It’s Not Worth It: Prevent Drunk Driving

Gwen Ueding | Designer

By the Editorial Board

Last weekend, the cold reality of drunk driving gripped the Baylor community just five minutes from campus. Although it’s not the leading cause of car accidents, it’s the deadliest and, unfortunately, it’s usually one of the most preventable.

Instead of seeing this story fade from the minds of the Baylor community over the next two days, we need to understand that this tragedy is also a time for us to remember that it could affect anyone. Take this opportunity to realize the current dangers of drunk driving. Denormalize having a drink and driving in the same night.

It’s not worth the shot.

In 2020, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. This is 32 people die every day because of drunk driving. Forty-two percent of all drinking drivers two years ago were between 16 and 24 years oldwhich means that nearly half of all drink-driving deaths have been caused by people our age.

It’s important to understand that while these stats are important, what happened last weekend wasn’t just a number.

If you’re wondering if you’re “good to drive” or not, chances are you don’t have to stand in line or stand on one foot to know you’re not. On average, after one drink, your judgment is already impaired. After two drinks, muscle coordination becomes poor and it is more difficult to detect danger. After three drinks, thinking is slowed down and there is a marked loss of reaction time and control.

It only takes two to three glasses for an average person to reach a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08%, which can then land you with a DWI. If you are under 21, anything over 0% BAC is illegal and you may be charged with a DUI.

Maybe you’ve “done it a million times” and “everything will be fine.” Get pulled over for something as simple as speeding even 0.09%, and you’re risking your entire future.

Drunk driving affects more people than most realize. This puts everyone in the car at risk, not just the driver. This puts each of the families of these people at risk of receiving a call indicating that their loved one has had an accident. This puts anyone on the road in danger of being run over by the drunk driver.

When there are several parties at the same time, the roads fill up with people walking and driving to get there. If a driver is not focused – drunk or not – they could very easily hit someone and seriously injure them.

As students, we forget that we don’t all live in the Baylor bubble. Most of us live right next to families, which we also endanger when we drive recklessly. Waco is already a pretty dangerous place to drive.

Make a plan before you even have the opportunity to drink. Have a designated driver and hold him accountable. Get an Uber instead of driving yourself; if you take an $8 Uber with three friends, you’ll only have to pay $2 each.

Is your future worth risking more than $2?

If you find it hard to say no to alcohol, Baylor’s Beauchamp Detox Center will help you before you do serious harm to yourself or those around you.

Lariat News editor Ana Ruiz Brictson, one of the reporters covering the Sept. 17 fatal crash, is on the editorial board but was not on this editorial.

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