A new AAA survey* shows 1 in 3 drivers admit to driving multiple times in the past year after consuming alcohol.
After 28 years on Atlanta television, former news anchor Amanda Davis lost her career after three DUI arrests.
She says she's sober now, and she recently joined Rickey Bevington in the studio to talk publicly about her alcoholism.
On what it's like to be on the other side of a news story
The media is the first to jump on you and talk about what you’ve done and present it in a light of guilt. If you know anything about the Bible – “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” People forget about that so easily, particularly around a subject such as alcohol. This is not to say that drinking and getting behind the wheel is right. But I challenge anyone who drinks - even if you have one drink – and you leave a dinner or a cocktail party or a reception to drive home … The minimum requirement for a violation is .08. I think a lot of people would be surprised how little it takes to be considered driving under the influence.
On how her understanding of addiction has evolved
It certainly evolved when I went to treatment. I had friends and family say, “You’re drinking too much.” 75 percent of people can drink normally, if you will. They can have a drink and order another one and not finish it and leave it and walk away. An alcoholic wouldn’t dream of leaving a drink on the table because we don’t have an off switch.
On handling negative responses
I’ve tried to avoid it. I’ve read some. I don’t let it bother me because I lived in that space too long when I was on the air – that space of letting what people say bother me. It’s a lot to take in for anyone. I don’t care what kind of ego or thick skin you have. It’s a lot coming at you so you’ve got to have a safe space or it’ll get to you.
On being glad she got caught
I am [glad] because I learned in the DUI crash – when I did crash into someone – that I could have been killed and I could have killed someone. I’m certainly not ready to leave this world. Now that my eyes have been opened and I feel like I can help someone else by telling my story, I’m glad I can tell it on this side of a jail cell instead of the other.
On why she chose to go public
I chose to go public for two reasons. One, to help someone else. Two, because it’s what Christians do. I learned in my faith that God tests you and takes you through trials and lessons. When you come out on the other side, you share that with others to show that God gives you grace and mercy and healing and he’s been there all the time with his love. And now you are an example of what he can do in your life.
*Survey Information from the AAA News Release:
About the Consumer Pulse™ Survey
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee residents from April 12, 2016 – April 28, 2016. A total of 581 residents completed the survey. Survey results have margin of error of ± 4.1 percentage points. Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+).