Driving Under the Influence
Post By: Richard Smith on 04/23/2009
According to www.duifoundation.org, "Roughly 33% of Americans are involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives. In 2006, the number of people who died in traffic crashes involving alcohol accounted for 41% of the total number of traffic fatalities. That same year, 1.46 million arrests were made concerning people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs."
These are terrifying statistics. Not only because of the death toll attributable to drinking under the influence, but because of the suggestion that so many of us are guilty of such gross idiocy - with a serious degree of shame, I count myself as one of these idiots.
I have a fairly low tolerance for alcohol that leads me to suffer the most terrible vomit-ridden hangovers when I do over-indulge and so have something of a natural DUI preventative. Despite this, I have, I am sure, driven when I should not. I suspect for many of us it is simply a matter of convincing ourselves that we are not THAT incapacitated, and that we will be safe so long as we drive slowly and with maximum concentration applied to the task at hand, and it's only a mile to the house, and.... This is bullshit and we know it. It is time to stop.
So, in the spirit of this post, I would ask anyone reading this blog to consider the following questions;
1. Have you ever driven while under the influence of alcohol?
2. If your answer to the first question was a shame-faced 'YES' (and statistically speaking, that would be most of you) and given that in 2006, 13,470 poeple lost their lives in the US in alcohol-impaired driving accidents (Of these 351 were children, killed as passengers, bicyclists, or pedestrians) how does this make you feel?
3. If your answer to question two was something along the lines of "Like a piece of shit", are you willing to make a personal commitment never to drive under the influence again?
If you answered 'Yes' to the final question, I congratulate you and urge you to keep your promise. I, for one, cannot imagine the horror of living with the death of a child on my conscience and will, from now on, take responsibility for my actions and not drive if I am in any doubt whatsoever as to my sobriety.
Glenn - 05/22/2009
Thanks for this post. I know I myself have driven under the influence, but rarely. It still doesn't excuse it, however. It amazes me to see so many blogs talk about wine tasting and such all day and makes me wonder just how many of these "professionals" drive under the influence on a constant basis.
Richard Smith - 05/22/2009
I suspect that many do, whether they realize - or accept - it or not.