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Our 2018 Scholarship Winner -Alexandra G., San Diego State University -Read Essay »

Time's Up for Drinking and Driving

Refusing to drink and drive is the type of issue people collectively agree on since the beneficiary of the act is everyone. Having a hard time nurturing any kind of sympathy for the reckless intoxicated driver, representing a menace for not only themselves but for all the others that happen to be in the vicinity of their moving vehicle, is justifiable. The perks of living in the 21st century should be about the betterment of one’s life, not its endangerment.

Order a taxi, ask a friend to drive you instead, hand over the keys to the car if you know that after a certain point you would be inclined to become less responsible when drinking. Being aware of your personally-tailored limits in regard to your alcohol tolerance truly is where the lifesaving happens. You might not legally be drunk enough according to any tests that will sneak you past the police, you might not sense that your motor skills and vision have started to slow down when you get behind the wheel, yet as time passes the fact is that alcohol will increasingly affect both your judgement and your physical body.

The ideal driving conditions, as it is, happen to be precisely a combination of sharp reflexes and a clear focus with alcohol impairing both. In an attempt to find a loophole, someone who has been drinking and is not feeling drunk might argue that it is a relatively short distance they would have to travel to and so by the time they arrive at their destination it would be safe for the effects of alcohol to finally emerge. That would be a wonderful skill to have, to repeatedly hit snooze on your drunk status until your time of convenience. However, it will do well to keep in mind that there are quite a few factors that might speed up the way alcohol metabolizes in one’s body, like their levels of fatigue and stress, which should put to rest the short distance excuse.

If, as chance would have it, one might find themselves among the happy ones who have survived a collision provoked by their drunk driving, they would be soon learning some quite harsh and very expensive lessons in regard to crime and punishment. A perfectly clean record could very well be stained by more than a few felonious charges, available for access for all those interested. As a consequence, society now has legally supported reasons to view them as an unruly citizen, a serious burden to bear not only in terms of personal image and self-esteem within their respective community, but also regarding any means of income. Their current employer might want such troublemaking person replaced, future ones might dismiss their impressive qualifications and achievements and present the opportunity to somebody that, in their eyes, does not carry the mark of irresponsibility. All around, it would take a lot of time and effort to prove themselves as capable of making a smart decision.

Lead by example. No amount of preaching would solidify the message for the various groups one is a part of, from smaller ones, like friends and family, to larger crowds, like the people from work or acquaintances from the neighborhood, of not driving while drunk quite like displaying a safe and responsible behavior for your own persona.

Alexandra G., San Diego State University


We also are considering these applicants automatically in our 2019 scholarship due to their unique ideas in their essays:

Alek S. - Morehead State University - Read Essay »

"A boat can float in water, but it can also sink in it." These are the words that come to mind whenever I see another tragic death relating to driving while intoxicated. According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2016, up 1.7 percent from 10,320 in 2015. In 2016 alcohol-impaired crash fatalities accounted for 28 percent of all crash fatalities. (https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-alcohol-impaired-driving) This alone should dissuade people from driving after consuming any alcohol. But unfortunately it is not ending anytime soon because of one simple fact, people are stupid. Not only do these unfortunate casualties result in the lessening of the population one poor sap at a time but the emotional impact to the victims families is probably just as if not more tragic than the death itself. Not only this, but often these intoxicated people crash into other pedestrians or motorists in their alcohol induced calamity. Further destroying life and crushing the loved ones of people killed in these preventable pileups. One of the biggest reasons to avoid drinking and driving is the effects of alcohol on the brain, more specifically the way these effects change and inhibit your skills as a driver. "Alcohol is a depressant because it slows down the functions of the central nervous system. This means that normal brain function is delayed, and a person is unable to perform normally. Alcohol affects a person's information-processing skills, also known as cognitive skills, and hand-eye coordination, also referred to as psychomotor skills." The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reported in their online article, Driving While Impaired -- Alcohol and Drugs. "Consuming alcohol prior to driving greatly increases the risk of car accidents, highway injuries, and vehicular deaths. The greater the amount of alcohol consumed, the more likely a person is to be involved in an accident. When alcohol is consumed, many of the skills that safe driving requires - such as judgment, concentration, comprehension, coordination, visual acuity, and reaction time - become impaired." (https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/driving-while-impaired-alcohol-and-drugs) But I do not just speak from a position of ignorance, I know firsthand how deadly is the game of DUI. In 2015, I logged into my computer to join a friend in an online game. When he and I finally met, he seemed far less interested than normal. I asked him what was wrong, he informed me that his mother had been fatally struck by an intoxicated truck driver. I was shocked, I wasn't entirely sure what to say to him. I could only offer my sincerest prayers and apologies for such a devastating ordeal. He was a broken man, and the bandage of my words wasn't enough to heal the trauma of the experience. After battling depression for the next year, one day I logged in, and saw him offline. And never saw him again. Drinking and driving is like throwing a stone in the ocean. You can do it easily, but you never know how deep the stone will sink after that initial impact.

Erin D. - University of Texas at Arlington - Read Essay »

The other car didn't see me, mom, it hit me like a load. As I lay there on the pavement, Mom, I hear the policeman say, the other guy is drunk, mom, and I will be the one to pay.The death of an Innocent' is a poem written in 1996 with an unknown author. The poem is written as a letter from a daughter to her mother about how she had gone to a party and chosen to do as her mom had said and did not drink and drive. As this innocent girl left the party she describes how someone else at the party did not make the same choice as her and got behind the wheel intoxicated and hit her. The remainder of the poem is about the girl panicking and saying her goodbyes as her life fades away. The poem ends with I have one last question Mom, before I say goodbye. I didn't drink and drive Mom so why am I the one to die? Choosing to drink and drive is one of the most irresponsible and selfish acts of our world today. Not only are you risking your own life but also the lives of anyone around you. According to cdc.gov, everyday 29 people die in a motor vehicle crash due to a drunk driver. That averages out to one death every fifty minutes. However, like the girl in The Death of an Innocent, not all of the people killed in one of the accidents were under the influence. They were just at the wrong place at the wrong time and because of a careless decision of someone else, their life was ended. As a high school graduate and current college student, I hear about wild parties that my classmates go to. It seemed like every Monday morning would bring a new buzz about what happened at the party everyone went to that weekend and how hammered they would get. Unfortunately, I watched firsthand how drinking, especially underage drinking, can change people. I had a group of friends that were my best friends since kindergarten. They were such sweet and smart girls, one even was number one in our class. The summer after our sophomore year changed a lot of things. A couple of the girls began going to parties. This lead to drinking, smoking, and even run ins with the police. I watched my best friends since day one turn into people I did not recognize. I tried talking to them and helping them but they simply did not want to change. They tried multiple times to convince me to join them at these parties and even tried tricking me into it with no avail. It was not long before we all realized how different we were and all went our separate ways. Even though we were not close anymore, I would still worry about the trouble they got in and if they were driving home intoxicated after these parties. Every day on social media I see heartbreaking stories of people whose lives were taken because of the careless decision to drink and drive. I believe that because so many people's stories go viral my generation is finally beginning to see the consequences of the actions of others unfortunate decisions. As a result, I believe and hope that more and more people are choosing to make the responsible decision to call a friend or an Uber to get home without endangering others. I hope and pray that my generation can put a stop to drinking and driving so less people like the girl in The Death of An Innocent, who chose to make the right decision can make it home safely.

Laura H. - Hampton University - Read Essay »

Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. Since then the numbers have risen tremendously. The legal age to drink in the United States is twenty-one. However, many people under the age of twenty-one tend to drink and drive the most. In 2015, 2,333 teens in the United States ages 16-19 were killed and 235,845 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.1 That means that six teens ages 16-19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Teen alcohol use kills four thousand and three hundred on average a year. As I began to learn how to drive at the age of sixteen, my grandfather always told me when I'm driving, I'm driving for myself and also other people on the road'. I've never really understood the severity of his statement, until I experienced one of my associates being severely hurt while driving drunk. After the boys varsity basketball game my friends and I gathered together to celebrate at Cookout. Shortly after, many of my associates wanted to go with the upperclassmen to a house party to drink and have fun. Many of us went to the party, and some of us drank and some didn't. One of my friends got extremely drunk and decided that they were completely capable of getting themselves and two other friends home even though they were drunk. On the way home they hit a tree that fell through the windshield. All three of them had severe injuries, but also they almost hit a young boy riding his bike late at night. Thankfully the child saw the car swerving out of control and moved to the other side of the road. Although they were the only people affected by the crash, they could've hurt someone else. Being mindful of others before ourselves can help save many families from the trauma and heartache of their loved ones being killed by drunk drivers. Not allowing any of our friends and family members to believe that they are capable of driving while drunk can help avoid life- threating accidents. Eliminating actions that will only negatively affect ourselves, and destroy others will help decrease the rate of drunk driving accidents by especially teens, and other adults.

