Hello World! As a very unusual year comes to an end, I want to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy & Safe New Year! I doubt that many of us can deny that this year has been, to say the least, strange… I am looking forward to 2017!
On this note, I found something appropriate online that I want to share with everyone, especially the party goers out there. Please be safe tonight.
7 Reasons Why There’s No Excuse for Drunk Driving
I recently found myself called to jury duty on a case involving a drunk driving charge & watched jurors around me get dismissed for potentially prejudicial views. When the defense attorney turned to me, I was torn.
It’s my duty as a citizen to sit as a defendant’s peer on a jury that can fairly weigh the facts presented & return a just verdict. But could I offer that service when I find drunk driving to be abhorrent & unacceptable? Ultimately, I stated that my personal experiences with drunk driving would make me a poor juror, & I joined the ranks of the dismissed in the hallway.
Particularly during the holidays, drunk driving becomes a huge problem, whether it’s people driving home on icy roads after the office Christmas or Hanukkah party, or elated revelers on New Year’s Eve thinking they’re sober enough to drive home at the end of the night.
But drunk driving is a year-round problem. Every 53 minutes, someone dies behind the wheel — or because they climbed into a car with a drunk driver, or simply happened to be driving, walking or biking in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you think you’re “fine after a drink or two” or don’t want to “make a fuss” about how much alcohol a driver has consumed, think again. Here are 7 reasons to find another ride home.
1. No driving means no parking: Have you ever tried to park near an event on New Year’s Eve? It’s a nightmare. If you’re in the city, you might have to walk for blocks through dubious neighborhoods to get from your car to the party. Why do that when you could take public transit?
Taking the subway or the bus means you skip tolls, don’t pay for parking & can come & go whenever you feel like it — often for free on New Year’s Eve. Not a fan of the bus? Taxi & ride share services abound, & some offer discounts or vouchers for people who opt to ride with them rather than drive drunk.
2. There’s always a ride home: Even if you drove to a party, that doesn’t mean you should leave drunk just because you’re in a hurry to get home. AAA offers a Safe Ride Home program — formerly known as “Tipsy Tow” — in many areas, connecting people with safe drivers.
Depending on where you are, Lyft, Uber or another ride sharing services may partner with a local organization to fund free or reduced rides. You can contact those companies directly, or check out the local paper, to see what kinds of ride shares might be available in your area.
3. DUIs are expensive: So you drove drunk, lucked out & didn’t hurt anyone — but you did get caught by the cops. Many states make DUI convictions very expensive for a reason: They want to deter you from doing it in the first place, & to make it more expensive every time it happens.
Depending on your age, prior history, level of intoxication & whether you take the case to court, you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars in court & attorney fees, insurance increases, etc.
Oh, & you’ll be on track to lose your license. Drive drunk now, prepare to take the bus for years to come.
4. There’s no hard rule on the number of “safe” drinks: You may be familiar with charts comparing your height, weight, number of drinks & likely blood alcohol concentration. Note the “likely.”
Many factors can influence how quickly your body processes alcohol & how much remains in your blood. Even if you have a safe blood alcohol level, you might still be too impaired to drive — especially if you don’t drink often, you’re tired or the weather is poor, making it difficult to see the road.
5. Think of the children: Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death in teens — & about a third of them involve alcohol. That includes not just drunk teen drivers, but also teens riding with intoxicated people or youth struck by drunk drivers.
As new drivers, teens are often unsure & uncomfortable on the road —& that doesn’t mix well with alcohol. Adolescents also can’t respond as quickly to adult drivers who are in a clearly impaired state, because they’re not as familiar with the warning signs of a serious problem.
6. Drunk driving & alcohol abuse are closely linked: Drunk driving won’t cause you to become an alcoholic, but it can be a symptom of alcohol dependency. If you can’t stand the thought of going one night without a drink so you can be a reliable designated driver, that’s a warning sign that something may be wrong.
Similarly, if you have “just a little drink” when you’re supposed to be sober, that’s also an indicator that you may have a conflicted relationship with alcohol. If you’re struggling with alcohol, you should talk to your doctor or therapist about getting treatment that suits your needs.
7. Did we mention that someone might die? It might be you, a passenger, someone in another car, a cyclist or a pedestrian. The road can be unpredictable in the best of circumstances, & it’s a whole lot more dangerous with alcohol mixed in. Don’t turn yourself or someone else into just another prayer card on someone’s desk or a cautionary tale for local high school students.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just one time or you’re only going a short distance: driving under the influence is always unacceptable. Behind the statistics, there are real people — & you could be one of them.
So, please do yourself & those around you a favor & DON’T DRINK & DRIVE! That way there is more of a chance of your living to talk about the fun party you went to.
If only one person that reads this, realizes that they shouldn’t drive tonight, then this post is well worth it!