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 is easy.
Whoever is driving simply DOES NOT DRINK.
If you have had a drink, CABS ARE REQUIRED.
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, 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.