Drunk Driving Prevention 101
How to keep our roads safe from wreckless decisions
Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 00:08
He was to be president of his organization for the upcoming school year. He loved performing spoken word. He had a heart of gold. He was only 21 years old.
And due to drunk driving, his promising life has been cut short.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, one person is killed every 51 minutes due to an alcohol-impaired driving fatality. In 2010, there were 10,228 fatalities alone due to drunk driving, which made up 31% of the total motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.
So what do these numbers mean to college students?
Alcohol is a popular staple in any college atmosphere. Whether it’s used as a peer pressure tactic, to relax with friends or to just party, alcohol consumption is everywhere you look. But as long as we make smart choices to ensure the safety of ourselves and others, it shouldn’t be an issue. Yet it is.
I have to admit in my four years of college, this issue seems to be taken way too lightly. I’ll see people who deny drinks at a party or at a bar and their friends respond with, “Oh come on, you’re not down!” Although this phrase has the intention of letting their friend loosen up to have fun, we shouldn’t be promoting this mentality. There’s a time and place for everything, and if that person is driving, they shouldn’t be giving into the pressure to prove they’re down to drink.
The same works vice versa. People shouldn’t be afraid to turn down drinks at a party or bar. In fact, it’s probably the most responsible and smartest choice you can make in your entire college career. We live in a society where participating far off from mainstream culture automatically makes you an outcast. We need to start celebrating people who make the right choice to be safe. The next time you’re out drinking and you have a friend who volunteered to be DD, thank that person. Not only is that person looking out for you, but that friend is also looking out for the other people on the road. Think about all the lives you’re saving in that one decision.
You probably think you're good to drive. You're probably thinking to yourself, “Oh I’ve done this a thousand times, what’s so different about now?” You probably think you could handle taking other people home. But if anything were to happen to you or those who you are responsible for, you must live with the fact that you damaged those people's lives or wrecked your own.
Everyday is a new day, and it has endless possibilities. Everyday something out of this world can happen. Remember this when you’re about to turn your car’s ignition on, while you know you’ve had too much to drink. You never know when it might be the last time you can do that.
For more information on how you can keep yourself and your friends safe, check out these websites.
Motther's Against Drunk Driving (http://www.madd.org/)
International Drunk Driving Prevention Association (http://www.iddpa.org/)