Joseph M. - University of Arizona - Read Essay »

The air is getting thick with moisture. Every breath feels like I am drinking a glass of water. The ball is slick! I yell as I drop a perfect pass. It has just started to sprinkle here in east Texas on an otherwise perfect Friday night. The varsity football team is playing a home game and the entire town is out to support them. For an unathletic freshman like me, the closest I will ever be to those Friday night lights is near the parking lot playing catch with my friends. It's Friday the 13th October 2006, we are all getting ready for Halloween as some of the more superstitious people warn us of some supposed bad luck. As I go to pick up the football, which I had inexplicably missed, I notice some of the girls from my class gathering in a larger than normal circle. I head over with my friend to check it out. They are talking the usual nonsenses of who likes who and what clothes are fashionable for the time. But in-between all that I hear something worthwhile. There has been a car accident down the road, less than five miles away. A drunk driver had run into another truck. Mr. Hendricks and his daughter died that night twelve years ago. Some asshole decided that he could make it home despite how much he had drank, and he hit a good man and his daughter and took them from this world. He was so drunk he didn't even know that he had gotten into an accident, meanwhile a Mr. Hendricks and his daughter were left in a truck to burn to death as they frantically searched for a way out on that dreary Friday night. Some people think death is the worst thing in the world, I wish it was so. I, as well as an entire town, had to watch a grown woman go through all the pain that comes with losing a family. There are no words that can describe what she went through, and I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like to lose that much in one night. People think that a single night of drinking will only result in a single night's worth of consequences. That isn't so, actions have reactions. For some it will only be a 15-minute mistake that won't make a difference on their life. For others it will change the entire core of someone's existence. And at the end of the day that is something that you have to ask yourself. Is it worth the risk to get your car home, to save some cab fare? Or would you rather gamble someone else's life?

Shaina L. - University of Arizona - Read Essay »

I was in a car accident last summer. It was a profound moment in my life where I realized that I had potential to be a murderer. With my car well placed into the other's passenger seat, I was lucky no one was sitting there. Although no one was physically injured, my life was changed forever. No longer did I have a vehicle to drive and I was thankful for that. It took my months to get behind the wheel again. To this day, I cannot drive with holding back a panic attack. For my boyfriend's birthday, we went to the race track and I broke down in tears at the thought of driving recklessly for sport. Besides the obvious issues without having a vehicle, I had trouble in school. It took me awhile to care about things so silly as homework and tests when my life seemed to be able to end in a second. I had a hard time caring about the things that used to be important to me and my grades struggled in the fall. It didn't seem to matter anymore, and why should it? Getting over this trama is still a struggle for me but I work hard, knowing that it could all be for nothing in the end. Drinking and driving to me is irresponsible. I make mistakes like this car accident without the increase in disfunctions of my reflexes caused by alcohol. To reduce the chances of this happening again, I highly recommend that all people take a step back to examine whether they want to die or not. I do not, that is why I chose to not drink and drive. In our current society, Uber, Lyft, and other services exist for this one purpose. There is no excuse for drunk drivers. Just don't do it.

Jakob V. - American Musical and Dramatic Academy - Read Essay »

Drinking and driving is a purely selfish act. It is an act in which one's hubris overtakes and removes the control from those who are diligent in their own safety, and those who have consciously chosen to consult their wisdom. To drink and drive says that you are confident enough in your inebriated state to not only risk your life, but the lives of anyone you may come in contact with on your journey. Apart from the lives that may be ended by the unfortunate choice to drive while intoxicated, their is the potential to ruin countless lives that are associated. I believe it is then important to consider the cost of the many correlated happenings that are in tandem with drunk driving. The average uber ride costs $13.36. This amount can be nominally more than that of the gas to drive. The average cost of a totaled car would be that of a car, along with raised insurance rates, and the associated ticket and demerits from DWI. The average cost of a funeral can range between 7,000 and $10,000, and in the case where both parties to have afford such a situation means a minimum of $14,000. Next comes the less simple aspects to consider with a dollar value. The cost of a life, undoubtedly priceless, can not be repaid once taken. The struggles and stress put on the families of all those involved echoes through work. Depression, blame and anger all work to ruin lives without being the individual directly injured or affected by the drunk driver. To consider these things is to also understand that there are countless more to consider. Costs that butterfly effect from the one action to another. This then ends with the question of which is more worth it. Sacrificing unfounded pride, and showing consideration for others and spending $13, or the selfishness of making others pay for your life ending mistakes.

Mairim A. - Northeast Ohio Medical University - Read Essay »

There are no words to say what is already been said over a thousand times. There is not experience that we have not actually seen, some people learn from seeing, some learn from friends and some others learn because they have been in the actual fire. Sometimes our social environment influence, our family, depression, or just the simple fact that is a good night to go out with friends. Having a couple of shots might keep you in a happy state, is hard to understand that you won't be that person that can get drunk. We are completely mistaken, anyone can get drunk and most sadly drive home in that state. We should not drink and drive because if you as a person do not value the of your life; at least have respect for those out in the street, the same night you went to drink. Those people who do value their lives, their children, their dreams, their family and their future. Is sad just the idea of taking the life of someone just because we are being irresponsible. When I was younger, there was one night I went out with my friends, I do not drink; however, this night was a Friday; my whole week as a usual full-time student, the week was filled with assignments, projects, exams, and homework, with so much stress I was excited to get to the end of the week. Without thinking I decided to have some drinks and some reward after such a heavy week. When I left my house, I remember my dad telling me not to drink and drive, and if something happens to call for help immediately. As soon as I arrived at the place I started dancing and drinking, I have fun, I was in the happy state for a while; but I drank one more shot and everything was going around, I was dizzy, I could not hear my voice, I could not focus on my phone to dial a number, I could not find my friends; sadly I just sat in the bar and asked for a glass of water. After I was able to gain equilibrium I barely when walking to my car, and I was completely decided to get home safe; but at the moment, I remembered the voice of my dad. Instead of driving, I decided to call my dad, He was so furious at me, so disappointed. My dad went, and picked me up, after seeing him I completely fell asleep. The next day I just had flashes, but I could not remember in fact. There are plenty of ways to avoid drinking and driving; even more nowadays that we have these apps on our phones. For me, I cannot think in the fact That I could have driven that night and close my eyes maybe for a second and have caused a car accident and more than that the loss of someone's life. Even if you feel you can drive, please do not do it, things can go south, completely different how we imagine in our minds.

Olivia D. - Miracosta College - Read Essay »

There is never a reason to drink and drive. The consequences are numerous and are easily avoidable by simply not picking up the keys to drive yourself. Not only are you putting your own life at risk, you are putting all of those on the road with you in danger as well. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control, website, Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes. You are putting your future at stake, not only as in receiving a DUI but risking injury or even death. The choice of drinking must be made responsibly and with that responsibility comes making the right decision on how transportation should be taken. Today, especially, there is never a reason to even consider doing so since there are even applications designed to pick you up. Other options exist also, taking a taxi, calling a friend or even a family member. My mom always told me she'd rather get the call to pick me up no matter where I was than to drive intoxicated and get the phone call that something tragic had happened. This offer from her still stands. In high school my boyfriend was being driven home and while going through an intersection, the car was hit by a drunk driver that had gone through their red light. Their car was thrown through the intersection and into an adjacent traffic light pole. Although he sustained a concussion, he's still here today and luckily no one died in this instance. Other cases may not be so lucky. There is a reason the legal limit is 0.08% in California. The CDC states that after 4 drinks, about a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08%, muscle coordination becomes poor, it's harder to detect danger, and judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired. If any of these symptoms listed resonate with how you feel before getting into your car, driving should not be an option. And if you are having trouble deciding, that hesitation should give you're the obvious answer to not drive. The best decision to make is to designate a driver, use a transportation App or just don't drive at all. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html The adversity I have experienced is that statistically the odds have been against me from the beginning. I grew up being raised by a single mother, without knowing my father, in a home that didn't foster the most encouraging behavior. I learned from a young age to get good grades and focus on my education in order to better myself. Later on, lack of confidence in myself and my education caused me to stray from my goals but eventually I found my way back to higher education. Currently I am a Full-Time student and my major is Biotechnology: Research & Development. Through good grades and fighting for myself I have been able to put myself through college on my own. To continue to do so I would thoroughly appreciate this educational assistance. I will be the first with a college degree in my family and this scholarship would help me further to achieve this dream. Thank you for your consideration!

