Last night I was out with friends and found out that an acquaintance of mine had been arrested and charged for drinking and driving.  She is a young girl, maybe 20 years old and apparently after a night of drinking decided to try and drive the 1 1/2 hours home.  I was absolutely shocked to hear this.  Are people really still drinking and driving?  Have we not learned that this is an irresponsible choice, and one that could be fatal?  How can you be that stupid and have such little regard for your life or someone else’s?

I have lost numerous friends over the years to drinking and driving and it is absolutely devastating.  One friend was asleep in the back of her car when her boyfriend decided to drive home from an outdoor party.  Her best friend was in the passenger seat, also sleeping.  Well the driver was too drunk to drive and either fell asleep at the wheel or lost control and my friend was thrown from the car and died instantly, her friend had to learn how to walk again and the boyfriend I believe is in a wheelchair.  Maybe because I’m from such a small town these incidents are more impactful, more tragic because the community is so close.  I still remember the exact moment I was told about her death, and as I write this there are tears in my eyes remembering her.  Rest in Peace Brooke.

I cannot imagine getting behind the wheel if I was drunk, or even a little buzzed.  I couldn’t imagine putting my family and friends through the hell of me killing myself – or someone else – because I was too stupid to stay overnight, call for a ride, take a taxi.  I really think that this shows a lack of respect for human life and ignorance on the part of the drunk driver.

As we head into the summer and patio season, please be responsible and don’t drink and drive.  And if a friend insists on driving?  Well, would you rather them be mad at you for a day because you wouldn’t give them the keys or have to go to their funeral and look at the people left behind.  I hope this acquaintance has learned her lesson and I hope the friends that were with her will think twice before letting someone leave in a car when they are drunk.

For more information you can check out the MADD website.