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One bad night turns a life around

Lacey Meacham doesn’t remember many of the details from her arrest for drinking and driving last year. The last thing she clearly remembers from that night was going to the liquor store.

Oddly, though, Meacham will tell you getting pulled over in downtown Rosemount that night is the best thing to happen to her.

“I truly believe it saved my life,” said Meacham.

On Aug. 28 2013, Meacham was pulled over after Rosemount Police received reports of a vehicle swerving “all over the road”. Meacham stopped and then started to get out of her vehicle. When the police officer told her to get back in, Meacham put the car in drive and drove away. The officer pursued her again and Meacham stopped.

Meacham failed sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test indicated she had a blood alcohol concentration of .388, four times the legal limit for driving.

Earlier that day, Meacham and her now ex-husband had begun the process of separating.

“Me and my husband had just basically emptied our bank account and separated everything. It was a bad day to begin with. The last thing I remember is going to the liquor store,” said Meacham.

Meacham doesn’t know where she was driving or why.

“I don’t remember a whole lot of it. After sobering up and realizing what had happened, I was like, this is not ok. I didn’t even realize I was drinking that much,” said Meacham.

She was charged with a third-degree DWI and a felony charge of fleeing police. That charge was later reduced.

Meacham said her drinking started to get out of hand when her marriage started to fall apart. Realizing it was a problem, Meacham went through a three-month rehab stint at Hazelden. However, she relapsed on that August night.

“It’s hard to think that one bad choice can affect the rest of your life,” said Meacham.

Today, Meacham feels fortunate her actions didn’t hurt anyone else.

In addition to losing her driver’s license, paying fines and being sentenced to two years of probation, Meacham was ordered to do community work service. After attending a court ordered Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel, Meacham decided to do her work with the organization more commonly known as MADD.

“It has literally changed my life,” said Meacham.

Meacham now shares her story as part of MADD panels.

“The cool thing about MADD is they are the most welcoming and loving group,” said Meacham.

Meacham is also helping friend and fellow DWI offender Mary Koves start The Mary Shawl Project. The project aims to provide victims of drunk drivers or their families a “tangible form of comfort” in the form of a hand-made shawl made by volunteers.

A year after her arrest, Meacham says she’s in a good place. She has a job working with the elderly, which she loves. Her current job has inspired Meacham to become a certified nursing assistant. She’s even come to enjoy riding her bike from Rosemount the eight miles to work in Burnsville.

“I actually really love it,” said Meacham.

A 12-year ovarian cancer survivor, Meacham said she also plans to get involved with the HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer.

“I have a lot more energy to do things these days,” said Meacham.

While the temptation to drink will always be there, Meacham said she knows the price of falling down that hole again.

“It’s taken a while to find my niches and figure out what I need to stay sober. But now I’m in a good place and I never want to be there again,” said Meacham.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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