The Super Bowl is just over a week away and the New York State Police will have all hands on deck that weekend cracking down on drunk and drugged drivers.
This year, while the troopers are doing their job they’ll also have the memory of 37-year-old, Summer Rupert, on their minds.
Summer was out for a run one October morning in 2014, when she was struck and killed by a drunk driver.
“She’s like our best friend. You think you’re going to have a lifetime with your sister and when you don’t, it’s just a part of you that’s missing,” said Davelyn Rupert, Summer’s sister.
Her family is now trying to fill that void, giving their time to stop someone else from getting on the road after drinking or doing drugs.
“The more awareness you create, the more people might think about it before they go and get in the car, behind the wheel,” Davelyn Rupert said.
In 2017, 10,870 people were killed nationwide from drunk or drugged drivers.
“That’s why our troopers are out there, arresting people. It’s trying to prevent something that happened to Summer from happening to someone else,” said Major Philip Rougeux, Troop D Commander for the New York State Police.
Major Rougeux said it’s important to have a plan before heading out because once you start drinking, your thinking is impaired.
“A lot of people think, ‘It will not happen to me, I’m fine.'” Major Rougeux said. “But if you’re having an alcoholic beverage or doing any type of drugs and you get behind the wheel, it could happen to you and it’s not worth the consequence.”