‘A trip with a liquor driver changed my life, now I’ll never walk again’


Niki Smith was speaking out to raise awareness of the impact drinking and driving can have after being left paralyzed in 1997 when she accepted a life at home from a drinking driver.

Niki Smith who remained paralyzed after accepting a lift at the home of a motorist who had unwittingly consumed alcohol

A woman who remained paralyzed after agreeing to be brought home by a motorist who had unwittingly consumed alcohol denounced the “devastating consequences” of drinking and driving.

Niki Smith, 48, from Aberdeenshire, said a “small decision” had irreversibly changed her life. The car she was traveling in was involved in an accident, which forced her to use a wheelchair.

Meanwhile, her sister, who she had spent an evening with, broke her collarbone in the incident, and was later diagnosed with PTSD.

Ms Smith said she was speaking out to raise awareness of the impact drinking and driving can have after being paralyzed in 1997.

She remembers: “It was a Friday night and my sister and I were having a good evening. I liked to let myself go between the work of a caregiver and that of a busy mom.

Niki, 48, from Aberdeenshire, said a ‘small decision’ had irreversibly changed her life



“We accepted a lift from someone we knew, even though we had no idea he had been drinking. It was a small decision that changed my life irreversibly.”

She added: “It must have been heartbreaking for my family and my partner to learn that I had broken my neck and was paralyzed.

“My sister, who was in the car with me, broke her collarbone and was later diagnosed with PTSD. I’m glad it was me, as I would have had a hard time accepting that she was injured. . “

Since the accident, she said she and her family had endured “years of stress, physical pain and frustration”, but added that she had “now found ways to enjoy special moments and not not just stay home and dwell on the tough times. “

Scottish Transport Minister Graeme Dey and Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock of Police Scotland at the launch of the party drink and drug crackdown



“I had to become a more confident person for people to see me and not just the wheelchair,” she said.

“If I hadn’t had my kids, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.

“I hope that by sharing my own experience, I can help raise awareness of the devastating consequences that drinking and driving can have on so many lives. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through the same thing as me and my family.”

Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock, Scotland Police Road Traffic Officer, said: ‘We want everyone to enjoy this holiday season for all the right reasons and therefore urge motorists to help us keep the safe roads for all.

“We continue to see motorists putting others at considerable risk by driving under the influence of alcohol or after using drugs, despite repeated warnings about the dangers of drinking or using drugs while driving.

“As the holiday season approaches, our officers will focus on targeting drivers who recklessly put others at risk by driving after consuming alcohol or drugs.

“Driving under the influence reduces reaction times and continues to be a factor in serious and fatal collisions. The fact that you could kill yourself or injure yourself or another member of the audience should be reason enough not to take the risk. “

Read more

Read more


About Michael Brafford

Check Also

For sleep apnea, cut down on junk food and alcohol, research shows

Comment this story Comment Every night, millions of people lose sleep due to obstructive sleep …