Friday, 16 July 2010

It is evil. Please, just do not do it.

blog this:: Challenge 52: Rewind

On my soapbox

What is my "number one soap box topic"? That'd be drink driving.



When I was a child, growing up in the 1970's, my Dad was a habitual 'drink driver'. He thought nothing of a few glasses of wine at lunch with a client, then a couple of swift halves in the pub after work, to then drive home, three sheets to the wind. I am so horrified and ashamed to admit to that, and constantly amazed (and utterly relieved) that he never killed himself, or someone else, through this disgusting habit.

I passed my drivers test and got my licence when I was seventeen. I had a car. I was still at school, and I partied hard with an amazing group of friends.

We all had part time jobs, and that allowed us the luxury of being able to fund both drinking, and driving.
We were fairly wild, I suspect, for our age.


But I was so truly lucky.

My younger brother was involved with my schools drama department, and was active in the production of a drink driving awareness campaign for youth, designed by the West Sussex Police. He "starred' in the production, bless him. It was brilliant in it's effectiveness, for me and my friends.

We quickly made a mutual promise to one another, my school friends and I, to take turns in being the "designated driver".

And whoevers turn it was was simply NOT ALLOWED TO DRINK AT ALL. Softies only.



It worked.

It is easy.

Whoever is driving  simply DOES NOT DRINK.

If you have had a drink, CABS ARE REQUIRED.

Not negotiable.

If you don't have the money for a cab, call someone to come and get you. (Maybe you should've thought of that before you downed those beers?)




I know that the "rules" say you can have a certain amount to drink before you are "over the limit".

But what about hormones?

What about the food you may or may not have consumed and how that affects your inebriation levels. Medication you may have taken?

We all accept that alcohol impacts individuals very differently. So how can any specified number of units ever be deemed "safe to drive"?

And  how can anyone prove how long it takes for alcohol to work its way through our system? ("But I only had a couple and it was over a few hours...............")

And the biggest one, for me, is mental judgement. Alcohol is a mood enhancer. It makes us all a little more happy, or a little more miserable, or a little more confident, or a little more arrogant.

Which makes the majority of us able to "sell", to themselves,that they are "fine to drive."

NO!

No, you are NOT fine to drive.

You may be "under the limit".

You might, if you get stopped by the police and get breathalysed, just "pass".



BUT YOU MIGHT NOT. You might kill yourself, or worse, someone else, before you get pulled over by the booze bus. Or maim them for life.

We have all heard the typical phrases.

"I'll be fine. There are no cops out this weekend."

"I'm fine to drive, I've only had a couple. It's only a short way home."

"I'm fine. I didn't get pulled over anyway."

Oh yay, good on you. You didn't get busted by the cops. BUT YOU COULD'VE KILLED OR MAIMED SOMEONE.

I do not care what the legal blood alcohol limit is.

It makes no odds to me. If you drink, and then drive, you are dangerous. If I had my way, there would be a zero tolerance on drink driving (just like there is in my head.) Ban the consumption of ANY alcohol before taking the wheel. Drinking and driving is EVIL.

Please, just do not do it.






 * A note on the images in this post. They are all "easy on the eye". I have not included the much harsher and terrifying images that depict the reality of drink driving accidents. Google at your own risk.

23 comments:

  1. 100% agree with you. If I'm going to drive I drink zero alcohol.

    Don't feel ashamed about your dad's habits, all dads did exactly the same thing pre-80's. It was just what they did and excuseable 'cos they didn't know any better.

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  2. I'm with you! What a horrible habbit.

    Things were different back then though. My mom would drive on her lap! Which had to be more dangerous than driving slightly drunk... especially to me!

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  3. And it just keeps on happening doesn't it? After so many adverts and so seeing so many shocking images people still ignore the warnings and drink and drive. Terrible stuff. x

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  4. I totally agree with you!
    I have only ever had a drink then driven once in my life!
    And if I was going to have a night out now, which is pretty rare since I have two kiddies, I would either have someone come and get me, or catch a taxi if wasn't traveling alone! ;)
    I don't like the idea of going home in a taxi alone!

    I think the designated driver idea is fabulous! Not just to go home safely, but a straight,clear head to keep a watchful eye out for friends (especially girls) while out partying!
    There are some crafty people out there with bad intentions!

    Great post!
    I hope people see this and start making some responsible decisions when it comes to their life and others!

    :)
    I

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  5. P.S - Don't know what that extra letter 'I' is doing up there! ha ha
    I guess I too am passionate about this subject, and got a little carried away with my typing! ;p

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  6. Amen sister!

    My sister, a girlfriend and I are heading into the city tomorrow night for cocktails and dancing - and you better believe that our cars will be spending their Saturday night at home!

