SAN ANTONIO – On Friday, members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving were joined by officers from the San Antonio Police Department and the Department of Public Safety to remind parents not only about the dangers of drinking and driving, but also about the power they have has as parents to influence teens' decisions.
According to research by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, more than 40 percent of 10th-graders drink alcohol. Research from MADD shows that in Texas, 101 people, ages 12 to 20, were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes in 2015.
"Our jobs is to keep motorists safe," said Sgt. Orlando Moreno, with the Department of Public Safety. "But parents and caretakers can help us out with that job by talking to their children about the dangers of underage drinking."
Moreno said he sees the danger of minors drinking and driving on the road all the time, but the subject also hits close to home.
"My son and his girlfriend were struck by an underage impaired driver last year, which is why it's so important for me to speak about it and to work with MADD to try and get the message out there about underage drinking,” Moreno said.
John Mondragon said it's been 15 months since he lost his son, Matthew, in a drunk driving accident, and he still can't believe he's gone.
"Unfortunately, he made a wrong decision on May 2, and it ended his life," Mondragon said.
Matthew Mondragon was 20 years old and a second-year student at Texas A&M University.
John Mondragon said he works with MADD to honor his son and to do what he can to make sure other families won't go through the same hurt of losing a child.
"He was a real smart kid," John Mondragon said. "He had a good future in front of him, had a real good head on his shoulders. He gave good advice to all his friends."
In addition to offering training for parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of drinking and driving, MADD is offering free handbooks that parents can download on its website.