Friday, April 10, 2009

Stop Drinking And Driving Already!!

One solid rule that I have in life is to never have even a sip of alcohol if I have my car keys. Just one drink can put me and much of the population over the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content. Think about it - "one little drink" and your life can become extremely complicated. Here in California the penalties can be quite complex but you basically pay a hefty fine, your license is suspended, and your car insurance goes through the roof. I believe you spend a weekend in jail as well. "One little drink" can have repercussions that last for years and several thousands of dollars. Mitigating factors can add fines and jail time to your sentence. Some employers won't hire prospects that have a DUI on their record. The penalty varies by state. Any way you slice it - it isn't worth doing. In addition, you have to think of more than just yourself when you get behind the wheel.

Last month, Charles "Mask" Lewis - founder of the MMA clothing line TapouT, was killed in Newport Beach. He was driving his Ferrari and apparently racing a Porsche. Lewis had no drugs or alcohol in his system according to ABC News this morning. The other driver, however, was intoxicated and has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

Just the other night alcohol struck again. This story is especially horrifying for a number of reasons. Andrew Gallo, with a prior DUI and a suspended license, decided that he hadn't learned his lesson and that the laws don't apply to him. He got behind the wheel of a minivan while drunk and ran a red light. By running that red light he slammed into a vehicle driven by 20 year old Courtney Stewart. Courtney was a cheerleader at Cal State Fullerton. She died on the scene. One of the passengers in her vehicle, Henry Pearson (25), also died on the scene. Henry was a sports agent. John Wilhite, a 24 year old ex-CSUF baseball player, is in critical condition but expected to survive. Another 22 year old, Nick Adenhart died later at the hospital. Nick had just pitched an MLB game earlier that evening for the Angels. The team postponed their game last night because of the tragedy.

Here in Southern California the public is absolutely furious! Why did this idiot decide that he was above the law? What did he not learn from his first DUI experience? Oh, and did I mention he fled the scene? Driving drunk, hit and run, and three people dead! How selfish can one person be? If anyone deserves to be made an example of I believe it would be this guy.

The good that can come from high profile cases like this is change. This sort of thing happens all over the country all too often, unfortunately. Maybe now there will be a bigger crackdown on drunk drivers. Maybe if they changed DUIs to always be attempted murder it would prevent senseless tragedies. Think about it - you have impaired judgment and have unleashed yourself on the public. No one, including you, has any control over whether you hurt or kill someone. Sound harsh? Maybe that is what it will take to save innocent people that are minding their own business on the road. Unfortunately, there will always be some bonehead that decides they are above the law.

My condolences to all families affected by this.

Please, stop drinking and driving already!!


Lindsay said...

Gosh, sometimes we get sick of hearing the message, "Don't drink and drive," but then stuff like this happens. Apparently no matter what, some people are always going to be stupid. That is so terrible that those young people had to die, and I am thinking of their poor families. States should have stricter penalties. I've heard the statistic that 1 in 10 Minnesota drivers has a DUI. It's not even much of a taboo to have a DUI on your record - so many people have one. I know several.

I'm with you, if I have even one drink I don't drive. I don't risk anything. Hopefully your post will make someone think twice about their actions.

Apryl DeLancey said...

I hope so! Thank you for being a responsible adult also.