Sunday, September 24, 2006

I am angry

I am angry today, and I don't care who I take it out on.

My sister and brother-in-law's best friend was killed by a drunk driver last night. He leaves a wife and four children. One of them is my niece's best friend. A twelve year old girl. The rest of them are younger.

Look at your children right now. How would they survive if you were killed?

Last night, after working a college football game to make extra money, the best friend drove home. About a mile before he got there, he pulled off on a dark road to help a girl who had driven her car into a ditch. The drunk driver hit him and killed him, rendering him unrecognizable. His shoes stayed at the side of the road.

There is nothing I can do for him, his family or my sister's family, grieving as though they have lost a brother.

But this is what I want to say. If you drink and drive, you are a scourge on the human race. If you drink and drive, you should be thrown in jail for life. And I don't mean this in the third person objective such as "If one drinks and drives, one should be thrown in jail."

I mean YOU.

And if you think I'm not talking to you because you limit yourself to one beer or one glass of wine, and feel that you're okay to drive, you are wrong. Because that one drink could mean the difference between driving in a designated lane, and thinking that the tail lights in the breakdown lane indicate it's open to traffic.

With all we now know about the dangers of drinking and driving, shame on you if you drive with any alcohol in your system. And if that offends you, well I guess it says more about you than it does about me. Rationalizing your right to drink over everyone else's right to safety. Do you really need to defend drinking that much? Is it really necessary, for us to feel that we live in a free and tolerant society, that you be able to drink your one (or more) drinks without interference and still drive. Is it in the Constitution somewhere? Did I miss it? Are you too important or ignorant to call a fucking cab?

And don't for a moment think that I'm a hypocrite when it comes to this. I have approximately two drinks per year when I am out and that is only on the rare occasion that I can convince my husband not to have a drink. So that one of us can be stone cold sober to drive. But I would rather skip the drinking to know that I am in control. So that's what I do.

Don't you think you could do the same?

And remember my sister's best friend the next time you let your friends convince you that they are okay to drive when you know better. I know I will. Your children and parents and spouses and friends would probably appreciate someone stopping you from killing yourself behing the wheel. Why not have the courage to do the same for those you care about, no matter how uncomfortable it is.



At 4:41 PM, Blogger Kathy McC said...

I am so sorry about your friend. I know more people than I care to admit who drink and drive. It's really sad. I guess everyone has that "It won't happen to me" attitude. I went through the whole, what would my kids do if I had died in our car accident we had in April. It made me sick to think about it.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Vivien said...

Casey, it is surely good to get so angry and you are right. I hope it made you feel better. I think a whole lot of us are feeling bad.
I am so sorry about your grandmother and your friend.


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