Samantha H. - Radford University - Read Essay »

Currently, I attend a university that has a reputation as a huge party school. Before entering college, we are required to take an online course regarding the dangers of alcohol. Studies show that many students begin drinking before college but continue drinking as a ritual of higher education. My parents have always stressed upon me the dangers as well. I understand that my focus should be on my classes and not being a part of the party crowd. During my freshman year, a 19 year old student's death was determined to be a cause of alcohol poisoning. His dorm room was searched where he had been found unresponsive. Police said that the student displayed signs of extreme intoxication and passed away later in the morning after being found. Too often I see students bringing alcohol on to campus in order to hide it in their rooms. I am sure that it is safe to assume, some of that alcohol may have already been consumed in their vehicle before arriving on campus. Although we think that younger college students are more prone to drinking and driving, a new study shows that 25% of 21-year-old college students admitted they had driven drunk, compared to 17% of 19-year-olds and 20% of 20-year-olds. In addition, 63% of 21-year-old students had driven after drinking compared with 19-year-olds (42%) and 20-year-olds (48%). It is suggested that these older college students may have more opportunities to drink and drive than younger college students. Perhaps it is because it is easier to patronize bars because they have their own transportation and less adult supervision. Often times I think of those students who are off campus, consuming alcohol at various parties. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), researchers estimate that each year, 1825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes. I strive so hard to be successful in my life and I realize how quickly my life can be taken or significantly altered because of someone else's poor judgement. Because of the reputation that this particular campus is known for, I often remain on campus to avoid the possible dangers on the roads, especially weekends. Not only do I think of how my own life could possibly be affected but others as well. Young adults my think they are invincible. I realize, I too, have made decisions in my young life that have not been well thought out because of my lack of life experiences. I do, however, see that my struggle to pay for college should not be overshadowed by living it up at college. What I do now, can and will affect the rest of my life. It has been extremely difficult for me to have enough finances for college. Currently I work four part time jobs just to have enough money for college each semester. Knowing how hard I have worked to pay for college and to be successful in school, I can not imagine how devastating it would be for my parents to see my life tragically end because I could not make a wise decision to not drink and drive. Even worse, I can not imagine the lifetime regret and heartache I would have knowing that I ruined someone else's life because of what I perceived to be a night of fun.

Brian L - Vanderbilt University - Read Essay »

5,864 teenagers die of fatal car accidents each and every year. With many teenagers trying new, dangerous substances, whether they be alcoholic drinks, prescription medications, or recreational drugs, the roads aren't getting any safer. When a teenager drinks and drives, not only do they put themselves in danger, but also the other passengers in the car, other drivers and bikers on the road, and potentially, innocent pedestrians. I experienced this for myself when, a fateful three years ago, my uncle was a mere passerby on a side road near his house when a drunk teenager, illegally "borrowing" his father's joyride ran into my uncle. The car hit him straight on, showing him absolutely no mercy. The front bumper shattered his kneecap, knocking him backwards and on to the hood. The horrendous force of his body, thrown like a rag doll, against the windshield broke his clavicle and several ribs. These fractures lacerated some arteries and veins inside his body and resulted in a compound fracture; his shirt and the windshield were soon saturated with blood. It all ended when his head fatefully collided with the upper portion of the windshield, rendering him fully unconscious. When my aunt saw him in the hospital, a couple of hours after the multiple physicians did absolutely everything the could to save his life (and narrowly succeeded), she was horrified by how one careless mistake drastically changed her husband's appearance and health in only a few seconds, and for months after the collision, she and my cousins had flashbacks to that scene in the hospital whenever they stepped inside a car. Regardless of what we may think in the moment and the overwhelming sense of euphoria that comes with alcohol consumption, it is most definitely never a good idea. One little drink is never worth having someone else's blood on your hands.

Geoff P. - University of Washington - Read Essay »

Saying out loud and telling myself, I am an Alcoholic, and excepting the fact that I have a disease. Is not something I imagined as a teenager and being asked where do I see myself in ten years? Every day I took the risk of drinking and diving, I was playing with fire and didn't really know the consequences that came with it. There have been a lot of days I woke up in the back of my truck in the morning thinking, where am I?; even though I was in front of my house. As I look back on all those days I was drinking and driving, I can't believe I am alive today, where I could have ended my life in a car crash, or even killed someone driving home. It's very scary where I hear about friends passing away in a horrible car crash due to drinking and driving, and I keep thinking to myself that's going to be me one day if I don't do something about my problem. Adversities I've had to overcome due to drinking was back in 2013, I was diagnosed with liver and kidney failure due to alcoholism, which kept me from working or going to school. I was stuck in the hospital for five months fighting for my life, I was shocked that my life was at a stop when this tragic event occurred. After I was released from the hospital, I couldn't walk, I was temporally paralyzed from the waist down and had to re-learn how to walk again with the help of physical therapy; four days a week over a course of a year. My immune system and both kidneys were damaged, I had to have dialysis treatments every other day until my transplant team at The University of Washington Medical Center could find me a perfect kidney match. I'm not saying that drinking and driving got me in this situation, but I've heard many stories that started out this way and are going through exactly what I've been doing because they ended up in a car accident due to drinking and driving that damaged several organs of theirs. But every week that went by I cried and didn't want to do anything, physically and mentally I kept thinking why I drank so much in the past. Every day was a reminder that I should have listened to all my family and friends, that I was going to ruin my life with alcohol and that I was an alcoholic. Every day I could hear their voices in my head, psychologically it was hurting me from the inside out. I kept pushing myself harder and stronger each year and after four long years of waiting for a kidney transplant, I finally received a call notifying me that my hospital found a kidney match. I cried all the way to the hospital, knowing that I had a future where I didn't have to worry about whether I'm going to see the next full moon or not. My life wasn't going to be the same anymore, however, I wasn't going to make any more excuses why I couldn't keep going forward. The importance of learning that drinking or even driving under the influence is very wrong and comes with huge consequences. I've learned my lesson and from it, I only want to push forward and continue my goals, because I have a place in this world. I want to live in peace, not rest in peace.

Jacquelyn D. - Princeton University - Read Essay »

Imagine you are watching the quintessential teen movie. Cut to the house party scene. Everyone is having a great time.Teenagers flock to the party, lured by the promise of a lack of parental supervision and an abundance of alcohol. At the end of the night, the protagonist and her friends drive back home, reminiscing over all the fun, but this is not a happy ending. They never make it back to their families alive. We have been told countless times that we should never drink or drive. We have been warned through literature and film. We have seen the commercials on television, participated in campaigns at school, heard of the unfortunate statistics, and received reminders from our parents. At the same time, alcohol is often presented to us as an easy way to temporarily drown our problems or have fun. It is romanticized in music and even offered to us by our friends. Yet, when mixed with driving, the consumption of alcohol is nothing more than an easy way to inundate your life with costly and tragic consequences. These consequences are permanent and can scar you forever. Several years ago, a tragedy happened in my neighborhood. Alejandra and her best friend were attending a house party. They had been craving burgers, but neither of them had a car. They finally convinced another friend, who had been drinking alcohol, to drive them to a nearby fast food restaurant. They ordered their burgers, and headed back to the party. As they were about to turn the last corner, they crashed just two houses away from their destination. Alejandra and the driver suffered minor injuries. However, Alejandra's best friend, who was sitting in the car's backseat, died. Consuming alcohol responsibly and consciously (if you are of age) is not a problem. Humans have been drinking it for millennia. Not surprisingly, the issue of drunk driving is also an ancient one. However, what aggravates the problem today, is that we are not riding horses anymore. We are driving powerful machines that were invented for our convenience, but can quickly complicate our lives if we are operating them under the influence of alcohol. Avoiding drinking and driving has never been easier. In the past, we had to secure a designated driver or find a taxi. Today, with mobile applications like Uber and Lyft, we have designated drivers available at a touch of our cell phones. Stop drinking and driving, not only because it is illegal to do so, but for the benefit of yourself and your loved ones. Alcohol impairs your senses, therefore substantially increasing the probability of accidents. Drive responsibly to avoid losing your job, going to prison, falling in debt, or putting your life and the lives of others at risk. The consequences of driving under the influence are not just another Hollywood plot line; they are very much present in real life.

