Dangers of Drinking and Driving

This past Labor Day weekend, U of A students and faculty alike have suffered a great tragedy. As five students were entering the cross walk of Euclid and Sixth after traffic had stopped in the curbside lane, four of the five students were involved in a hit and run.

According to the latest Arizona Daily Wildcat update, three of the four students were released from the hospital shortly after they were admitted for minor injuries. Though one student still remains at Tucson’s University Medical Center in critical care under life threatening conditions. She has spent over 24 hours in a medically induced coma suffering from head trauma and a fractured pelvis.

As for the whereabouts of the driver, he sped off after the collision and was later identified by the Tucson Police at a local Wal-Mart on the northwest side of Tucson. Prior to the Tucson Police Department arriving at Wal-Mart, the driver called the emergency response crew and turned himself into authorities. The media relations sergeant at TPD, Pete Dugan confirms that “alcohol and speed [seemed] to have been a factor in the collision”. The driver is currently in custody at the Pima County Jail and has been charged with a DUI, aggravated assault, child abuse, felony endangerment, and fleeing the scene of a crime. Together as Wildcats, our hearts are heavy for these students and their families during this time of misfortune and we wish them a speedy recovery back to full health!

I believe there is an important takeaway from this incident that we all must learn from as we continue to go through the motions of our daily lives here at the U of A; DRINKING AND DRIVING IS FATAL. There are hundreds of statistics I could give to attempt to convey how crucial this topic is, but for most people who have never been directly affected by drunk driving, these statistics are simply just numbers. But in turn, for those who have lost a loved one to drinking and driving, each number represents a tragic loss.

Things to be aware of when drinking alcohol…

1.     BE RESPONSIBLE

2.     Choose a designated driver

3.     Call a taxi, Uber, or Lyft

4.     Hide the car keys of those drinking

 

Tips to detect drunk drivers…

1.     Making wide turns

2.     Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line

3.     Almost striking an object or vehicle

4.     Driving on the wrong side of the road

5.     Driving at a very slow speed

6.     Stopping without reason

7.     Braking erratically

8.     Responding slowly to traffic signals

9.     Turning abruptly or illegally

10.  Driving after dark without headlights on