Parents' emotional presentation to prevent teen drunk driving de - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Parents' emotional presentation to prevent teen drunk driving deaths

Posted: Updated:

Three months ago, Drs. Brian and Cindy Hoeflinger would never have imagined they would stand on the stage at the Ottawa Hills High School auditorium and talk about the dangers of teenagers drinking and driving.  But three months ago, their son was still alive.

Just past midnight on a cold February morning, 18-year-old Brian Hoeflinger, in his mother's words, "made a bad decision ... He made a choice to drink.  And once he took that first drink, it's the alcohol making the decision."

His car crashed into a tree not far from their home.  He died while his parents slept.  The coroner later discovered he was legally drunk.

"Part of me died.  Part of her died and you can't ever get it back.  It's gone forever," his father said.

They buried their son.  They grieved.  Then they channeled their pain into purpose.   Brian's father set up a website and established a memorial fund to raise money for charities and causes that were important to Brian.  In three short months, the fund has raised $70,000 with more expected after a June 1st golf tournament called "Birdies for Brian."

And they created a presentation to try to save another family from their pain.  It's an hour long talk that includes a gripping video that brought the Ottawa Hills audience to tears tonight.  The video shows happy pictures of Brian over the years; playing on the beach, posing with family on vacation and golfing.   It then cuts to stark, silent pictures of bottles of vodka.  And suddenly, police crash scene photos of Brian's mangled car.  The audience then gasps and sobs at the next photo:  Brian in his casket.

It ends with the Hoeflingers asking the kids to sign a pledge not to drink and drive.

"There isn't a second of any day that we don't think of him and we each cry individually and on our own at different times," Brian's father said.  "If we can save one family from going through this, then it's worth it."

To find out more about Brian Hoeflinger's memorial fund visit www.brianmatters.com

  • LocalMore>>

  • Search crews come up empty handed after another day on the water

    Search crews come up empty handed after another day on the water

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:46 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:46:17 GMT
    The search resumes today for two men who disappeared on Lake Erie. Bryan Huff and Andrew Rose were out with two women on Wednesday for a fishing trip. The four were out catching fish on the lake in Carroll Township and were presumably on the way in for night, but never returned. The two women, Amy Santus and Paige Widmer, were found dead in the water nearby the partially capsized boat. According to investigators both women were wearing life jackets and died from drowning. The Ohio Depar...
    The search resumes today for two men who disappeared on Lake Erie. Bryan Huff and Andrew Rose were out with two women on Wednesday for a fishing trip. The four were out catching fish on the lake in Carroll Township and were presumably on the way in for night, but never returned. The two women, Amy Santus and Paige Widmer, were found dead in the water nearby the partially capsized boat. According to investigators both women were wearing life jackets and died from drowning. The Ohio Depar...
  • Showers expected overnight Monday

    Showers expected overnight Monday

    Sunday, April 20 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-04-20 22:10:24 GMT
    Monday could be the warmest day of the year.
    Monday could be the warmest day of the year.
  • Man found dead in Toledo's Old South End

    Man found dead in Toledo's Old South End

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:58 AM EDT2014-04-20 15:58:02 GMT
    Toledo Police are trying to figure out why a man was found dead on a sidewalk. Police received a call of a person down early this morning near Western and Field. When they arrived at the scene, they found a man dead on the sidewalk. Police say the man was not carrying any identification and it's unclear how he died. An autopsy will be scheduled. If you have any information, call Toledo Police.
    Toledo Police are trying to figure out why a man was found dead on a sidewalk. Police received a call of a person down early this morning near Western and Field. When they arrived at the scene, they found a man dead on the sidewalk. Police say the man was not carrying any identification and it's unclear how he died. An autopsy will be scheduled. If you have any information, call Toledo Police.
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Search crews come up empty handed after another day on the water

    Search crews come up empty handed after another day on the water

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:46 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:46:17 GMT
    The search resumes today for two men who disappeared on Lake Erie. Bryan Huff and Andrew Rose were out with two women on Wednesday for a fishing trip. The four were out catching fish on the lake in Carroll Township and were presumably on the way in for night, but never returned. The two women, Amy Santus and Paige Widmer, were found dead in the water nearby the partially capsized boat. According to investigators both women were wearing life jackets and died from drowning. The Ohio Depar...
    The search resumes today for two men who disappeared on Lake Erie. Bryan Huff and Andrew Rose were out with two women on Wednesday for a fishing trip. The four were out catching fish on the lake in Carroll Township and were presumably on the way in for night, but never returned. The two women, Amy Santus and Paige Widmer, were found dead in the water nearby the partially capsized boat. According to investigators both women were wearing life jackets and died from drowning. The Ohio Depar...
  • Sleeping man injured when car crashes into bedroom

    Sleeping man injured when car crashes into bedroom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:12:40 GMT
    A man was injured by a car inside his own bedroom on Saturday afternoon. He was sleeping in the bedroom of his apartment on Brownstone around 5:30 p.m. when a Buick crashed through the wall.
    A man was injured by a car inside his own bedroom on Saturday afternoon. He was sleeping in the bedroom of his apartment on Brownstone around 5:30 p.m. when a Buick crashed through the wall.
  • 419 Day celebrated on social media

    419 Day celebrated on social media

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:14:37 GMT
    Saturday was April 19 or 4-19 and locals thought this was the perfect day to celebrate businesses in the 419 area code in person and on social media.
    Saturday was April 19 or 4-19 and locals thought this was the perfect day to celebrate businesses in the 419 area code in person and on social media.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!