BY LEAH MARROW
Not only is drunk driving illegal, it is selfish. When you get behind the wheel while impaired, you are not just endangering yourself, you are endangering the lives of every other person on the road, as well as showing complete disregard for everyone who cares about you.
I have witnessed this kind of reckless behaviour. I have been that person who has tried to take the keys away from people who were clearly intoxicated. They showed no sign of gratitude at my, or anyone else’s, trying to save their lives. They were far more concerned with the fact that the party was dying and they just didn’t want to be there anymore. Calling a cab was apparently too expensive.
It is almost impossible to reason with drunk people; their humanity switch has been turned off.
When I was in public school, I remember having Mothers Against Drunk Driving come to speak. We would all file into the gymnasium and take our seats. The mothers’ stories were always heart-breaking; their child was taken from them. Some of the youth were on their way home from a party and got T-boned at an intersection a block away from home or their friend said that he was OK to drive and then ran into a telephone pole, killing everyone in the vehicle. I remember the students in that gymnasium either bawling their eyes out or trying their hardest not to.
Now I am a lot older but I still think back to those assemblies. I think about the mothers of those children standing on stage sharing their stories in hopes that we would learn from their children’s senseless deaths.
Death caused by an intoxicated driver is nothing new, but the most recent story of impaired driving that I have heard gave me goosebumps. The man was 29 years old, his victims: three children ages two, five and nine, and their grandfather.
Those children’s lives were stripped from them, an entire family ripped apart. Drinking and driving is not something that should be taken lightly. The selfish actions of one person could cost the lives of several. If that man had stopped for a minute, even a second, to think about what he was doing before he got behind the wheel, their lives would have been spared.
Those same assemblies that made me cry also made me more aware of the true dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Drunk driving is still very prevalent in our society. Although society has come a long way in changing the culture around impaired driving, I think we still have a long way to go before our roads are completely safe.