Drunk driving is about as unfashionable as wearing fur. Most of us know roughly how much we can drink before we’re at risk of getting into trouble on the roads, but at the end of the day, we think it’s wrong because it’s illegal right? Have you actually stopped to think about the morality behind the decision to drink and drive?
Choosing to drive drunk brings into question the subject of morality. Yes, morality is philosophically very subjective; however, in the simplest of terms, it is the judgement to distinguish between right and wrong. This judgement assumes you are of sound mind, and yet we all know the main effect of alcohol is impairment of mental agility. If you are not of sound mind, there is no way you could possibly be in the position to judge between right or wrong.
As I see it, drunk driving is knowingly getting into your car with a skewed sense of morality. As if driving isn’t one of the riskier activities you engage with in your daily life already, choosing to get into a car at your most vulnerable and impose that vulnerability on everyone else with whom you may come into contact with is, putting it lightly, inconsiderate as hell. You take the choice away from others entirely.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 people die every day in motor crashes that involve a drunk driver in the USA. Which equates to one alcohol-related road death every 51 minutes, and occupies one-third of all motor deaths annually. Notice how these fatality statistics specify “people” and not “drunk drivers”. That means that sober drivers and passengers who are morally aware and innocent die as victims too. Do you imagine these victims to be adults? Children? How many?
The next worst case scenario is that there is only one fatality: your own. I wonder who out of your nearest and dearest would really lose it without you, really miss you, really not tolerate life without you. Or perhaps you’d prefer to survive and deal with the consequences of murder. While charges brought upon you by the state would depend on the circumstances, you could have vehicular manslaughter to look forward to, or perhaps straight murder, depending on what state you’re in.
Even if you’re lucky enough to escape hurting yourself and others, you still run the risk of losing your license, alongside a prison sentence. Drunk driving is a total disregard and absolute disrespect for your life as it is and for those who depend on you. Losing your license affects your employment, your ability to get around and your ability to carry on with life as you know it. In many instances, the simple fact that your license has been revoked prevents you from gaining employment, or even carrying out your own job properly, often with the outcome of dismissal.
When I think about what drunk driving says – what your decision to get into your car says when you know you shouldn’t – it says that you have no appreciation of how valuable your life is or the lives of others. That as someone who is lucky enough to belong to the privileged class in this world who owns a car, you are ready to, unwittingly or not, throw that all away.
Here’s a wonderful list of alternatives to consider instead:
- Uber, Lyft or some other ride-sharing app – they’re super easy to use and not very expensive at all (well most of the time… surge pricing on high drinking-and-driving nights is not cool, Uber!). Either way, the price of using one of these apps is definitely not anywhere close to as expensive as that DUI fine.
- Trains, buses, subways, and taxis – if you’re in the city, in particular, they’re usually all over the place.
- A designated driver – it’s easier to find a designated driver for nights out than you may think. It may sound bad, but if you find a friend who needs a little extra cash or a favor, nine out of ten times they’ll probably agree to help out in return. Try throwing out a little call-to-action on Facebook or Twitter requesting a DD in return for some cash money $$$.
- Some bars even offer discount deals and incentives for designated drivers or people who choose to get a ride home instead of driving. See what the bars in your area offer!
- Maybe just take it easy on the Tequila shots, love – Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a cold glass of Moscato or a Sex on the Beach as much as anyone, but if you have a tendency to think about driving when you drink, that’s a place you may not even want to put yourself in, to begin with.
There are many more options out there that I’m probably forgetting. Honestly, I just will never understand the drinking and driving thing. It’s so incredibly dangerous. And why would you want to wake up the morning after drinking with any more regrets than you’ll probably already have, anyway?
Get with it, people. It’s 2017 and we have so many technological advances and opportunities available that aim to make our lives easier. There’s just no excuse for any more of these drunk-driving-related deaths.
Featured image via weheartit.