Carina D. - UC Berkeley - Read Essay »

Everything with moderation is a common phrase used for justifying an indulgence. Alcohol is no exception. The effects it creates on our body allows for releasing our inhibitions and to presumably enjoy the company we are in. Unfortunately, the mental and physical impairment that comes with drinking also lessens our ability to rationalize and in effect moderate our consumption. It of course is made worse when an inebriated person then attempts to take on the task of driving; an activity that requires the ability to make quick decisions paired with physical hand-eye coordination to execute these decisions. Unfortunately, I have witnessed the consequences of individual actions affecting their own lives and the lives of others. My experience working in an Emergency Department led me to see cases ranging cars being crashed into lampposts to patients arriving with irreparable injuries from deadly vehicle collisions. Someone's once tailored outfit now in shreds, being cut through by the ER team to assess their injuries, is an image that cannot be erased. It is extremely important to avoid drinking and driving as the worst outcomes do not usually just mean the cost of the perpetrator's life but the life of people who were unfortunately in the crossfires of impaired judgement. While I have seen some of the unfortunate consequences after an incident, it is even more unbelievable to see the frequency of DUI related news reports and how many go unreported. One common incidence is wrong way driving. A consequence of being inebriated and unable to discern the difference between a freeway entrance and exit and a dangerous one at that. A head on collision is extremely dangerous because of the highs speed both vehicles are going at and by the very small window to switch lanes and avoid the unfortunate outcome of most of these incidents, claiming the lives of several victims. Lastly, while bodily injuries can be devastating on their own, post incident consequences for the individual can make a night of drinking into a mistake that impacts the individuals' personal and professional lives. If someone who drinks under the influence is fortunate to not harm themselves or someone else, can do harm by the penalties they incur. 1st offense misdemeanors vary from 6 months in county jail, to fines, to driver's license suspensions and mandated attendance to traffic school. Multiple offenses come with increased severity of penalties. However, these short-term consequences pale in comparison to the long term social stigmatized impacts of having a DUI. License revocation removes access to the freedom of getting to work, running errands, and getting to family. Having a DUI on record, either felony or misdemeanor can result in a lost job opportunity for progressing in a career or loss of housing prospective with the usual background checks done by property managements. If going into a professional school or just going to college is the goal, having a DUI on record can result in lost financial aid and revoking scholarships. While drinking alcohol is not a crime done on its own, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated unfortunately has adverse and sometimes irreversible consequences. It highlights the importance of designated drivers, taxis, mobile transportation apps, and having friends and families encourage waiting before getting behind the wheel.

David V. - University of Portland - Read Essay »

Drunk driving is the epitome of selfishness. One should not drink and drive because they pose the risk of harming an innocent individual with possibility of death. I say this because, unfortunately, I was one of those innocent victims who had this adversity laid upon them. In 2006, my uncle's friend attempted to drunk drive them home until they crashed into a tree and my uncle took his last breath. It is unbelievable how much this event shaped my life. I, at only six years old, would soon be punished by the result of this event. My dad felt devastated and immediately entered a gruesome depression that his brother, his best friend, had passed. Since my uncle was born and my grandparents resided in Mexico, they wanted the burial to occur there. The grief blinded my undocumented father, influencing him to travel to Mexico for the burial. Saying our goodbyes in the airport, I would have never predicted that was the utter farewell to my father figure. This resulted in financial instability and in painful days for my family and I. Left alone with three of her children, my mother fell behind with mortgage payments and bills. I still recall being unable to enter my home due to the monstrous lock placed on the door with the crisp white paper that read "EVICTED." If my uncle and his friend knew that this would have been the result, they would have not stepped foot in that car. They simply overlooked and underestimated the evil possibilities that were created by these actions. Even though I lived a horrible situation caused by drunk driving, I cannot imagine losing someone close to me due to somebody else's selfish actions. No one should have to face the consequences of another's actions.

Ian M. - Duke University - Read Essay »

Hey! Hold my beer! is a popular phrase that unfortunately for many people ends up being their last. There is something profoundly insipid about consuming alcohol and performing stunts that risk one's physical safety. It is entirely different to endanger the lives of others through similar actions. In our society, to harm ourselves is unacceptable, and to harm others in the process of harming ourselves is doubly offensive. There is a reason why drivers carry a driver's license. That card signifies that the person has the capability to correctly operate the motor vehicle. Unfortunately, that does not always mean that people do. Some may make choices on the road that vary from protocol, sometimes for the best, and most often for the worst. The reason why most people accept that kind of behavior is the fundamental idea of choice. People who drive in a lucid state are able to choose whether to be good, or bad drivers. The license takes away the variable of a lack of knowledge, leaving only choice to determine whether or not a driver behaved safely. Drinking and driving destroys that paradigm. Once a drunk driver is in the car and moving, the choice is removed, and they drive on drunken instinct. This is the hold my beer mentality that many of us have guffawed at when friends biff a backflip, except that when a drunk driver goofs up, they might T-bone a minivan filled with children, or careen into a building among other scenarios simply because they are not used to not being able to control themselves in an inebriated state. Those who choose to drink and drive give away their choice on the road and their freedom is usurped by the bottle when they step behind the wheels of a car. They become prisoners of fate rather than captains.

Destiny S. - Middle Georgia State University - Read Essay »

Why You Shouldn't Drink and Drive According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 10,497 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents that involved alcohol impaired drivers in 2016. In that same year, there were more than 1 million traffic arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Drinking and driving can ruin lives, destroy families, and is plain self-destructive. When a person gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and intentionally drives a car while impaired, they make a conscious decision to take a life. Drinking and driving kills. It is a selfish act; showing that the person does not care about themselves or anyone else. A study shows that 2,344 children younger than 15years old were killed in 2,075 car crashes that involved drunk drivers. What is more astonishing than the number of deaths, is that 65 percent of those children were riding with the drunk driver. Meaning that someone they knew and loved, intentionally chose to drive after having drinks. You shouldn't drink and drive because the likelihood that you will have a car crash and destroy someone's family is very high. Statistics have shown that the consequences of drinking and driving are severe. Whether it is the consequence of losing your license, wrecking your car, injuring someone, or worse, killing someone; It Is very severe. The effects of alcohol decrease your ability to respond quickly. It dulls your senses and can cause you to act erratically, when operating a motor vehicle. To operate a motor vehicle, while under the influence of alcohol, is like playing Russian Roulette with your life and the lives of countless others. If you ever need a reason or explanation of why it a person shouldn't drink and drive, they should visit a morgue to see the fatalities from drunk driving. They should visit a hospital, so hear from the victims of drunk driving crashes. Listen to mothers, who have lost children and whole families in drunk driving crashes. Most importantly, if you are looking for a reason to NOT drink and drive, look at your parents, look at your siblings, look at yourself in the mirror. What you should see is every reason to not risk the tragedies of drinking and driving. Imagine the pain in the eyes of your mother or your friends mother or the mothers of your victims. If you want a reason to not drink and drive, think of the future that you have ahead of you. Drinking and driving ruins lives and could haunt you for the rest of your life. I have had two cousins to be involved in drinking and driving car crashes. One cousin was killed on impact. He was the drinker. The other is paralyzed for life, while driving to the graduation of his oldest son. He never made it to the graduation and was left paralyzed by the car crash. Seeing the pain in my aunt's eyes can not be described. The pain in the eyes of my cousin's wife and his children, is never ending. The pain and disappointment in my cousin's eyes is something I will never forget. Every time he has to be helped to do this, he is humiliated. When someone has to help him with simple task, he is defeated. All because someone chose to put their pleasure over everyone else's.

Sophie T. - University of Pittsburgh - Read Essay »

Why you shouldn't drink and drive? August 15th, 2018. Weed. Alcohol. No parents home. House full of college boys and one forgets to get home before midnight. Wakes up at 3am and stumbles to his car. Then he heads home? Any sane person reading this was anticipating that the next thing they read would be about an accident, maybe involving a death. Well, then you know not to drink and drive. You know why. It's been drilled in. Don't. But if you didn't feel tense while reading those first few sentences well you're a selfish idiot or I'm a bad writer (maybe both). I understand that attacking and yelling at someone might not be the best way to convey my point but read the news and I'm sure you'll find a tragedy involving drunk driving. I am tired of it. If you would never drink and drive, you can stop reading. Go enjoy your loved ones and use uber or something. Use a designated driver or call friend or call AAA or a taxi. If there isn't someone to pick you up you need to find better people in your life and remember not to call on them too often. But you can stop reading now. However, if you have done it or thought you're not that drunk, I suggest you make some serious attitude changes. Actually, I demand that you do. It's not about having self confidence it's about respecting and fearing these chemicals that alter more than we understand. It's about acknowledging all the accidents that traumatized so many. Why shouldn't you drink and drive? Well. How are you even consider it. Are? you! kidding me?!?! If you have ever done so out of convenience or you didn't care enough or take it seriously-- well I'm not even concerned about you. Think of all those people that has the misfortune of depending on you, of loving you, of having you be a part of their happiness. If you got hurt, arrested, or worse-- You. Break. Them. They will be a shell of who they were all because of you. It's all on you. Lives lost. Property damage. Your burden. It's selfish. I'm probably not aloud to use swear words but: **** you if you even consider putting yourself and anyone else in harm's way just because you wanted to go out and have fun with your friends. People say alcohol and other substances and drugs make you forget your problems, but I promise you WILL end up with way more if you get behind the wheel after drinking. You can avoid the consequences. There are not a lot of chances in life to stop future events, but making the right choice to stay out of the driver's seat saves lives, prevents more horror stories. Please, it's so simple. Don't drink and drive.

