Victims aim to educate about DUI problem

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM

KENT, Wash. - At a DUI Victim Impact Panel on Tuesday night, the double fatal collision in Seattle proved to be another issue worth mentioning for panel coordinator David Ossorio.

"It is an incredible tragedy when something like this happens," said Ossorio. 
 
For ten years, Ossorio has been putting on panels. In the audience you often DUI offenders court-ordered to be there. Up front those touched by DUI share their story. 
 
Alan Bettcher wants people to know about the drunk driver that left his mother with one leg and other serious injuries.
 
"She was hit three times by a drunk driver. The drunk driver hit her, backed up, hit her, backed up, and hit her again. That was in Puyallup in 1997," said Bettcher.
 
Ossorio lost his brother in 1992.
 
"The drunk driver who killed my brother Todd actually had a .22. Also oddly enough, he had a suspended driver's license," said Ossorio who added his brother's case reminds him of the deadly scene that happened in Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood on Monday.
 
Police said driver Mark Mullan had a blood alcohol level of .22 on Monday when he ran into four people, killing two and sending a mother and her infant to the hospital.
 
Court records show Mullan has had recent trouble with the law. He was scheduled to go to trial next month for a drunk driving arrest in Snohomish County from last October. In that case the judge ordered an ignition interlock be installed in his vehicle.  
 
While that matter was pending, Mullan was arrested again accused of ramming his truck into this Seattle motel twice on Christmas day. His blood alcohol level was four times the legal limit, according to police. For that incident his 364 day jail sentence for that was dropped to 13 days, and his $5000 fine slashed to $595.
 
"That's the challenge of the DUI problem," said Ossorio. "You can take people's license away, but that doesn't keep them from driving." 
 
Ossorio and Bettcher said it is their mission to talk with DUI offenders at panels in an effort to reduce more tragedies in the future.
 
"We've got to get the education out there," said Bettcher.

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