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When the police pulled over a mother for driving drunk with her little daughter, the cop made one statement that inspired her to turn things around.

No one ever wants to be in trouble with the law. But sometimes in life, when you’re going down the wrong path, a well-intentioned and kind wake-up call can be exactly the motivation you need to put your life back together.

How the Police Gave a Wake-up Call to a Drunk Driver – And Her Daughter

Ten years ago in Minnesota, a state trooper named Kristie Sue Hathaway saw a car weaving, speeding up, and slowing down on a Monday afternoon on Highway 77. According to a local news outlet, at the time she was still new to the force and had only made five previous DUI arrests. She had no doubt about what was going on when she pulled Amy Martin over, however.

“I went up and could see she had watery, glassy eyes,” Hathaway recalls, noting there was an open bottle of vodka in the centre console of the SUV and the woman had her almost-two-year-old daughter, Madeline, in the backseat.

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Hathaway called Martin’s family to pick up the little girl and then took the driver to Hennepin County Jail. “I remember saying right before [she] got booked in, please do not do this to your daughter,” Hathaway says. “She needs a mom. I know because my mom left when I was 10.”

According to the officer, she then explained how both her parents struggled with alcohol addiction and as a result, she was raised by her aunt and uncle. Martin, whose blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit, promised to get sober and said she would visit Hathaway again, one year later.

“Quite frankly, she had said it and I was like, ‘Okay, well…’” Hathaway explains, adding it was Martin’s second DUI arrest. “I didn’t think I’d hear from her.”

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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

But Martin made good on her promise. She got the help she needed and on the one-year anniversary of her sobriety, she visited Hathaway and presented her with a medallion she earned from her 12-step program.

“While I’d been trying to get sober for quite a long time and struggling with that, I wanted her to be able to see that and kind of give that to her,” Martin tells the outlet.

And she didn’t stop there.

It’s been a really tough couple years in our field. There have been times when you kind of wonder like, ‘Why am I in this job?’ It reminds me of why. It gives me hope.

Kristie Sue Hathaway

Each year for the next eight years Martin returned to present Hathaway with her latest medallion. For her part, Hathaway would return the previous year’s medallion to Martin. Until then, the officer keeps her current medallion under her badge to remind her how Martin was able to turn her life around.

“It’s been a really tough couple years in our field. There have been times when you kind of wonder like, ‘Why am I in this job?’” Hathaway explains. “It reminds me of why. It gives me hope.”

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Photo Credit: Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Over the years, Hathaway and Martin became friends. They attended each other’s weddings, Martin cheered for Hathaway at the Twin Cities Marathon, and Hathaway came to Madeline’s school to speak with her class about being in law enforcement.

“I’m glad she made the choice to do what she did and make a promise that she would do it and actually accomplish it,” Madeline, who is now 12, adds to the outlet about her mom.

RELATED: Cop Pulls Struggling Mother And 3 Kids Over – Has The Best Response When He Hears Her Touching Story

This past February, Martin and Hathaway celebrated Martin’s 10-year sobriety anniversary together, marking a decade of friendship and second chances.

She saved my life.

Amy Martin

“If this wouldn’t have happened, there is no question in my mind, I would not be here today,” Martin says.

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Photo by Tori Wise on Unsplash

It’s hard to say what another officer in Hathaway’s shoes would have done if they had been the one to pull Martin over that day and discovered her toddler in the backseat. But the way Hathaway opened up and treated Martin like she still had a choice in her life- particularly when it came to being a mother- really resonated with the woman.

Sometimes in life, all you need is to hear that someone has faith in you, especially when you no longer have faith in yourself. In the end, these women helped each other out, by reminding each other hope can be found in even the darkest of places and that it’s never too late for a second chance.

These two also happened to develop a lifelong friendship in the process, which is always a beautiful bonus. It goes to show you that when you treat others with compassion and empathy rather than judgment, it could be the thing a person needs to turn their life around.

It’s a nice reminder for all of us to maybe forgive a little quicker the next time we have a tiff with a friend or family member. Or if someone disappoints us, trying to put ourselves in their shoes may go a long way in terms of understanding their situation and creating some empathy. It’s important to remember that everyone messes up sometimes. But keeping the faith and trying to be there for a person if you can instead of just shutting the door may make a world of difference in both of your lives.

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“Having a second chance makes you want to work even harder.” – Tia Mowry