Comprehensive Efforts To Stave Off Drunk Driving Accidents
It is past midnight and the ringing of the phone awakens you. When you answer it, a voice tells you that your daughter has been in an accident and would you please come to the hospital right away. You are in shock and ask what happened but the voice will not give any more information.
You arrive at the hospital and are greeted by a police officer and a doctor. The moment you see their faces you know what is coming but you just can't process it. The police officer tells you that your daughter was involved in a head-on collision. The doctor tries very hard to be gentle when he says, "I'm Sorry, but there was nothing we could do." Your world caves in on itself as you go deeper into shock.
When you have to presence of mind to ask how it happened, you learn that a drunk driver drifted at high speed into the oncoming lane and hit the car your daughter was a passenger in head-on. Only the drunk driver survived.
The above story is not an uncommon occurrence. A person goes to a party or a bar and drinks too much. Then gets into his or her car and tries to drive home or to another party or bar. With judgment severely impaired, he or she doesn't realize the car is drifting into the other lane until it is too late.
What follows for the drunk driver is arrest, blood alcohol tests and license suspension or revocation at the very least. He or she will face charges of DUI or DWI and possible vehicular homicide. In some states, he or she could even face second degree homicide charges. The penalties range greatly from state to state, too.
The least that is usually given is court costs, fines, probation, license suspension, and mandatory alcohol classes. In cases involving fatalities, prison terms can be lengthy.
A question every person should ask of him or herself before partying with too much to drink is "Are the consequences worth it?" The answer should be "no". But even with all the public service notices and education available on the dangers and consequences of drunk driving, too many people still think they can handle a vehicle with impaired judgment and slowed reaction time.
Even with check-points and patrol cars sitting near bars, too many drunk driving accidents still happen. People seem to be slow to learn and have the attitude that it won't happen to them.
You are sitting in your cell considering the 10-year sentence you were given. You think about what brought you to this place and remember the night you left a party, refusing the offer of a ride home because you insisted you were okay to drive. You didn't notice that you were going way too fast, or that your car was in the wrong lane.
You didn't even realize the headlights you were seeing were from a car directly in front of you. You survived but the young woman and her boyfriend didn't. You saw their mangled bodies before they were put in the ambulance. That vision will haunt you for the rest of your life. Was the party and the drinking all worth it?