’t supposed to have survived, and while I did, recovery is a never-ending process for me. I knew almost 12 years ago that I wanted to be the last little girl this would ever happen to. I know almost 12 years later that I wasn’t. I also know that because of law enforcement efforts to get drunk and drugged drivers off the road and off the water, more little girls make it home safely.
While each anniversary is different, I have lived in fear of this one for 12 years, and the closer we get to July 2, 2022, the more I think about that. Between this anniversary (2022) and the next (2023) will be the last 365 days of my life that I will still be able to say I have lived more of my life with two legs than with one. That scares me, but I find peace in knowing that each of you are out there every day making sure that people are held accountable for their dangerous and deadly choice, and that you are protecting others from experiencing such a tragedy.