One-third of all road accidents in the United States are as a result of drunk driving. In the year 2007 alone, the nation lost over 13,000 citizens in the name of road accidents. As if that is not enough, every forty minutes, United States of America loses a citizen due to alcohol-impaired driving. Therefore, every day in America, 27 people perish in drunk driving crashes. You do not need to be an analyst to tell that these statistics are far too much worrying. Makes you want to ask the question; how many more people do we have to lose as a nation until we can take this matter with the seriousness it deserves? Is the matter really beyond us or do we just choose to turn a blind eye on the same? Human life is sacred. The fact that to date, no one has been able to create it means it is a masterpiece and for that reason should be respected at all costs. This explains why birthdays are much celebrated whereas deaths are moments of pure sorrow and grief. The Almighty is the only giver of life and the right to take it should only be reserved to Him. However, drunk drivers do not seem to be in agreement with this, and that is why they continue to jeopardize the lives of others every time they get behind the wheel under the influence. This is a position paper, and it is going to expound on my thoughts, feelings and stand on drunk driving (Thompson, 2008).
By the time, one is old enough to get to a driving school, he/she is old enough to know about the effects of alcohol on the human body. They know too well how alcohol alters the behavior and impairs the judgment of the user either through personal experience or from friends. Those who have not had a chance to any of the above two have witnessed it in news, movies and even stories from other people. Moreover, in driving school before one can qualify as a certified driver and awarded with a driver’s license, they are made conversant with driving rules and the dangers of driving under the influence. As if that is not enough, there are posters, road signs, and ads all in an attempt to create awareness. What am I trying to say? I am trying to put across that drunk driving is never out of ignorance, they know too well what they are doing, and the dangers affiliated with the same but do it anyway. They have no much difference with those who commit homicide and are liable to face the same charges. Let me digress for a moment to paint the picture vividly (Kiesbye, 2011).
Alcohol belongs to a group of drugs called depressants. The overall effect of depressants is delayed brain function, and a person’s cognitive skills are significantly affected. These include hand-eye coordination, motor skills, judgment, reaction time and memory. We all know driving is a complex task that requires a combination of all these skills. Coordination of the hand and eye is crucial because it directs our movement on the road. A driver takes a lot of action on the road based on what they see. Their sight triggers the decision to slow down, brake, and take a right turn and obeying traffic signs. Alcohol takes away this ability; a drunk driver, for instance, may see a person and intend to brake or swerve to avoid hitting the person but since this hand-eye coordination is absent, ends up causing an accident (Martin, 2014).
Secondly, memory is important, and it helps the driver be conversant with the landscape and nature of the route taken. Memory will help a driver remember where there are bumps, round-about, zebra-crossing and even different speed limits above which he/she should not drive. Alcohol interferes with memory, and we have cases of drivers speeding past speed bumps or forgetting sharp corners and running into buildings, tree or even over cliffs. Depending on the amount of alcohol ingested, one’s vision is likely to be impaired. This is why drunk people are often staggering because they cannot tell where the ground beneath their feet is. Their vision is blurred, and some even start hallucinating. Needless to say, what such a person is capable of doing once they get behind the wheel (Illinois State Police, 2007).
In summary, drunk driving is the leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults. Drunk driving is a crime punishable by law with a jail term or hefty fines. However, not many drunk drivers make it to the courtroom because of the severe nature of injuries sustained, and some succumb to it altogether. Traffic police also play a role in facilitating drunk driving. Some of them are corrupt and take bribes giving such offenders tickets and the mandate to kill. There may be strict laws in place to deal with drunk drivers, but the best ambassador is you. It starts with you, make it a personal initiative to take a cab when need be and advise your friends the same (Commission on Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program;, 2014).
Commission on Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program;. (2014). All about DUI: driving under the influence: a guide for your information. Virginia: Richmond.
Illinois State Police. (2007). DUI: driving under the influence. Illinois: Springfield.
Kiesbye, S. (2011). Drunk driving. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Martin, J. (2014). Driving under the influence. Melbourne: Victory Books.
Thompson, T. (2008). Drunk driving. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.