    If you drink then drive, you're a bloody idiot. Not a truer word spoken!

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  7. 100% with you lady. There should be no "legal limit" of impairment. Impaired is impaired. I strongly believe that someone should not be allowed to drive PERIOD if there is any level of drugs or alcohol in their system.

    I'm 19, the legal age in Canada, and when me and my friends go out on the town we take transit or stay at the person's house we are partying at.

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  8. Absobloodylutely. Well said.

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  9. I totally agree with you on this one! I once had a glass of wine and then drove and I totally did not feel like I was in as much control of the car as I normally am, I seriously have never done it other than this once, I was well under the legal limit of what I was 'allowed' but I did not feel good about driving at all! I never ever drink drive, and I refuse point blank to allow friends to drive me, I would argue and fall out with anyone if I knew that they were going to drink drive... I guess i too get on my soap box about this!

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  10. You are absolutely right! Whenever I am the designated driver, I only drink soft drinks. It's just not worth the risk and I'm amazed that people still do such a stupid thing as drinking and driving.

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  11. Such a simple theory, I'm amazed at how many idiots don't get it. I totally agree with you Luce xx

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  12. Great post! I totally agree with you. Besides who wants the calories!! Water with lemon works for me!! Hugs!

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  13. Sadly my Aunty was killed by a drunk driver when I was little and when the case went to court it was revealed that the drunk driver after discovering he had killed my aunty who was a mum of two had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to hospital so was unable to make his court appearance or meet his subsequent jail sentence. He never left that hospital my mum found out years later, so that is what they should stick in the campaigns about what it does to your own life when you kill someone. Great post!

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  14. Well said!
    My Dad sounds very similar to your dad. His nickname was "Roadie Trev" cos he always took one for the road. Of course that was after having beers at the pub, at a mates place and then one for the road.
    And this was whether us kids were in the car or not!
    This was certainly before the days of RBTs.

    He has changed now. No more roadie trev. so bad habits can change. The ad campaigns do work. The message does get out there.

    But we can't stop the messages. We can't become complacent.
    We must keep it up, and unfortunately for the youth of today, they have to be more graphic. Will they work? Lets Hope!

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  15. 100% agree with you. It should be zero tolerance and I really don't understand how people don't get the message, it's so simple to comprehend! Great post Lucy.

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  16. I couldn't agree more. I've lost a few friends to drinking and driving. The first when I was 16. She was 15 and walking home from a party. (Sober.) A car stopped to let her cross the street and a drunk driver, without headlights on at 11pm, swerved around the car and struck her. The driver was fine, so much so she kept driving. The girl was airlifted to the hospital but brain dead. It has stuck with me ever since.

    The driver, while free of physical injury, has a lot of guilt and heartbreak that she'll live with all her life.

    It's just not worth it.

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  17. Agreed. Great post. I do have one question, though - what do you mean by this sentence:

    "If I had my way, there would be a zero tolerance on drink driving."

    Do you mean you wish the legal limit was 0.00 instead of 0.05? Because there already is a zero tolerance on drink driving if you're over the limit - you are arrested and charged.

    If you do mean you wish the legal limit was 0.00, I'd have to disagree. There's currently a push to lower it from 0.05 to 0.02. Making it zero doesn't take into account things like food with alcohol in it (rum balls or pudding etc) that may have been eaten right before driving, or medication that would register a reading.

    Lowering the legal limit to 0.02 effectively eradicates the guesswork that even responsible people undertake. 0.02 means people cannot drink an alcoholic beverage when they're driving, but it allows them to consume certain foods and medications before driving.

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  18. With you there Lucy - as I very rarely drink I am always the designated driver. My rule is no drinking if I am driving. I think the limit should be 0.00 if you are driving, but that is just my point of view.

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  19. What a great blog entry. I completely agree. I lost a friend to someone who was on medication. And my cousins and aunt were hit by a drunk driver and are lucky to be alive. It's never acceptable to drink and drive.

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  20. Absolutely agree. 100%.

    I've always hated this - the little excuses like 'it's only ten minute home, so I'll just drive, it'll be right' - and I never drive if I've had more than a couple of sips.

    My hatred for drink driving was made even more so when I met my now-husband, who had just escaped an accident with a drunk driver. I didn't even know him at the time, but seeing photos of the car and hearing about his flashback dreams was enough.

    I have absolutely no tolerance for drink driving.

    PS - off to vote now :)

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  21. Yep, complete agreement here.

    Visiting from the Rewind.

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  22. Truer words were never said. I am guilty of this. In another life. Stupid. Bloody stupid. And lucky I think that I didn't kill myself or someone else. Ram this message home Lucy. Thanks for Rewinding (and FBing the Rewind :-) x

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