I haven’t had any alcohol in three years and two months.  I woke up one February morning in 2002 and said, “No more” because my brain was partially functional as it was, and alcohol wasn’t going to revive the unused portions. But I’m not against drinking. I can understand other people’s need for a drink (or to get drunk) now and then. What I DO have a problem with, however, is people who drink and then DRIVE. How many commercials have been shown on TV for the past 20 years? HOW many accident stories could you get out of family/friends/friends of friends/acquaintances/strangers with one question? And how can you ignore the statistics (however inaccurate they are) of drinking-and-driving-related deaths?

It’s 2005! Automobiles have been around for what, 100 years or so? Haven’t we figured out that drinking alcohol (something that impairs judgment and messes up the ability to function) should NOT be combined with the operation of a vehicle? Have we not all evolved to that point yet? Are there still some of us out there who think it’s okay? Well, let them keep thinking it’s okay…until they get into a head-on collision and die. Then they might have figured it out, but they’ll be dead.

There are people out there who will say they’ve driven drunk “hundreds” of times (an exaggeration, because I doubt that they’ve counted EVERY SINGLE TIME they’ve driven drunk unless they’ve got a few steering wheels lying around that are full of notches). They also might say that nothing bad has happened so far, so why should something happen anytime soon, or at ALL? Because you never can predict the chain of events that might lead to somebody running out in front of your car for some obscene reason and, because you’re drunk, you’re going to hit them because your reaction time is delayed.

I do not understand the “I’m drunk but I’m still gonna drive” mentality. If the person has had “a few” and they say they’re okay to drive, they MIGHT be okay to drive, but it’s still not a good idea. You never know when you’re going to have to react swiftly to something. I can understand the possibility of someone having WAY too much to drink, blacking out, and then driving. When someone is blacked out (as I had been a few times), they have no idea and NO control over WHAT they’re doing. All I can remember from being blacked out is faint, brief images splashed out over long periods of time. It’s a gamble as to whether or not you’re going to be okay once that period ends.

If you have ONE beer and you take your time in drinking it, then no, you’re not drunk (depending on how much you weigh, how often you drink and what your tolerance of alcohol is). Use your judgment. Everyone knows that period of “feeling good”, that GREAT feeling you have when you’ve drank “just enough” but you’re not stumbling drunk and slurring your words…just “feeling good”. Even at that “feeling good” point, you shouldn’t be driving. How many taxis are around? What’s the big deal in spending extra money (no matter the amount) to have someone else drive?

I don’t care if it’s a member of my family, a close friend, or someone I look up to and admire: if they drive drunk and get killed, I have no sympathy. They took their chances and ended up dead, and for that I’ll curse their name ’til the end of my time. You’ve seen what happens to drunk people who drive and die, you’ve been warned, and the fact that you took a chance regardless only proves your stupidity.

I’ve been a designated driver (DD) many times, and I’ll be glad to do it many more times, no matter how many people puke in the vehicle or be annoying or dirty up the seats with ketchup and relish…I can put up with all that as long as I know that I’m getting drunk people from one point to another without any of them having (or trying) to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Another thing I hate about drunks: when they get in your face and try to be philosophical and intelligent. This has happened to me many times. I can’t tell whether they’re just setting me up so they can punch me in the face or if they’re actually being serious. I think it’s part of this “I’m always right and I’m going to prove it even though I’m drunk” mentality. And if you say ANYTHING besides “yes” to what they’re telling you, they get irritated and (a) want to fight you, (b) argue with you really loudly to the point of you both wanting to fight, or (c) stumble away and strike up the same conversation with someone else. There are many more possibilities, but these are the main ones that I’ve come across.

And what is with these guys who get drunk just to fight? I was a DD at a grad party in Mackenzie (2004, I think) and two kids walked past me talking about not being drank enough to “feel no pain”; idiots, the whole lot of ’em (not just those two tumbleweeds). What is the fascination behind getting drunk just to yell at people and throw punches while stumbling around? My friends and I used to fight when we were drunk, but we were WRESTLING (fake fighting, like the W.W.E.); it was fun and no one got hurt (well, maybe once, but it wasn’t serious). Why do guys in bars always stare other people down and get in their faces? I’ve never understood why drunk people are the easiest to rile up. Maybe it’s something to do with alcohol itself and not the tempers of the people who drink it. I don’t know. Personally, I think “they” messed up when declaring which drugs should and should not be legal  (I’d rather have had marijuana legalized than alcohol; less violence). And yes, ALCOHOL IS A DRUG (for those who say that they “don’t do drugs”, yet consume alcohol).

“Drink responsibly”, they say. I don’t think those two words go together. Usually, the point of drinking alcohol is…to get DRUNK (something that holds NO responsibility whatsoever)? Yes, you should be responsible and be aware of how much you drink, but if you’re DRIVING YOU SHOULDN’T BE DRINKING AT ALL!

So make your choice: drink OR drive.

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