Amy Locane is a successful movie and TV actress, having starred in notable titles such as John Waters' Cry-Baby, Dick Wolf's School Ties, and the hit TV show Melrose Place in the 1990's. Currently, she is an advocate for drunk driving prevention and addiction support. Here at Aceable, we share those same values. Ms. Locane was kind enough to answer some questions we had for her on the topic of drunk driving. Read on to hear her story and learn what you can do to prevent yourself or your friends from driving drunk.
First, let's get up to speed with how Ms. Locane became involved with the prevention of drunk driving, especially for young drivers. In June 2010, she was involved in a drunk driving accident that resulted in the death of a passenger in the other vehicle. Ms. Locane was convicted of vehicular homicide and assault by auto. She was released from prison five years later and now uses her sobering story to publicly speak out to others about the very real dangers of driving under the influence.
We cannot speak enough about how deadly and reckless drunk driving really is.
Amy Locane currently works with the organization City of Angels. The goal at City of Angels is to be there for the addict and their suffering families. They claim to be the first-ever “all volunteer community organization”. Right from the start, they established and still maintain a no charge policy for their support services.
In Ms. Locane's words: "We go and speak to people who have in some way or another [had] their life altered by addiction. I have become certified in Recovery Coaching. The opioid crisis is something that is on the news almost every day in New Jersey. Our goal is to try and get people to speak about things that are uncomfortable to speak about. Sometimes, I speak and can tell people don’t like my story, or what I represent and that’s ok... I don’t mind being the vessel as long as it gets people talking about addiction and uncomfortable topics."
Read more on City of Angels by going to their about page.
Amy Locane, pictured with her Melrose Place castmates.
Drugs and alcohol are not something to mess around with. We asked Ms. Locane to answer a few questions for us regarding drinking and driving and to give Acelets some advice on what to do when faced with the situation.
Aceable Interviewer: What do you think the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit should be? Is 0.08% too high for those over 21?
Amy: "BAC is supposed to control what is acceptable and what is not. I don’t think any drinking and driving is acceptable."
Aceable Interviewer: Texas exercises a Zero Tolerance policy for underage drivers, with very strict punishments. No alcohol allowed. Do you think stricter laws and punishments will discourage people from driving drunk?
Amy: "Underage drinking is absolutely not tolerated and should not be at all, especially when driving!"
Aceable Interviewer: What should one do/say to an intoxicated friend that is getting behind the wheel?
Amy: "If a friend is drunk and getting behind the wheel, you can take their keys, call them an Uber. ‘No man left behind’ is a saying for those who are in combat in a war, and I feel that the ‘no man left behind’ principle applies when drinking and driving are at play. People can [and do] die."
Amy Locane on set with her Cry-Baby co-star, Johnny Depp.
Aceable Interviewer: Are there other stories like yours that have moved you?
Amy: "The stories that I have heard that have moved me the most are from girls who were incarcerated because they were intoxicated behind the wheel and a loved one died. Some girls were driving friends or fiancées who were intoxicated also. It's absolutely heartbreaking to see girls [faced with] being responsible for the death of a loved one, endure that burden and loss, and then still have to be incarcerated."
Aceable Interviewer: What advice do you have for teens and new drivers today?
Amy: "NEVER drink and drive!"
Aceable Interviewer: What kind of feedback do you usually receive from the people you speak out to?
Amy: "The feedback that I got from some of the high schoolers I spoke to was that some of them “got it”. Others were skeptical and looked at me like I was crazy. They didn’t think anything like that could ever happen to them... that’s ok. I used to think that way too... And look at what happened to me."
We at Aceable are thankful for Amy's story and for the important work she does with City of Angels to help educate others on the dangers of driving under the influence.
Note: If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please check out the resources offered on the City of Angels website or call their hotline at (609) 910-4942 to speak with a representative.