In the U.S, drinking and driving related crimes are considered some of the biggest offenses an individual can commit. Our court systems take DUI’s very seriously because so many people injure themselves and or others in accidents, potentially ruining the lives of both the driver and people in the car with them and the victims. Here are some facts about the volume of fatalities related to DUI accidents.
- Almost half of all traffic deaths are alcohol related
- As the result of drunk driving two people are killed every hour
- Every year roughly 16,000 people are killed due to alcohol related accidents
Sadly, these numbers are astonishingly too high, taking the lives of unfortunate victims both behind the wheel and those individuals involved because of one very cruel substance: alcohol. The intoxicated drivers behind the wheel of these potential death machines are also usually victims of another type of killer: Alcoholism. It has been engrained in most minds that no one should drive under the influence of anything, especially when drinking alcohol, however people with the disease of addiction have a very low sense of mindfulness when making decisions; being a fellow alcoholic….we generally don’t really care what consequences will ensue due to our thoughtless actions. We take risks not considering that our actions might lead to our own self destruction or the destruction of others. We are blind to see that anything is wrong. My own personal experiences with not one but two DUI’s has led me to find sobriety because my life was going down the path of eventually jails, institutions, and death.
In the summer of 2010, after a long night of drinking a whole fifth to my face with friends, I left my car at the house I was drinking at and got a ride home from one of the guys, who was not a heavy drinker like myself, and only had consumed a couple by the end of the night. I got dropped off in front of my house, thinking to myself, wow what a good night, now only if I had my car to do a little joy riding. By the way, drinking and joy riding was my thing to do when I was overly intoxicated. After making up my mind in about five seconds I made the trek back to the house where my car was parked in front of. Stepping into the car and turning it on was the last thing I remembered that night.
Hours later I found myself in the drunk-tank surrounded by other unfortunate souls who had dedicated their night and early morning to committing the same crime such as I had. In between constant blackouts I hazily remember getting finger printed and posing for a mug shot. After fifteen long, hung-over hours I was released. Court bills, DUI classes, and probation ensued, resulting in my decision to continue to drink and drive, almost daily. My alcoholic brain thought nothing was wrong, that for my pleasure, I was going to take the gamble of driving my car, intoxicated, risking yet another run-in with the cops. A year and a half passed, and I continued to drink and drive, my alcoholism getting worse every day, but luckily, with no such run-in, yet. One night I got stopped at a gas station while filling up my car, police cars all around me. They told me to step out of the car, giving me a sobriety test which I failed. By the grace of God he told me to call my parents and to have them pick me up, not giving me a ticket. This is when I decided to get sober, finally after three years of trying. Anyone who almost achieves two DUI’s like me is without a doubt an individual with the disease of addiction and alcoholism, who has struggled with it for a long time. Our perception is skewed when we use, making unwise decisions like drunk driving. Anyone with one DUI is probably not done driving intoxicated because their perception and good judgment are skewed when they use, making this unwise decision.
“Drunk Driving Facts & Stats Tips.” Life Tips: Move Up In Life. Life Tips, 2012. n.p. Web. 22 June 2012.
By Matt B.