By Maddi Ference
For as long as I can remember, my parents have taken every chance they could get to remind me and my siblings not to drink and drive. Whenever a story would come up on the nightly newscast when we were sitting together as a family at home, my parents would give us a lecture based on other people’s mistakes to serve as a learning experience for us.
At age 12, when I was not even remotely interested in alcohol, my parents would constantly remind me to call them, for future’s sake, if I ever needed a ride as opposed to getting behind the wheel while in an altered state of mind. I would usually shrug off their comments and resume whatever unimportant task I was doing at the time. Now I'm thankful to my parents that they were so persistent with their reminders to never drink and drive. I can’t fathom how people can take such life-altering risks and see no harm in their actions.
Although not all parents are like mine and willing to pick up their child after a night of drinking, there are alternate resources available to avoid getting behind the wheel. Calling for an Uber or Lyft ride are convenient options for anyone with a smartphone. These apps are a small price to pay, and without them the price might be higher, such as a hefty ticket for a DUI, or worse — ending someone’s life.
If you’re tight on cash, asking a friend to come pick you up is another option. If you’re partying at a friend’s house, ask to stay the night and drive home in the morning. With so many ways to drink responsibly, how does driving under the influence still seem like a viable or safe option?
I could go on and on with different ways to avoid drinking and driving, but the problem is that many people still think it is a sensible option, even with the number of resources available.
Recently, news had broken that two women were killed in a car accident near my hometown and that the driver of the same car was charged with death by auto and also received a summons for driving while intoxicated. Not only is the driver facing criminal charges and jail time, but she also has to live with the fact that she took the lives of two innocent women, all because she decided to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. The surrounding community is shattered with the loss of the two women — two lives that could have been saved if the driver decided not to drink and drive.
Our generation has the ability to substantially decrease the amount of drinking and driving related incidents solely based on the technology we have available at our fingertips. With people like the driver stated above who are willing to drive under the influence, we are moving backward in our efforts to combat such irresponsible behavior. People in our generation still feel as though nothing will happen to them if they drink and drive — that is, until it is too late.
With every new semester comes parties, bar trips and other alcohol-related excursions. It is imperative to be safe this year and never get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Take an Uber, call a friend, or stay the night at someone’s house. No party is worth someone’s life, including your own.