Mom caught driving drunk with kids in car says she turned life around

Dana Clark
Dana Clark was arrested for driving drunk with her three kids in the car in 2012.

CLARKSVLLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Clarksville woman who was arrested in 2012 for driving under the influence with her children in the car says she’s turned her life around.

“[It was] the worst night of my life. If it had just happened to me, you know, but knowing that I endangered innocent people on the outside of my van and my children on the inside,” Clark told News 2, her voice trailing off as she remembered.

Clark was charged with DUI and three counts of child endangerment. She spent 25 days behind bars.

Dana Clark
Dana Clark found help at the Bethany House II after spending 25 days in jail.

She found help at the Bethany House II, a home and program for women addicted to alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs such as meth.

Clark said she did it all in the months after her arrest and losing custody of her children to her ex-husband.

“I never dreamt in a million years I would ever be the type of mother who would get behind the wheel after having something to drink,” she said. “Addiction is a slow process and you don’t necessarily know. You don’t feel that you’re as bad as you really are.”

The Bethany House II was started by Dr. Mike Carrigan and his cousin, Rebra Carrigan Bone-Draper of Salem, Alabama.

The home and faith-based program leads women to recovery.

Director Jessie Smith told News 2 she was addicted to meth when she first came to Bethany House two years ago.

“Jesus can heal any sin. He can heal any hurt, any habit. Mine was so bad I had to have Jesus. I couldn’t quit, I had to have Him,” Smith explained. “I learned grace and mercy. I learned to love myself again. I learned how to soak up every word that He has for me.”

Clark said she wants to help others and show what can happen when they become serious about making a change in their lives and allow Jesus to change their minds and hearts.

“God pulled at my heart and I knew that this was going to be the way out of the deep dark pit that I was in,” she said.

Clark has joint custody of her three children and hopes after graduating from the program in March she can find a job, place to live and, eventually, get her children back.

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