Tamanna K. - Bentley University - Read Essay »

I'm only putting myself in danger. I got away with it once, I can do it again. It won't happen to me. When a dangerous driver is put on the road, every car on that road is put in danger. With each car, come each driver, passenger, and every family and loved one linked with those individuals. When a drunk driver is put on the road, it is often dismissed that they are not the only ones at risk, but the safety of every passing individual around them is jeopardized too. Why do people continue to drink and drive? Because they fail to realize the greater harm they are imposing on individuals other than themselves. A number of excuses come to mind when an individual is put in a situation to consider driving after any level of drinking activity. The most common reasonings come when someone has gotten away with doing it before, and assume their level of risk is lower because of a previous instance. While making it home safely one time is a positive occurrence, it should not dismiss any future situations or temptations to place the driver at risk again. Why do people continue to drink and drive? Because they believe that previous events of luck deter their future danger. The root cause of drinking and driving scenarios first arise when transportation is not addressed before a given event or scene. While the event to drink may not be initially planned, thinking ahead to how and when each individual driving will get home should be an instinct for any cautious individual. Where this situation is jeopardized is when third parties do not acknowledge such efforts, or do not take the extra step to find alternative transportation plans ahead of time. Each instance of drunk driving that occurs is involved with individuals that are often aware of the risk of their actions; but utilize excuses to follow through with the activity anway. In efforts to address these potential scenes, initiatives may be made through strides made in technology, where cars require a certain level of consciousness to function. Or campaigns towards exposing individuals to stories of lost individuals from their close proximity, to place attention on the amount of lives impacted. Emphasizing the risk that comes with each and every drive by promoting the long term impacts that may even come from an injury or loss from such accidents. Having hosts of major events responsible for the transportation of guests, and having all car keys monitored by a third party. There is no clear cut solution to drunk driving, but the battle begins with being honest with yourself, and being willing to take the extra precaution to not only ensure the safety of yourself, but watch for the safety of those around you.

Maya S. - University of Central Missouri - Read Essay »

College life is all about becoming an adult and making your own choices. No longer does mom and dad have to make every decision for you. A student can choose whether they want to go to class or sleep in a couple more minutes. They can choose whether they want to spend their nights studying or going out to party. But most importantly, students have the choice to be safe and call a ride when they have been drinking or risk their lives getting behind the wheel. Before thinking about getting in the car after a few beers, people should consider the dangers of driving drunk. Driving while drunk slows down your reaction time and impacts your ability to focus on the road ahead. Not only could you hurt yourself in an accident, but you could hurt others. People get into wrecks without being impaired, so there is no need to add to the danger of driving. This topic is most important to me because driving under the influence is something that I have witnessed. A family member of mine crashed their car after making the reckless decision to drink and drive. Their decision to drink while intoxicated kept me up at night wondering the numerous negative outcomes of the crash. Family members should never be concerned that a relative may not come home due to driving under the influence. In conclusion, drinking and driving is ultimately a wrong decision to make, but you have to make the decision to not be another drunk driving statistic. Think about how upset your family members will be if you never arrived home. Call a friend, parent, or cab for a ride, and never make the decision to drive home intoxicated. College should be a place of fun, but it also must be a place of safety.

John A. - University of Illinois at Chicago - Read Essay »

Handling alcohol requires the of use personal discernment. Each human being is born with a unique bodily chemistry that should be acknowledged and respected throughout a lifetime. When we make bad decisions and neglect our physical limits, we create problems for ourselves. When we combine alcohol with automobiles moving at high speeds, these problems can easily turn deadly. Even the risk of simply driving is higher than that of taking public transportation. Alcohol further escalates the risk since our perception is proportionally altered given the amount of alcohol consumed. Yes, maybe you feel great, but you're falling apart. And now you're telling me that you can't handle the dance floor, but you can handle a car? Yes, one's decision-making abilities also deteriorate due to alcohol. A poor decision put a friend of mine in a near-death situation a few months ago. He and the drivers walked away with their lives, but another passenger did not. My friend and another passenger had both made the seemingly smart choice of using a ride-sharing application to go home. However, neither of the drivers did the same. One had been drinking and the other, under the influence of a drug. They both altered the lives of two others and their own. The saddest part is that a hopeful twenty-three-year-old no longer has any chances at life. All her dreams, hopes, and aspirations have gone with her life. So, the next time you're thinking about driving in an alcohol-affected state, think about this. If you increase the risk of you getting into a car accident when under the influence, you're increasing the risk of all other drivers you might pass by. This risk extends even to any pedestrian who might cross your path. At the same time, your risk becomes the risk of all your passengers. One car crash could mean the injury of more than one person. That complicated turn will only become more complicated with alcohol in your system. If you think about the futures of all those people that will be affected by your choice, maybe that will stop you from drinking and driving. You wouldn't want your future to be robbed due to a silly decision, right? Why would you wish the same for other human beings?

Skylar J. - New York University - Read Essay »

Contrary to popular belief, being able to drive drunk is not a skill someone can possess. Deciding to drink and drive is a lot like deciding that you are a God; it is the equivalent of proclaiming to be omnipotent. When a person decides to drink and drive they are emboldened by alcohol and become so confident in their own abilities that they do not falter. A person under the influence who chooses to drive either truly believes they are in control of their body, or does not care that they are not. Both beliefs are equally flawed. As a depressant, one of the main functions of alcohol is to slow down one's central nervous system. The slowing of the central nervous system leads to slowed reaction times, impaired vision, distorted perception of speed and distance, and reduced ability to concentrate. A person literally cannot be completely in control of their own body when under the influence of alcohol, and as such cannot be completely in control of the car they are driving. No person in their right mind would drive a car whose wheel randomly jerked, so why do so many people get behind the wheel while impaired, or allow a friend to drive under the influence? Many people who chose to drink and drive fail to see their choice as selfish or harmful. In my own experience I have had people very close to me lash out at me when I implied they were not in the right state of mind to drive. However, I have always stood my ground because while they fail to realize, or care, how their actions may affect someone else, I do not. Drinking and driving shows a disgusting disregard for one's own life and the lives of every other person in the car and on the road. It is ignorant and shameful for one person to decide they have power over life and death. Lives can be irrevocably changed in seconds. A drivers impaired reaction time could result in a deadly crash that could have been easily avoided. In this day and age it is ignorant and inexcusable to drink and drive. The cost of one's pride, or of using a car service, is far less than the value of a human life.

Danielle C. - County College of Morris - Read Essay »

My first understanding of "Don't drink and drive", as a 6 year old, was me yelling at my parents while they were driving to stop drinking a Pepsi or coffee. Now fast forward 25 years and the phrase" Don't drink and drive" has developed to have a much more complex and deeper meaning. I think the obvious reasons to not drive and drive are that you put yourself and those around you at risk for injury or death. This doesn't just mean you have a responsibility to remember yourself, but to prevent others from engaging in the activity as well. When someone engages in this act of irresponsibility they're playing a game of Russian Roulette with a car instead of a gun. Will they lose control of the car, will they hit someone else or will the people they are driving be the only ones to not survive their tipsy or drunken act? Driving impaired slows down reaction time, reduces concentration, poor vision and a host of other symptoms that make the ability to drive less than acceptable. I have friends from college and high school that have been victims of drunk driving. Either receiving violation offenses or losing their lives. Legal offenses can alter your life depending on the severity of the incident. Accidents can alter your life or end your life in more ways than one depending on the severity of the accident. So before getting into a situation where you could become impaired to drive make plans on what to do if you can't drive. If you see someone on the road who is displaying road behaviors of being impaired call the police to pull them over before they hurt themselves or someone else. You have a responsibility for yourself and others. You are only in control of yourself, not others. So be smart, think and react.

