Nicole Lalime death a sobering reminder of drunk driving dangers

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by By Rucks Russell / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 23 at 5:15 PM

HOUSTON -- It was a bittersweet day for the family of Nicole Lalime, the on Tuesday.

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Rucks Russell's 11 News report
December 19, 2008

The Lalime family called to let us know that Nicole's older sister gave birth to a baby girl Friday afternoon -- and named her Nicole.

Earlier, hundreds of people gathered at a barbecue benefit to raise money for the family.

"We all miss her. I love her. I miss her very much," Alyssa Duharte said about her friend.

"We all have children, it could have been any one of them," said Kathy Cullen, a parent.

in front of her home Tuesday when she became a sobering statistic -- another daughter of Harrris County killed by a suspected drunk driver.

John Jacob Winne remains jailed on an intoxication manslaughter charge.

The folks at Mothers against Drunk Driving know all too well the names and faces of other victims like Nicole. Their pictures are on a quilt -- with room to add more.

"You know that it's something that's preventable. It shouldn't have happened, so you start thinking why?" said Julio Zaghi with MADD.

Last year, DWI-related accidents claimed 181 lives, making Harris County the deadliest in the nation. In fact, someone dies because of a DWI here every 42 hours.

Despite those grim numbers, the District Attorney's 16-month old No Refusal DWI program appears to be having an impact. It expedites blood alcohol exams for those who refuse a breathalyzer.

"And the message is getting out there. Defense lawyers used to tell their clients don't blow. But now they're telling them don't drink and drive," said Brent Mayr, a prosecutor.

The man accused of killing Nicole Lalime didn't get the message, according to prosecutors.

, which could put Winne in prison for life.

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