Drunk driving is the number one cause of death on our roadways.
Every two minutes, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash.
Every 51 minutes, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash.
In 2016, there were 891 drunk driving fatalities between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
It’s hard to really feel the emotional impact of that reality when you just read statistics. But those numbers represent mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands and wives.
The Mothers Against Drunk Driving website shares victim stories to raise awareness. Here is a sampling of those who have died at the hands of a drunk driver:
• Virginia David, mother to eight children and 15 grandchildren.
• Janakae Sargent, a student at Texas Tech University, where she was studying veterinarian medicine.
• Police Officer Brent Wisdom of the Fort Worth Police Department.
• Aly Sanchez, a beloved daughter, friend, granddaughter, niece and sister who died at 12.
• Cody Dewitt, who was a few months shy of his high school graduation.
A lot of time is spent educating teens about drunk driving, but we think it’s just as critical to speak to adults about it. When intoxicated adults get behind the wheel of a car, they are driving a lethal weapon, too. If you’ve been drinking – or smoking pot – don’t drive. It’s that simple.
Adults are subject to the very same consequences to which our youth are vulnerable: the loss of driving privileges, jail time, lawsuits and a lifetime of guilt.
Orcas Island Taxi is offering free rides home on New Year’s Eve between the hours of 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. with tip donations going to the Orcas Island Food Bank. Call 376-8294.
Who do you think our kids learn from first? Us. When teens see their parents planning a night out responsibly, it sets a good example – for now and later. Adult drinking and driving is a real problem, even here. Take a look at the sheriff’s log on any given month with its myriad of DUI entries.
We could all stand to be reminded of what too much liquor and two tons of steel can do.