Chris Sandy Talks to Students about ‘Enduring Regrets’

This past Thursday (Oct. 5), Chris Sandy came to the University of New Haven to speak about his first-hand experience with drunk driving. Sandy travels to over 40 states and speaks to millions of students, parents, educators, and military service members. Since most of his audiences consist of high school and college students, his main point wasn’t about prison; it was about choices.

“Make all of your choices matter in life. I believe that when you try hard in life, you’re going to have better things happen,” he said.

Sandy served an eight and a half year prison sentence for drinking and driving, a mistake he says he regrets. On April 11, 2000, when he was 22 years old, he got into a car accident which resulted in the death of two people.

Sandy started to go into this story about his car accident. He and his friends were having a small party and after drinking some beers he got a call from some of his friend saying that they were at another party. Thinking that the other party would be better, he jumped into his car and began to speed, going about 80-mph in a 45-mph zone to make it to the party. As he makes his way down the road, he approached another car doing the speed limit. He went to go pass them but saw another car waiting to turn left, so he went back into his lane and ended up hitting the car instead. The car was split in two and the passenger died upon impact while the driver died in the hospital.

“I wake up knowing what I did because in the end it wasn’t something I meant to do, it’s not something I wanted to happen and it wasn’t like I was some bad person. But that night, even though I felt okay to drive, I wasn’t. I felt like the night just started, I should’ve known better. So I made that choice and that choice is something that I promise you that I live with every single day,” he said.

While in prison, he volunteered for an outreach program, something that he thought had substance. He was the only person selected out of 60,000 people and the program received national attention, resulting in a documentary titled “Enduring Regret” to tell an impactful story about his life while in prison. The documentary was aired on television and is used all over the world to help people. It went on to earn two Emmy awards.

After getting out of prison in 2009, one person took a chance on him and tried to make him a career out of speaking to people. His license was suspended indefinitely which made getting to places to speak incredibly difficult, forcing him to frequently ask for help. He managed to speak to over a half million people and travel to 30 states before he was granted the privilege to drive again.

Sandy’s mission is to motivate people. He wants people to accomplish their goals and make their choices matter.

“You’re full of choices in life but sometimes it helps to hear what someone else has gone through to help you get through some of your situations in life,” he said.

Check out Sandy’s story on YouTube to learn more.