Erin Swezey was a singer, an OSU student, and a 20 year-old victim. She died 22 months ago when a drunk driver slammed into her car outside Oklahoma City.
As if that wasn't painful enough, it's what her family discovered after she was killed that's pushed them to advocate for tougher drunk driving punishments in our state.
“It was the furthest thing from our minds when the highway patrol troopers came to the door and told us that our daughter had been killed in an accident,” Dr. Keith Swezey said.
The drunk driver was heading the wrong way on the highway, but that's not what upset Erin’s father most.
“He had a whole series of DUI convictions going back about eight years, maybe more,” Dr. Swezey told FOX23.
Both Erin and the drunk driver died that night. Her family's heart ache fueled their desire to change our states drunk driving penalties.
“In order to move on, we decided ‘What can we do that's a positive thing from this?”
That’s when the Erin Swezey Act was born.
“When someone is convicted of drunk driving, when they get their driver's license back after a period of time, it will have dui conviction stamped on the front of the license.”
That's just the start of how the bill would change DUI punishments in Oklahoma.
Another piece of the legislation that Dr. Swezey is pushing for is an ignition interlock of every person convicted of drunk driving in Oklahoma, that's a breathalyzer they would have to pass before turning on their car.
“There are several other states who just this past year, passed laws that require the ignition interlock device,” he said.
As the bill makes its first appearance in the state house Thursday, Dr. Swezey knows Erin can't come back, but she can still save lives.
“I know she felt that drunk driving there was no excuse for it, it's like giving someone a loaded weapon and setting them loose.”
Dr. Swezey has set up a Facebook page about the Erin Swezey act, it is linked it on the FOX23 Facebook page. He’s hoping to have the support of thousands of Oklahomans by the time the bill heads to a Senate Committee hearing on Thursday.