Like so many others, at every years end we try to convince people not to drink and drive in hopes of stopping the needless loss of life and injuries caused by intoxicated drivers.
While authorities tell us things have improved from a decade or longer ago, the reality that more than 2,000 people were arrested in Los Angeles County alone for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs over this latest holiday period should be a strong reminder that our job is not yet done.
And while today is Jan. 2, the day after New Years, it’s likely many have not yet finished their New Year revelry and still have a few more good times left to celebrate during the coming weekend. Sadly, some of those who choose to celebrate with alcohol or drugs will get behind the wheel of their vehicle with the mistaken belief they are “OK” to drive. And they might take offense if anyone suggests otherwise.
We don’t know what it’s going to take to stop them from being a menace and potential killer on our roads, but we cannot give up trying to get through to them.
Truth be told, not even the cost that comes with a DUI arrest – estimated to be $10,000-$15,000 – seems to be a deterrent for some. The sense of entitlement to drink and drive, drug and drive or speed and drive and being able to maintain control is too common a delusion in our society.
Some drivers even drive into police checkpoints only to be arrested for DUI. Did they think they could fool police into believing they aren’t drinking and driving?
Age doesn’t seem to make much of a difference since those who cause accidents are of all ages. People are being slaughtered by drunks running red lights who crash into their cars or run them over on the street, or as we saw this past week, killing them as they sit inside their home.
It seems to us here at EGP that there needs to be greater participation by the public to report drunk drivers, and for parking valets to refuse to give keys back to drunk drivers.
Most of all, it is important to keep up efforts on all fronts to combat driving while under the influence, and it should be a campaign we conduct year round, not just during the holidays.
Parents, spouses, relatives, children and bystanders need to take a hand in stopping drunks from getting behind the wheel.
So in 2014, lets all resolve to do our best to cut down the number of DUI drivers. As the old slogan use to go, “The life you save may be your own.”