Amardeep M. - Case Western Reserve University - Read Essay »

My family has always had a funny way of making exceptions. For example, I've been told time and time again, ever since I was a young child, that drinking was not allowed in our family. Yet this rule didn't seem to apply to the household patriarchs, namely my grandfather, uncles, and father. Each of them had alcohol addictions of varying severity, and one of my uncles even ended up dying from liver cirrhosis caused by his alcohol abuse. He was only 40 when he passed, and his sudden death shook our family to the core. My mother ordered my father to quit drinking immediately, lest he end up like my uncle. But, like many who have struggled with addiction, he didn't think he had a problem and continued the same lifestyle. That all changed, however, when one night he never returned home from work. It was 3 in the morning and my mom and I had been calling his cell phone nonstop for the past few hours, trying to figure out where he was. I was already beginning to fear the worst when someone finally answered my dad's phone. It just wasn't my dad. Rather, it was the police officer who had arrested him earlier that night for-you guessed it-drunk driving. Apparently my dad had fallen asleep (passed out) at the wheel and was weaving through the road. He was stopped and had a few choice words for the officer for daring to suggest that he was inebriated, and the rest was history. Luckily, as this was his first offense and no one was hurt, my dad's only punishment was a suspended license and community service. After this incident, my dad (quite literally) sobered up and decided to quit drinking altogether. I'm not sharing this anecdote to shame people for drinking. Occasional drinking is fine for people who know their limits and exercise caution. However, drinking and driving is one of the worst possible outcomes of drinking irresponsibly. It can end in life-altering injuries, jail time, debt from legal fees, and death of not only the driver but also innocent people. My dad told us that he knew drunk driving was bad, but he got behind the wheel that night anyway because he didn't think he was that drunk. I think this reasoning resonates with a lot of people who have driven drunk. They know it's wrong, but they make exceptions for themselves because of their impaired judgement. So, all I ask is that each of us remembers not to give ourselves a pass when it comes to safety. Have a designated driver, call an Uber, hell, even calling your parents to pick you up is a better option than driving drunk. After all, if you wouldn't make an exception for others to drink and drive, then you shouldn't make one for yourself either.

John G. - CWRU in Cleveland, OH - Read Essay »

It's 2018, so I could use Google. I could find studies, data, facts, and figures. Maybe gather the numbers in a spreadsheet, make a graph, or even some slides for a presentation. I could show people that driving under the influence is dangerous and leads to accidents, give them the statistics. But people know all that. Rationally, we all know driving under the influence is dangerous. Sadly, human decision-making is rarely rational. It would be fair to say that the region where I grew up has a strong culture of early alcohol use. In our rural part of Germany, annual festivals and celebrations are found in every village, and drinking heavily is just par for the course for many teenagers. Beer and wine flow freely, even to those below the legal drinking age of 16. Rationally, the older teenagers know it would be reckless to get behind the wheel after a long night at a nearby village festival, but their own homes are far away, and German nights can be unforgiving and cold. Many people had read the statistics, but they also wanted to get home. In our town, that changed when I was 15. A young man at a festival in Berge, a neighboring village, got behind the wheel drunk, barely making it a few hundred meters until he collided with two pedestrians, killing one and severely wounding another. We're a small community. Everyone is close, and that includes the families one or two towns over. The accident left loved ones grieving, tore apart families, and shocked everyone in the area. Sometimes, coming face to face with the terrible reality of a single accident can have more of an impact than studying thousands of data points going back years or decades. I am glad to see that the government in our area recognizes this as well: the state operates a very effective program which confronts high school students with the stories of real victims of drunk driving accidents. The things we heard from survivors in that program and the aftermath of the accident in Berge have stuck with me. I recently caught a ride home from a party with a friend. While driving, she admitted that she was not sober. I asked her to pull over and called a mutual friend to pick us up. If you drive drunk, it's not just your life you're putting on the line. It's the lives of your passengers, and of those you would injure or kill in an accident. Everybody makes mistakes. Don't let your mistake be one that tears families apart.

Maximilian O. - University of California, Santa Barbara - Read Essay »

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) every 50 minutes, somebody dies in a car related accident involving a drunk driver. Of course, while this is a frightening reality and most people know on some abstract level the dangers drunk driving presents, slippery rationalizations serve as powerful counterpoints to the statistics: 'it was just one or two drinks', 'It's a five minute drive', or 'just this one time' can easily devolve into a habit wherein drivers feel more and more comfortable driving while impaired. In my experience with friends and even family I have heard the pathetic and usually boozed quip that they actually drive better when drunk. While this informal wisdom is easily refuted, this type of thinking is dangerous and contributes to the 20 people who die everyday in the United States because of alcohol related accidents. As a Designated Driver for a group of people or somebody driving alone to a party, the thought of driving drunk may seem like not that big of a deal and in fact may become increasingly alluring as the night wears on and the veneer of your resolve wears thin. The thought of sitting through a party while everybody else is drinking is to many not attractive and may even be repulsive enough to convince them to drink and drive 'just that one time.' During the party, navigating the social space without alcoholic lubrication while your friends are happily throwing back beers may seem unfair. But, it's par for the course. At a certain point, if you have friends who also like to drink then you will likely be a Designated Driver some nights. The issue comes when thoughts during the party like 'I hate my friends when they're drunk and I'm not' or ''my god this is so boring' are powerful enough to inspire you to drink. If they do or have in the past there are a couple of realities that you need to face.The first is perhaps that you probably should find a new set of friends who you are comfortable enough with to handle sober even if they are inebriated. The second, of course, is that you may very well need to develop a new mindset where you are capable of having fun in a social situation sans alcohol. Being a Designated Driver (DD) every once in a while to ensure that you and your friends get home safe is not the end of the world. In fact, given the shockingly high rates of death in vehicles when somebody is driving drunk, you may have worked to save not just your own life, but also the lives of everybody in the car and on the road driving around you. Conversely, if you do make the choice to drink while driving you're betraying everybody who trusted you to deliver them safely home and if there were to be an accident and somebody were to die because of your error you would likely be tried and convicted in court for DUI Vehicular Manslaughter. Are these not reasons enough why you shouldn't drink and drive? I come from a long line of casual drinkers and drivers. For example, my father driving drunk thirty minutes from the family party in Newport to my small inland city only because my mother and cousin were equally too drunk to drive. Slim, blurry memories of my dad speeding on the winding, high roads of Turnbull canyon forcing my mother my mother to snap, Gino, Slow Down! punctuate my recollection of that night. Or it's my cousin Soledad indicted for a DUI, who wound up owing $10,000 she didn't have. If it isn't them it's Viktor, my other cousin, who fell asleep at the wheel who came home too late, too drunk and plowed into the small, dividing brick wall between the neighbor's and my uncle's place. Though nobody died in any of these incident, that so many of them occurred in a relatively small family circle, points to the dangerous and vast mural of people in the United States who make the mistake of thinking that it will be 'just this one time' or 'that it's only 5 minutes away' and end up in an accident maybe even killing someone because of their flimsy rationalization. Drinking while driving has a high financial risk, makes you more prone to accident, and can even amount to the death of other human beings because of your lack of judgement. You shouldn't need any more reasoning to understand why you shouldn't drink and drive.

Kerilyn G. - University of Arizona - Read Essay »

My name is Kerilyn Graham and I am currently enrolled in the University of Arizona for my Master of Business Administration. I have a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis in Rehabilitation and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I have multiple personal reasons why you should not drink and drive. While attending my undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, I was dating and eventually engaged to my husband who was involved in a collision with a drunk driver. He used to ride a motorcycle to and from work. One night in 2004, he was riding home from work when an intoxicated drive ran a stop sign in front of his motorcycle. My husband dropped his motorcycle which ran into the intoxicated driver's vehicle. My husband sustained road rash injuries to his shoulders, elbows and knees. The impact knocked him out and he had a concussion. He was wearing a helmet and may not be here today if he was not as the impact shredded his helmet. While attending my graduate degree at the Northern Arizona University, my husband took a job as a police officer who investigated and arrested over one hundred drivers under the influence. He has witnessed fatalities due to drunk driving and has had to deal with death notifications to family and friends of the deceased (both the intoxicated and completely innocent bystanders). We have seen first hand the effects one person's decision has on multiple people to include the intoxicated person, anyone involved in a collision or affected by them, and the police officers and their families who have to witness and deal with the incidents. Another example is more recent. I had a lifelong friend who decided to drink and drive in addition to taking illegal drugs. She was involved in a collision that killed an innocent person parked on the side of the road with car trouble. I have seen her life come to an end due to this crime and she is now incarcerated for an extended period due to her choices. She now must live with the guilt of killing someone because of her decision. My husband continues to work as a police officer and continues to speak of the horrors and trauma drunk driving can inflict on society and all persons involved. Due to these first-hand reasons, I am emphatic not to drink and drive. In today's society, there are so many reasonable options (finding rides, ride sharing or walking) that there is no sufficient reason to drink and drive. I am a mother of a three-year-old daughter and want to teach her the value of wise decision making. I will continue to educate others on my personal experiences to help make the world a safer place.

