It goes without saying that everyone makes mistakes—and that’s okay! While it might seem inconvenient or embarrassing at first, it’s important to allow ourselves to slip up every so often so we can learn to do better the next time around.
Unfortunately, some mistakes are worse than others, and they can result in severe consequences. Take going out for a night of drinking, for example. We all know the risks of drunk driving, but some people do it nonetheless—and their actions end up not only affecting them, but others on the road.
One man made a grave mistake when he chose to get behind the wheel of his car while intoxicated, and it forever changed his life. Now, he’s doing something unusual to prevent others from making the same destructive decision…
Everybody makes mistakes at various points throughout their lives. Unfortunately, some of us make decisions so disastrous that they keep us awake at night. Have you ever wished that you could have a second chance to change something you’ve done?
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Sadly, one of the most common—and deadly—mistakes that people make is driving drunk, despite the constant societal warnings against it. Besides the threat of legal consequences, common sense should dictate that it’s a terrible idea.
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After all, we all know the ultimate consequences of drunk driving. Not only are we risking our own safety, but we’re putting others in danger, too. We potentially ruin their lives and the lives of their families.
Mark Taylor / Wikimedia Commons
Of course, drinking also impairs our ability to make good decisions. But what if, after swilling a few too many at the bar, we were given one more chance at listening to our conscience before making the fateful decision to drive home?
Julo / Wikimedia Commons
This might sound impossible, but that’s essentially what happened at one nightclub—and it was thanks to an inmate named Kris Caudilla who had the opportunity to teach a few men a lesson they’d never forget…
Kris was a prime example of somebody whose entire life was ruined because of one ill-advised decision during a night of partying. On January 14, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida, the 26-year-old Kris started driving—despite having a blood alcohol level of 0.158.
Ellsworth Air Force Base
Things took a turn for the worst when Kris found himself on the wrong side of the highway, eventually slamming right into the car of a St. Johns County, Florida sheriff’s deputy. That deputy was 44-year-old James Anderson Jr., and the impact killed him instantly.
Kris was sentenced to 15 years in prison for DUI manslaughter. Six years later, at the age of 32, he was given the opportunity to try to right his wrong. While he couldn’t bring back James Anderson Jr., he could try to help others before it was too late for them. But how?
See, Kris was haunted by his reckless decision as he served his prison sentence. Then, one day in 2016, he was escorted out of his cell to take part in a special project that would hopefully save countless lives…
We Save Lives, a charitable organization that works to stop preventable driving deaths, wanted to make more of an impact; they needed to be able to reach out to people who were moments away from making the wrong decision. So they came up with an ingenious plan involving hidden cameras, audio equipment—and Kris.
Kris’s assignment started in an unlikely place: the men’s restroom of a crowded nightclub. Anyone who’s ever gone out on a Saturday night can tell you the bathroom is more than just a place to relieve yourself; it’s a social hub that offers a respite from the thumping music and crowded atmosphere.
After all, when you’re in a loud, bustling place with people constantly yelling and bumping into you, the restroom can be the only area where you’re able to catch your breath and have a brief moment of peace and quiet.
The bathroom is also where most revelers go for a pit stop right before they leave the bar or nightclub. It’s certainly the last place you’d expect to be confronted by someone, but that’s just what happened to several club-goers in the men’s room during the night of Kris’s assignment.
That night, it was Kris’s job to make sure that partiers had a very different experience in the bathroom than what they would ever expect… and indeed, he just might have saved a few lives in the process. Amazingly, he didn’t even need to leave prison to do it.
The mirrors of the men’s room had been wired with a special camera and speaker, and Kris’s task was soon revealed as an unsuspecting man stepped in front of the sink to wash his hands. That’s when the man heard a voice…
In fact, each man who approached the sink were met with the same thing. The reflection on the mirror disappeared, and the men were greeted by none other than Kris himself!
As you can imagine, this was quite a surprise for each of the unsuspecting men who saw Kris in what initially seemed like a regular bathroom mirror. The fact that they were likely already intoxicated couldn’t have helped them from being shocked…
Kris didn’t intend to scare any of these men. He was quite friendly and he wanted them to feel comfortable. “How’s it going?” he asked one man. “You having a good time?” he asked another.
Once the men realized that they were seeing and speaking with a real-life person, Kris revealed his mission. He started by telling them that he was speaking to each of them from prison. “Is this a joke?” one confused patron asked. Yet it certainly wasn’t, as weird as the stunt was!
What Kris had to say to these men was deeply important, and hopefully it was a conversation that none of them would ever forget. At the very least, if this experiment had any hand in saving even one life, it was all worth it. Watch the men’s stunned reactions to Kris below…
It’s hard to imagine that any of those people would drive home drunk after that conversation. Remember: if you’re going to go out and drink, always get a designated driver! Visit the We Save Lives organization to learn more about their mission and to donate to their cause.
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