Think before you drink: MADD issues warning in light of recent DWI-related deaths

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HOUSTON -- Houston has a very serious issue. Over the last eight days, five innocent people have been killed in apparent drunk driving crashes across the city.

The most recent tragedy happened early Sunday along the Gulf Freeway near Bay Area Blvd. According to Houston police, a man who had just been involved in a minor accident was taking pictures of the damage when police say Anthony Saul Arredondo crashed into the man, killing him. Arredondo has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

This comes one day after three family members were killed by another alleged drunk driver in Spring. Hilda and Emilio Avila, along with their son, Mauricio Ramires, all died when 25-year-old Jeremy Valdez allegedly ran a red light and slammed his pickup truck into the family's car.

Ramires, who was only 18 years old, was due to graduate from Klein Oak High School next month. Valdez has been charged with three counts of murder.

Police said Jocelyn Valero was on her way home from her prom when Edin Palacios ran a red light and crashed his Ford F-150 into the car the teen was riding in. Valero was killed, and her prom date was injured. Palacios has also been charged with murder.

"These were not accidents, every drunk driving crash is 100 percent preventable," John McNamee of Mothers Against Drunk Driving said. "If you choose to drink, you need to be adult about it and have a plan. Come up with what you`re going to do and not get behind the wheel."

Harris County leads the nation with drunk driving deaths and Memorial Day festivities are just around the corner. Those who feel they will be drinking should find a designated driver.

"We want people to have a good time, to enjoy themselves but we ask them to do it safely. If you`re going to be drinking, have a plan so you don`t get behind the wheel," McNamee said.

Think about the lives of others before you get behind the wheel.