Andres V. - Texas A&M University - Read Essay »

Taking a stance against drinking & driving is an easy thing to do. Few people fight to support drinking and driving. Why, then, do one-third of all driving-related deaths involve alcohol? The past couple of years in college have given me some insight into this problem, and I want to begin by sharing an experience of mine being involved in a bad situation made worse by irresponsibility. The reason I want to share this experience is to explore the root of the issue, and allow the reader to personally take something away from this. I was a freshman in college when I found myself at a party involving alcohol. Something important to realize is just how commonplace this situation can be. I stuck to drinking soda the whole night, but my buddy was irresponsible with his consumption. As the night ended, I discovered him making his way to his car while inebriated. I stopped him and took his keys, knowing just how much damage he could cause to himself and others. He then became insistent and confrontational, telling me how he had work in the morning 2 hours away and he'd lose his job if he didn't make it. Arguing with an intoxicated person is never a good idea. So I decided to drive him to where he needed to be. Halfway there, I was distracted by all the commotion he was making in the passenger seat and I didn't realize I was speeding. I was spotted by an officer and consequently pulled over. This meant trouble. To them, a driver had been speeding in a car that did not list him on the insurance, and the passenger was underage and possibly intoxicated. We were questioned by the officers, and I, as the driver, was written a citation amounting to several hundred dollars. The only reason we were allowed to go on our way was because we consented to a search of the vehicle. There is nothing about that night that I would describe as 'fun'. After multiple visits to court, and getting no help from my buddy to pay the citation, I lost a friend and learned a valuable lesson. Alcohol and vehicles should never mix, and a young person must always make a decision to never be a part of this problem, but choosing instead to be a part of the solution.

Krystina S. - CSUSB - Read Essay »

Why Shouldn't You Drink and Drive Driving while drunk is not safe nor responsible. It is very likely for a drunk driver to cause an accident and injure other drivers and/or other pedestrians. Many motor vehicle accidents are due to impaired vision and impaired driving skills from alcohol consumption. There are many consequences that can occur due to drunk driving. Among these disadvantages, a drunk driver can lose their license. Another disadvantage of drunk driving conviction is the increase in a driver's monthly car insurance payments. These two reasons alone can prevent a driver from ever driving again. If you lose your ability to drive, transportation can be difficult especially without a car. Some employers can fire drivers due to lack of transportation and having a drunk driving conviction on their driving record. Drunk driving can also cause you to lose your professional license that doctors, nurses, or lawyers are required to have-these professionals can't work without a license to work. As you can tell, drunk driving convictions can hinder a driver's ability to be a successful and outstanding individual in their community and workplace. Not only can drunk driving convictions take away a driver's ability to be financially stable and successful at work, drunk driving convictions can also cause a driver to lose their freedom. You are required to pay costly fees that are often most difficult to pay. Not to mention, your arrest will be publicized and any employer or person can look at your record and uncover your history of convictions. If it very difficult to maintain your good driving reputation when convicted for drunk driving. I personally understand the issues with drunk driving due to my own drunk driving convictions. When experiencing what it means to have a DUI (driving under he influences) on your record it was often harder for me to function as a successful individual. The court fees were up to $5,00 in total and it has taken a while to submit paperwork to remove this conviction from my record. I also have family members that have drunk driving convictions and have gone through similar issues with their license and freedom. Having a DUI or drunk driving conviction on your record is not fun nor safe.

Mya W. - The College of William and Mary - Read Essay »

The joy of living is expressed in the language of firsts. First, we are born. Months later, we take our first steps and begin to form our first words. Nurturing parents walk us through the emotions of the first day of school, year after year. We run full faith ahead into our first love, our first kiss. We stumble and fall at the onset of our first heartbreak. We forget it all by the time of our first dance, and as the years fly by, each adolescent first becomes but a fleeting memory. This is the cycle of life; it is varied and precious, riddled in both innocence and error. One such error, is in making the decision to drink and drive, for the first time. The decision to drive under the influence of alcohol is one that does not just affect you, the driver, but rather it is one that threatens to alter the lives of everyone on the road. When you indulge in alcohol, you experience delays in reaction time, motor skills, and reasoning. These three components are key in the makings of an alert driver; without them, a person behind the wheel is merely gambling with innocent lives. It is not a skill, it cannot be perfected, and it only takes one time for everything to go wrong. The first time you drink and drive, can be the last time you ever operate a motor vehicle: those are the odds. Personally, I avoid drinking and driving and actively act to encourage those around me to do the same. During my first year in college, I witnessed a change in many of my friends due to alcohol. People I knew to be timid and mild mannered, slowly transformed into insatiable party animals. I recognized this to be a result of new environments and new temptations, and decided that this was not a transformation that I wanted for myself. The difficulty in this was affirming my position while still, expressly, respecting the decisions of my friends. However, I take pride in the strength of my willpower and the reason I can provide my peers' particularly hazy nights. After all, I get it; everyone wants to experience all of life's epic firsts. I just do my best to caution those around me; asking how they would feel if their epic first was someone else's tragic last.

Erick R. - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Read Essay »

You may die. That is probably the response most people think of when asked why they shouldn't drink and drive. Intrinsically, humans are selfish in nature. Like most animals, humans are programmed to worry about themselves first in high stress events. However, unlike most animals, humans also possess the ability to rationalize high stress events and predict the outcomes of others also involved in such events. During my junior year of high school, two weeks before prom, a guest speaker was invited to speak in the auditorium about the effects of drinking and driving. For a high school event, it was surprisingly quiet in the auditorium. The speaker described how he lost control of his vehicle when driving drunk one night after a party. He mentioned the usual things you hear at those events: his regret, the effects of losing his license, and the effects of injuring himself. As his speech went on, fewer students seemed interested in what he had to say. Most everyone understood the gravity of the situation the man had faced but no one in that room knew of anyone who had gone through something similar. Two weeks later everyone in that room knew of somebody. The night of prom was not memorable to me simply because I did not attend. After attending prom during my sophomore year with an older date, I didn't feel as though I was missing out on much. In a sense, not much did occur that night. Most people enjoyed a normal night at prom dancing and partying with friends. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one that didn't make it to prom. Two young men decided to drink before attending prom and had an accident on their way to the event. Their vehicle rear ended another vehicle at a red light which propelled the vehicle forward and onto the intersection to crash with the oncoming traffic going the opposite direction. Both young men made it out of the incident alive but no one from the family of four (in the vehicle they rear ended) survived. In addition, two others from the third vehicle (from opposite oncoming traffic) were killed during the impact with the family of four. In total, six people passed away. Both students spent several months in the hospital and afterwards were charged with vehicular homicide. During my senior year they spoke in front of our school as part of a plea deal that mandated they speak to other students in lieu of prison time. They mentioned the usual things you hear at those events: their regret, the effects of becoming felons, their injuries. Their speech was almost identical to that of the man we heard the year before. The only difference that stood out was in their sorrow. Both young men discussed their inability to sleep at night thinking about the family of four that was killed in the accident. They mentioned the countless times in court they were forced to face the family members and children of the two other people killed during the accident. They cried and stuttered as they reminisced about the speech from the previous year and called the man who spoke the previous year blessed. He is blessed because he will never have to live with the fact he killed somebody that someone else needed. For most, the obvious reason to forgo drinking and driving is self-focused. No one wants to hurt themselves. Nevertheless, after seeing how two people I knew destroyed the lives of so many by drinking and driving, the answer is no longer self-focused. You shouldn't drink and drive for fear of hurting others. Others may die; and hurting others is a lot more painful than hurting yourself.

Fiorella G. - Loyola University Chicago - Read Essay »

