Hilmar native Michael Silva understands the impact an injury can have on a family, and specifically, how drunk driving can ruin lives. It’s why he returned home after schooling to open his first Silva Injury Law, Inc. office in Turlock, and is now offering to pay transportation fees for those too drunk to drive this holiday season.
On Halloween, Thanksgiving Eve/Day and New Year’s Eve/Day, Silva’s law firm is reimbursing community members for their Uber, Lyft and cab rides all in the name of keeping drunk drivers off the road and the holiday spirit alive.
“A lot of cases I end up getting are when somebody is badly impacted by a drunk driver. I represent people who were hurt by that bad decision,” Silva said. “From my understanding, these holidays seem to be the prime time for these types of accidents to occur and I want to do my part in my community to help people make a different decision.”
Currently, Silva is representing one client who lost an arm thanks to a drunk driver and another older gentleman who was badly injured by one. Between 5 and 10% of his cases include intoxicated drivers, he said, and the injuries tend to be far more traumatic than others he represents.
In 2018, there were 1,069 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in California according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Federal traffic data also shows that the percentage of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes nearly doubles on Halloween, going from 30% on a normal day to 50% on the holiday.
“This is the community where I’m raising my family, and to be able to save another family from a potentially life-changing event is my motivation,” Silva said.
Silva Injury Law, Inc. will reimburse the first 60 participants who submit a copy of their receipt and photo identification within 10 days of the holiday to the law firm, 2130 Geer Rd. Suite A, via mail. The ride must be in the Turlock area and taken between 5 p.m. the night of the holiday and 10 a.m. the next morning. Only those 21 and up qualify, and rides can cost no more than $25.
“I know people that are usually making these decisions to drink, sometimes it’s just that they don’t have the extra $10 to pay for a ride home. If there’s just one person that we can get through to who knows they’re going to drink and need to get home, it’s worth it,” Silva said. “I would hope that they utilize this program and get home safely, because it’s heartbreaking when someone’s loved one dies from something so preventable.”
For more information about Silva Law Injury Inc.’s Sober Rides Campaign, visit https://silvainjurylaw.com/silva-injury-sober-rides-campaign/