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You Have A Choice…..Don’t Drink and Drive

drunk-driving

According to a Medical News Today article the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report supporting research done during a CDC Vital Signs study revealing that in 2010 alone approximately 112 million people drove under the influence of alcohol; that is nearly 300,000 drunk-drivers each day!

You may not have control over your alcohol intake…however you can choose whether to get behind the wheel after consuming an alcoholic beverage. On more than one occasion I took other people’s lives, as well as my own into my hands when I made the decision to drink and drive. After numerous car accidents and my original DUI nine years ago I still had not learned my lesson.

After several attempts at getting sober and not so humbly trying to work a program I was back to experimenting with some “controlled drinking”. On the night of June 3rd, 2010 I once again got behind the wheel after having a couple cocktails at a friend’s house. On my way home, I was traveling along the 101 heading south in Santa Barbara. I struck a woman who had been in a car accident on the other side of the freeway and afterward decided to jump over the medians and walk into the southbound side of the freeway. Now whether she herself was intoxicated, I will never know, but that is not the point. While walking in the southbound traffic she was struck by a car ahead of me, so when I came along she was already on the ground. None the less I hit her head on and was unaware that I had impact with an actual human being….I kept driving and was later arrested by the police after my car malfunctioned as a result of the accident. Had I been sober would I have seen her lying in the freeway? There were so many variables involved in that accident, I can’t say. However it would have been just that, an accident if I had not been under the influence.

The woman that I struck lost one of her legs due to the injuries incurred during the accident; my life forever changed after that fateful night. Unfortunately it took a couple stints in rehab and sober living to finally gain some sobriety (I will have 8 months sober on November 7th of this year).

When you decide to drink and drive you put EVERYONE at risk on the roads, you NEVER know what situation is in front of you or whose life you may impact! That night heading home I certainly did not think I was ever going to be involved in severely injuring and almost taking another human beings life. Driving as it is can be a dangerous action considering how many people are on the roads these days, why would you add more fuel to the fire and choose to drink before operating a vehicle? Nearly 11,000 people are maimed and killed every year by individuals who drink and drive….11,000 people; it is astonishing.

Linda C. Degutis, Dr. P.H., M.S., the director for the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control warned:

Drunk driving is a public health problem with far-reaching effects. Drunk drivers, who have delayed reaction times and reflexes, put even the most responsible drivers and pedestrians in harm’s way.”

We are all responsible for the decisions that we make on a daily basis and what we choose to do daily has a ripple effect and can certainly affect other human beings. As I continue to share my experience, strength and hope with others, I hope that if they walk away with anything, it is that drinking and driving is a disastrous combination. Nothing good can ever come of it. It only puts you and others in harm’s way. Unfortunately I was one of those people that drove intoxicated, ignoring the past, and never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would end up being involved in such a tragic collision. If had chosen instead to either stay the night at my friends or call a cab, things would have played out differently…and although I deeply regret what occurred, I do believe though that from this tragedy I was able to become a better individual, sober up and be of service to others who are in need by sharing my story.

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Filed under: Addiction · Tags: Addiction, Alcohol Addiction, alcohol rehab, alcoholism, Driving under the influence, Driving while Intoxicated, drug rehab, Drunk Driving, drunk driving accident, DUI, DWI, sober living home