Drinking and driving has become a serious issue in society. Currently, every 15 minutes, someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision. Many campaigns have been held to try and control the amount of people who drink and drive. Although many pledge to not drink and drive, sometimes the idea of having fun overpowers their mindset in the moment. Drinking and driving is one of the top causes of death in the United States, and needs to gradually decimate.
Recently at Valhalla, the local police department came to the school and did a two-day assembly for the juniors and seniors about drinking and driving. The program is commonly known as Every 15 Minutes, and has helped many of the students realize the dangers of drinking and driving.
Drink? Don’t Drive. by J. De Stefano, News Editor (Volume XXXIV, Issue 6, April 2008)
Sirens scream their alarm through the cities like a cry for help – the sound might be a fire truck racing to put out a fire; a police car breaking up an out-of-control high school party; or an ambulance reporting to a scene of a crash involving a drunk driver. In the latter example, perhaps the driver felt normal, sober enough to drive home; sometimes he or she couldn’t feel anything but an invincible high.
According to MADD.com, every 30 minutes someone dies as a result of the carelessness of an intoxicated driver. Three out of ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lives. When those accidents occur, someone will lose a mother, father, sister, brother, or best friend. Not only do victims suffer, but the driver himself has to live with a suffocating sense of guilt, whether sentenced to jail time or not. However, sometimes drunk drivers do get home safely or merely get a ticket.
Valhalla, and pretty much every other high school in America, has its fair share of teenagers drinking excessively and using drugs. It is an inevitable truth that sometimes results from the stereotypical teen thinking that there will be no unforgivable and immediate consequences. Much of the time, the only immediate consequences teenagers face are a week’s restriction and a hangover, excluding long-term health effects. But when teens mix drinking and driving, the consequences affect everyone on the road.
Statistics indicate that teenagers are not the greatest or smartest drivers, and adding alcohol or drugs seems like a death sentence. It seems obvious that kids would learn to abstain from drinking and driving through the examples of the deaths of well known people such as St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Hancock and San Diego Padres outfielder Mike Darr, along with others.
Maybe if California adopted the law that Ohio, Georgia, and Minnesota have already implemented that orders drivers who have had more than one DUI in the span of ten years to drive with a yellow license plate with red letters, more people would be apprehensive about drinking while intoxicated.
When it comes down to what is right and wrong, underage drinking doesn’t straddle the line—it is illegal. It only takes one second to steal someone’s life, but more than a lifetime to get over it.