Driving Jacks celebrates 10 years of giving rides

Driving Jacks celebrates 10 years of giving rides
Poem written by Amy Shields. (Source: KTRE)
Poem written by Amy Shields. (Source: KTRE)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Ten years ago a few students started a program to provide a driving service for those who've been drinking.

Now, they are celebrating their 10-year anniversary. However, the nonprofit organization Driving Jacks began in 2007 to honor the tragic death of a Stephen F. Austin university student Amy Shields.

"It was very somber because she was very well known on campus. Everyone loved Amy. She was so sweet. You could go to her and she was very willing to speak to you and be your friend," said Stephanie Sullivan, former president of Driving Jacks.

Amy was killed by a drunk driver on Highway 59 in 2004. But before she died, she had the idea to create a program which offers safe alternative rides in efforts to save lives.

"What alcohol does it impairs your judgment. So what you're judging at is you're OK to drive, but if your judgment is impaired even if it's a couple of drinks, it doesn't matter. It's still in your system," said Cami Henz, current president of Driving Jacks.

Driving jacks has given 29,347 rides and they hope to reach 30,000 by May.

"Ten years is amazing. And I'm amazed, so I know she's amazed. She's not here but she's in heaven and it's just amazing. Her legacy still lives on."

The volunteer organization has more than 80 students who offer their weekends to get their fellow peers safely home.

"There's no reason not have a designated driver. It's not worth it. It's not worth the money. It's not worth your time. It's not worth a life, most importantly," Sullivan said.

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