It has been almost three years since Mark Rodriguez last heard his daughter's voice, watched her laugh, and saw her breathe.
Krysta Rodriguez was killed by a drunk driver in February 2010, but she is never far from her father's mind. Since losing his daughter, Mark has made it his personal mission to educate others about the dangers of drinking and driving.
"I think that the public is getting the message," he said.
That thought came after he learned the preliminary numbers of DWI arrests and fatal crashes that took place in an eight county region over this last holiday break.
According to Warren Diepraam, a prosecutor in Montgomery County who is part of a task force that oversees that eight county region, there were two alcohol-related fatal crashes in our area over this past holiday.
One of those crashes happened in Fort Bend County. The other crash happened in Galveston County.
"That's two more families going through what we go through every single day," said Rodriguez's daughter Dannielle.
And that is two too many, but even Krysta's family recognizes there has been a drastic drop in holiday fatalities. They hope their foundation, Krysta's Karing Angels, is making a difference, but they also say the drop is a result of a much bigger effort.
"It's not just what we do as a foundation, but an upgrade in the presence of law enforcement," Rodriguez said. "The district attorneys throughout Harris and Montgomery counties (are also playing a role)."
According to Diepramm, 105 people were arrested on suspicion of drinking while intoxicated on New Year's Eve in the eight-county region. Fifteen of those arrests happened Montgomery County, the same place where six people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes over the Fourth of July holiday just six months ago.
"More people are standing up for getting a ride, or calling a cab," Dannielle Rodriguez said. "The social acceptance seems to be lowering."