Drunk driving is the nation’s most frequently committed violent crime.
Sunday is New Year’s Eve and despite falling on a Sunday, there are still plenty of opportunities to party in Edgar County. That doesn’t even take into account the New Years Day football parties. And at those parties, some people will enjoy an adult beverage or two. Or six.
That’s fine, so long as you’re 21 or older. Have fun. Tie one on. Dance like nobody’s watching. Whatever.
Just don’t get behind the wheel of a car when the party is over.
If all people were rational, there would be zero drunk driving incidents.
They would understand calling a friend who is sober for a ride is far wiser than risking thousands of dollars in fines, higher insurance costs, etc., if the police catch them. That doesn’t even include the possible thousands of dollars in medical bills for a stay in the hospital.
They would realize wrapping the car around a tree and losing driving privileges are real possibilities and riding a bike or horse to work in January is not fun.
They would worry about losing their job all together — or finding another job — with a DUI on their criminal record.
They would remember lawyers charge a lot of money, and that life is always better when you aren’t paying a lawyer.
They would recognize jail is not a happy place.
They would have respect for life — their own life and the lives of other people on the roadways. They would not want to carry the guilt that comes with killing or maiming someone while driving drunk.
But not all people are rational.
If you’ve ever known anyone who has been killed or injured in a drunk driving accident, you know the toll it takes on family and friends. Some never recover from the physical and mental injuries suffered when they are involved in a drunk driving accident whether as the driver or a passenger.
Drunk driving is not a mistake. A mistake is missing your turnpike exit. Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. It is a decision someone makes knowing all of the potential consequences — and all of the other, safe options. There are no excuses.
This New Year’s Eve, we really hope you choose to not drink and drive. And, if you do choose to drink and drive, we really hope the cops catch you before you hurt somebody.