Parents who lost their son put a face onto impact of drunk - – Rockford’s News Leader

Parents who lost their son put a face onto impact of drunk driving

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Chris Krenzer with girlfriend, Stephanie Chris Krenzer with girlfriend, Stephanie
Krenzer's bumper sticker Krenzer's bumper sticker

Don't drink and drive. You hear police say it, but the message may carry some more weight when it comes from parents who will never see their child again because of someone's decision to get behind the wheel. A mom and dad from Garden Prairie think the message is even more important before a weekend when people will be spending a lot of time at Super Bowl parties.

"August 26th, 2010 our son Christopher, 20 years old, was killed by a drunk driver." -says Art Krenzer, sitting next to his wife, Kelly.

Chris Krenzer was headed to see his grandmother in Rockford after a day of fishing and dinner with his girlfriend. At the intersection of Newburg and Perryville Roads, a drunk driver ran a red light around 100 miles per hour. Chris died on impact, but the impact of the situation is lifelong pain for Kelly, Art and their oldest son, Michael.

"Those are the worst words that you can ever hear as a parent, that your child is dead." -Kelly says.

The Krenzers won't let their son's story end at that intersection. They want to keep other families from going through this.

"We do a lot of speaking for AIMM, for victim impact panels to DUI offenders. We've talked to high school kids, state troopers, anybody who will listen. It was completely unnecessary that it had to happen and it could happen to anybody." -they say.

The impaired-driver that night was at friend's house, who let him leave drunk. Illinois State Police and IDOT say that's preventable this weekend. If you're hosting a party, watch your guests and make sure they have a ride home. If you're going somewhere, pick a designated driver before you leave. Pace yourself while drinking and have local cab company numbers handy. Whether it's a few beverages or more than that, accidents happen. In the Krenzer's case, Chris's killer was slightly above the legal limit at .115.

"It wasn't like he was that bad off, but bad enough to be impaired." -they say.

There are serious consequences for getting behind the wheel or allowing someone to. The drunk-driver who killed Chris Krenzer got 12 years behind bars.

According to IDOT, three out of the four fatal car accidents from Super Bowl weekend 2012 in Illinois involved a drunk-driver.

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