MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Drunk driving is unfortunately a constant reality in South Florida. The crashes drunk drivers cause are sometimes deadly, but thanks to the work of those at the Ryder Trauma Center many people live. Some of those survivors paid tribute to the hospital staff Wednesday.

“It really has taken a toll on me emotionally,” said Brian Beaubrun.

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Beaubrun talked to CBS4 about the accident that changed his life. He was hit by a drunk driver in Coconut Grove last spring.

“It’s bad, it can hurt people and I’m a prime example of it,” said Beaubrun. “My memory is not that well and I have problems dealing with everything from cooking dinner because I might burn myself because I might forget where I put my hand.”

He was taken to Ryder Trauma Center where he would spend the next five weeks. Beaubrun suffered a traumatic brain injury in the crash. He credits his survival to the care he received at the hospital and thanked his care team during a Wednesday ceremony.

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Miami Police Sergeant Luis Taborda can relate to what Beaubrun went through. He was on duty in 1998 when he was by a drunk driver. He too credited his survival to the Ryder Trauma team.

“They saved my leg. I’m not in a wheelchair; and it just serves to the testimony and the dedication of these people,” Sgt. Taborda said.

One of the biggest problems from drunk driving crashes is that typically the drunk driver suffers the least amount of damage.

“It’s usually not the drunk driver that gets the worst of it. It’s the poor victim,” said Dr. Nicolas Namias.

Since 1992, the staff at Ryder said they’ve saved 6,000 lives since 1992 all victims of drunk drivers getting behind the wheel.

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It’s a constant reminder to them and everyone else that driving while drunk will not only put you on the wrong side of the law, but could put you on a path that you will regret the rest of your life.