Don't Drink & Drive 5/13/15

The local news story on the young lady who took the life of a bicyclist has brought to light many people’s opinions on how harsh penalties should be on driving under the influence, especially if someone’s life is taken. This obviously is a subject that is highly relatable to me because of my past history of driving under the influence. While I was lucky enough to not hurt anyone or myself while I was drunk behind a wheel, I have still suffered the consequences of making poor decisions that could of ultimately taken someone’s life. Many say what’s the harm, I got home safely and no one was hurt?Just because you made it home safely to your bed does not mean that youre making a right decision. When putting those keys in the ignition and driving away after drinking you are not only putting your life at risk but you are risking the lives of all those you come across while driving.

 

Sure, we can all sit here, pointing fingers while being a self-proclaimed know-it-all when it comes to how to punish people when they break the law. But last time I checked, the majority of people giving their two-cents on these types of issues did not go to law school and really have no clue what they are talking about. Since it seems as everyone is so interested in how awful  people are that have been convicted of driving drunk, how about instead of worrying about how other people are punished, you go and do something about it? With that said, there are many other ways you can help to end drinking and driving. Educating the youth, your personal family members as well as youth within your community is very important. They must know the dangers of drinking and driving as well as the legal repercussions of these action. Another way to help would be to volunteer with an organization set out to end drinking and driving, this will help you to reach out to more individuals and get the word across about the dangers of drinking and driving. You can also donate to these organizations, contributions made by individuals are what make it possible to keep drivers educated and safe. Regardless to how you help, by making the choice not to drink yourself, personally educating youth, volunteering or donating, you will be working to end drinking and driving. Being a good friend is also beneficial in keeping drunk people off of the road. If one of your friends has been drinking and shouldn't drive, please don't let them. They could hurt themselves or others and maybe just a little persuasion from you could mean the difference between life and death. Suggest that you or a sober friend drive your alcohol-impaired friend home, his/her car can always be picked up at another time. Suggest that your impaired friend stay overnight in your home, as  this may sound inconvenient, you could be saving your friend's, or someone else's life. Have your friend taken home in a taxi. Pay for the ride yourself. It's hard to object to a free ride. Whatever you do, don't give in. Friends don't let friends drink and then drive. In the morning, you'll have a safer and maybe an even closer friend.

 

As parents, siblings and friends we never want to see anyone get hurt, let alone those who are close to us. It is true in saying that it “takes a village to raise a child,” because knowledge is power and the more we are able to enlighten our youth about the dangers of drinking and driving, the better chance we have of seeing less cases like the one most recently in the news. It is easy to point fingers from afar but unless you are actually trying to do something about it, your voice is mute.