A Letter to Those Who Drive Under the Influence

I am not writing this address with hate, I am writing it with the highest degree of concern. So, please, hear me out.

With break just around the corner, and New Years at the end of the month, some of us university students will definitely be doing a little celebrating. This is why I write this letter now. If you have ever, or might ever, drive under the influence, please please please reconsider. Maybe you have done it in the past and everything went okay, maybe you’re only buzzed and think you can manage, but it only takes one time for that to change. And I know the “it only takes once” is probably a cliché thing to say, but it’s true.

Driving under the influence is a real thing. It isn’t just something there are laws against to be extra cautious just in case. People aren’t making a big deal or overreacting. It is the leading cause of death on roads in BC for a reason. According to Government BC, “the risk of motor vehicle collisions that result in injuries and/or fatalities significantly increases when the driver is affected by alcohol or drugs.”

It’s easy, especially if you’ve done it before, to think that getting in accidents while under the influence is something that only happens to other people. But I’m asking you to please stop for a moment and ask yourself, is it really worth the risk? Yes, transit is the actual worst, and driving is so much easier, because it's a lot less of a hassle. But the potential consequences of getting into an accident are immense.

You could lose your life, become seriously (maybe permanently) injured, or face legal repercussions. The lives of others could be taken or changed by a serious injury. If someone else was affected by the accident, you would have to carry that with you for the rest of your life.

I’m writing this letter because I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want you to lose your life, or be hurt, or be burdened by someone else being hurt. I don’t want someone else to lose their life or have their future be permanently affected because of an injury. You are a person who deserves to live your life till you grow old. You are a person who has people who care deeply about you and if anything were to happen to you, those people would be crushed. Those other people, they are people just like you. They deserve a long life and have loved ones too.  It would be awful if that was taken away from you, or if your friends and families had to face that kind of loss.

I can agree, driving is convenient. But, when you think about it, do the alternatives really seem worse than the potential consequences? Transit does suck, but if you go in a group, it’s a lot safer, less stressful, and more fun! If you have the option of staying the night where you’ve been drinking, or somewhere nearby, that’s also not a bad option! You don’t have to leave early to catch a bus, or suffer through the length of a transit trip home. Honestly, that seems like my lazy girl dream. Or maybe talk to your friends, see if they would be interested in setting up a designated driver situation. You can each take turns being the one who has to drive. If no one wants to drive, maybe consider agreeing to do a taxi carpool and split the cost. Taxis are ridiculously expensive, but if you go in a group to one persons house to spend the night, the fare can be significantly reduced.

I know these options seem less favourable compared to the ease of just driving. If you look at the big picture, though, taking a bus to and from a venue is a lot nicer than having your life changed through hurting yourself or another. If something were to happen to someone you loved because of a DUI accident, wouldn’t you wish that the driver had went through the minor inconvenience of avoiding driving?

So I ask you, (for your sake, for your friends’ and family’s sakes, for the sake of other people and their friends and family), please think twice about driving under the influence. And if you are stubborn and still think you’ll be fine if you do it because it only happens to other people, please, at least don’t take the risk this upcoming holiday season. Please safeguard the wellbeing of yourself and others so that no one’s holidays are dimmed by the tragedy of a DUI accident. Please.

 

With Sincerest Wishes for a Warm and Safe Holidays,

Emeralde

 

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