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Rocky Mount Woman Shares Life-Altering Encounter with Impaired Driver

​Stephanie Ronan's life-altering experience with an impaired driver is the subject of a new PSA​ from the NC Governor's Highway Safety Program, released in conjunction with the kickoff of the "Operation Firecracker" summer Booze It & Lose It enforcement campaign.

​​RALEIGH – Stephanie Ronan’s life changed forever when an impaired driver traveling 55 mph hit her head on as she was traveling home from a friend’s house in the eastern North Carolina town of Wilson.

“The next thing I remember is waking up in the ICU. I was told that I had to be cut out of my vehicle and life flighted to a major medical center in order to save my life,” Ronan, of Rocky Mount, recounts in a new public service announcement​ produced in conjunction ​​​with the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program​
The PSA aims to reach people who may be considering getting behind the wheel after drinking. It’s being released in conjunction with the kickoff of NCGHSP’s “Operation Firecracker,” a statewide summer enforcement campaign that runs from June 26-July 11 as part of the “Booze It & Lose It​,” initiative to crack down on impaired drivers. Law enforcement across the state will be stepping up patrols to combat impaired driving during the campaign.

Ronan, the PSA subject, was left with a laundry list of injuries and dozens of broken bones, including her neck, ribs, arms and legs. She struggles with changes to her vision and remains on disability from her former full-time job.
“Drunk driving doesn’t just impact one person. My friends and family were left to pick up the pieces, and my life and my kids’ lives will never be the same,” she says.
One of the key messages Ronan and NCGHSP hope viewers take away from the PSA is that drunk driving is a 100% preventable crime. Call a ride share such as Uber or Lyft or arrange a sober ride home with a friend. Any of these options could prevent serious injury or death, or thousands of dollars in court costs from a DUI charge.

In the first four months of 2022, 127 people were killed and 275 were seriously injured in impaired driving crashes in North Carolina. Since 2018, more than 70 people have been killed in crashes during the “Operation Firecracker” enforcement period.
For more information on Booze It & Lose It, as well as safe driving practices, visit


6/27/2022 8:00 AM