Labor Day weekend numbers in, mourning mother speaks out

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Labor Day weekend numbers in, mourning mother speaks out

By Liz Kotalik. CREATED Sep 2, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Molly Steffens looks through the scrapbook her daughter made for her, wishing she could bring her back.

"My life will never be the same," she told Nine On Your Side.

On August 1, 1987, her 18-year-old daughter, Brenda, was driving on the I-10 with her best friend, 17-year-old Tracy, when a man driving drunk on the wrong side of the freeway hit her car head on. 

The two girls did not make it, but the driver survived.

He eventually went to prison for the deadly crash.

"He was speeding 80 miles per hour, he had four DUIs, and a valid Arizona drivers license," Steffens said. "He knew better. He just chose to drink and drive."

It's a dangerous decision that hundreds of Arizonans made this Labor Day weekend.

"If I sound angry, I am. If I sound fed up, I am."

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety tells us they made 373 DUI arrests this weekend. 

111 of them were extreme DUIs, meaning someone had a .15 blood alcohol level; almost twice the legal limit.

Last year, the numbers show there were 625 arrests made in an eight-day span surrounding Labor Day.

We'll have to wait until Thursday to see how we compare.

It's a battle Molly will continue to fight; a battle she thinks law enforcement is helping to win.

"I feel like they saved 400 lives, at least. And I always think of it that way."

Most local law enforcement numbers are not in yet, but Pima County Sheriff's Department told us they made about 20 arrests this weekend.


Liz Kotalik

Liz Kotalik

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Liz Kotalik is so proud to work in her home state of Arizona with her KGUN9 family. She anchors the 7 a.m. morning show "GMT Extra" on the CW Tucson every weekday, and also reports for later newscasts.