People often get too comfortable. Repetition is a human blanket, ensuring many that they are secured in their every action without any possible altering. That is, until one occurs. An accident caused by drinking and driving is a prime example of such thing. You are ok; then you are not. It is a quick change of black and white, with no gray area for modifications or second thinking. All of it stemming from an unreliable comfort in a seemingly repetitive action. The ghastly statistics constantly surfacing in classrooms and articles display the exact implications of such acts. Shudders often scatter through every student as they mourn the losses of individuals just like them. There is, however, a reason these tragedies don't prevent the numbers from escalating: students internalize incidents as barricaded by the outside. Their established comfort negates the belief that this threat could have any impact on their own lives. It is undeniably infeasible upon them. Until it no longer is. Alcohol awareness is crucially important yet not sufficiently addressed. Overconsumption in young adult social groups happens incredibly often, leading many irrational decisions to be made. Life changing deterrences can occur from these choices in ways unthinkable at the time. Though I feel endlessly blessed for having been taught the importance of alcohol awareness from parents who have displayed proper balance and responsibility of the matter during my growth, it is my second hand experience with the unsightly threat of drinking and driving that forms the core sustaining lesson I hold closely to this day. Learning and engaging in the world around me has been a huge passion of mine since my earliest memory of being in the classroom. My lovable parent's belief in me motivated me to make their providing worth it. I always gave full effort in my school and personal doings, gaining joy from their pride in my decisions and hard work as well as my pride in myself for being the best person I could be. I entered high school as a reliable, motivated, and goal-attaining student determined to set a strong foundation for my future to come. Though I valued friendship and a social life throughout my four years, succeeding in my academics never left the first priority standing in my heart. One of my closest friends held her aspirations likewise highly, and it was that commonality that sparked our duo conquering of straining high school studies, resume building efforts, and dream attaining mentalities. During a study devoted evening in which her house was our library, peace was unexpectedly hindered. Her twenty-one year old college brother had been home for the weekend, inviting friends for an assuringly relaxation filled Saturday. The relevance of drinking was unarguably present and though our attempts to ignore the noise initially succeeded, their growing shuffling in the kitchen made it near impossible. I am to this day certain it was fate that enabled us to go downstairs when we did. Like in a movie, the timing for a backtrack to disaster was exact. I viewed his crooked amble towards the door with car keys in hand. Claiming he was going back to campus and ensuring us no reason to worry, he turned the knob. It was in that instant that my friend took a life changing action. Asking me to call her parents to return home, she sat her brother down, reasoning with him on the endless reasons not to get behind the wheel. He glumly surrendered, agreeing to wait for his parents near arrival to take him back to campus. It was after his departing that I paused for a moment, in shock of his incapability to manage a wheel in such state yet the ease of him thinking he would be ok. In a second with no mental control, he was nearing a decision with possible life changing implications. This bright college athlete could have set the pavement for an instant disaster, changing his college and life course to come. I reflected upon myself, and the wonders of achievement my hard work had granted me thus far. I thought about the endless repercussions myself in such state could hold on my endless hard work. This night proved to me the importance of thinking through the consequences of our actions, and more importantly, not putting ourselves in situations where this proper reasoning is a mere impossibility. Life is about balance and control. It is about enjoying the comfort of each day's acts being aware of threats that could alter it. There is endless opportunities to attain in life as well as experiences to enjoy. Do not a moment's decision to drink and drive take it away.

Dominik O. - Trinity International University - Read Essay »

An old Hebrew proverb tells, Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. The same principles from thousands of years ago still hold true today. Alcohol can be a pleasant drink for those of legal age who use it sparingly; however, the mind-altering effects of excessive consumption cannot be ignored. Specifically, no adult should ever drive under the influence of alcohol as such action is foolish and unlawful. In today's culture, heavy partying, underage drinking, and drunkenness are highly promoted and welcomed. Even popular comedian Gabriel Iglesias proclaims, You haven't lived life if you haven't woken up drunk in an alley. As an aspiring college baseball player, I have chosen to remain focused to the game in hopes of earning a professional contract in the future. My decision requires the avoidance of alcohol, a drink that many of my underage peers partake in. While I may not have personal examples relating to drinking and driving, my choice to remain sober until age twenty-one is firm. In respect to the law and the authorities who put the law in place, I am in obligation to not drink or drive in the future for the safety of myself and others. All college students have a dream to impact the world with their respective talents, and the choice to drink and drive can ruin lives in only a moment. One day, I hope to play in the MLB; consequently, a highly watched platform requires great responsibility. If I were to be pulled over for a DUI or cause an accident, millions of people would find out and my reputation would be lost. As one who is trying to impact the world with character and good works, my goal is to promote sobriety for minors through abstinence myself. Additionally, I desire to persuade my peers who choose to drink to avoid driving after. One simple yet powerful commitment can save many lives in the future.

Kaitlen M. - Springfield College - Read Essay »

My name is Kaitlen McGriff. I am a 37- year old sing mother of 2 beautiful daughters. I have a very personal experience with drunk driving and why it should not be done. A few years ago I was sitting home on a Friday night and got a call from a close friend of mine named Sharde. Sharde told me her friends were going to a club in Springfield Mass and did I want to join them? I was asked to ride in a Ford Explorer with 3 other girls Sharde and myself. At first I said yes, I got showered and dressed. As I waited to get picked up I texted Sharde and told her I think I might drive as I don't want to be out all night and by driving myself I could ensure that I left when I was ready. Sharde told me they were around the corner from my house and to come down stairs. As I got off my elevator I saw the Explorer pull into my lot, kind of fast. I was then introduced to the girls I did not know, and was told to get in. I could tell the passengers and driver had been already drinking. I decided then that I was for sure taking my own car. Sharde felt bad having me drive alone so she got out of the explorer and into my car. We left together and head for Springfield about a 30 min drive. The drive up was uneventful. Sharde and I decided to leave the club around 12:30am. I received a call around 3:30am from Sharde crying hysterically. Once she was able to calm down she told me the girls in the explorer had a fatal accident coming home from the club. The two passengers died and the driver was in the ICU, she wound up making it but I can't imagine the guilt and survivors remorse she must feel. I was deeply impacted knowing just a few short hours ago I was dancing alongside of all 3 ladies. I accompanied Sharde to one of the funerals and that was tough to see. I believe very firmly in no drinking and driving. My oldest daughter is currently in driver's Ed and I so nervous for her and her newly licensed friends but all I can do is pray for their safety and educate them on the importance of not drinking and driving, to always wear their seatbelts and don't speed. Hopefully the example I've set/setting will keep them safe.

Phillip F. - University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Read Essay »

Smart phones are a part of everyday life for the public and one of the greatest inventions and evolutions of decade. Everywhere one looks, he is likely to see a person glued to his phone, if the one looking is not glued to his phone already. Although phones may be useful and entertaining, they should not be used in places such as motor vehicles, where the driver distracted by the phone has the lives of others and himself hanging in the balance, much like a driver impaired by the effects of alcohol. Many of these distracted drivers also drive aggressively on the road. Many drivers distracted by smartphones in their cars truly feel as if they are not distracted as they can look up at the road every now and again. However, in the precious seconds that they spend checking a text message or watching a cat video, the vehicle in front of them could easily have made a hard stop or the vehicle behind them could have sped up, creating circumstances that could produce an accident. Much like a drunk person feeling as if he is well enough to drive, though visibly impaired, a person distracted by his phone while in the driver's seat feels as if he is causing no real harm, but in reality is creating a much more dangerous environment for him and his possible passengers. In my opinion, a person driving while distracted by his phone should be tried the same as a person driving while intoxicated by alcohol. In both cases, the driver of the vehicle cannot fully pay attention to the road and could cause significant danger to those in the car and in the surrounding area. A driver distracted by their smart phone cannot sustain a fully focused demeanor while driving, the same problem that is faced when a drunk driver is out on the road and one of the reasons drunk drivers receive the penalties prescribed to them. Both problems in my opinion are equally as dangerous and should be punished in equal manner when an event, such as an accident, occurs. However, since a smart phone can be turned off while on the road, a simple traffic stop made by a police officer that is not involved in criminal activities with a driver who is distracted by a smart phone should treat the distracted driver more leniently, such as with a warning or with a request by the officer to have the driver turn off their phone while driving or to put it out of reach of said driver. Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous, just as dangerous as drunk driving. In order to stop this epidemic from spreading, public organizations and government organizations, such as the police, can put out signs and slogans advocating against the use of smart phones while people are driving on the road. Celebrities, who seem to have more pull with the public than government officials in the present times, can speak to their fans about the dangers of distracted driving. Also, in high schools, administrations can devote an assembly to educating their students about the dangers and repercussions about what could happen when a driver is distracted by his smart phone. As technology has grown throughout the years, smart phones have become, in some senses, a new form of alcohol on the road. The lack of focus and care on the roads due to these phones is extremely appalling today. Only as a community can we create a stop to the dangers on the road and put to justice those who blatantly care more about funny Internet videos than the lives of their loved ones and those around them while they drive on the road.

Noah D. - Villanova University - Read Essay »

The defining moments in a person's life are often marked by important, well-thought-out decisions; choosing what to study in college, what house to buy or rent, which person to take as a spouse, etc. These are decisions where the pros and cons of each alternatives are weighed since they have significant consequences. But sometimes it is the decisions that are not given a second thought-the decisions that are made without considering the consequences-that end up having the biggest impact. Drinking and driving is one of these types of decisions. Drinking and driving is such a serious offense because it not only puts the life of the driver in danger but also anybody else on the road. Sadly, it happens far too often. After a night of drinking, some people have a false belief that they are in a state where they can drive. They may tell themselves, I'm fine to drive. It's just a short drive home. Nothing is going to go wrong. Without a second thought, they hop in the car and drive away. What these people do not understand is that once they turn the key in the ignition and put the car into gear they are making a decision that could ruin their own life and the lives of many innocent people. Alcohol impairs sensory perception, motor skills, and decision making. A driver under the influence of alcohol is more likely to get into an accident. In 2016, almost a third of all traffic fatalities were caused by alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. That is 10,497 deaths that could have been avoided if the right decision was made. One bad decision made on a whim while under the influence of alcohol could completely destroy lives. The death and sorrow from alcohol-related car accidents could easily be avoided with simple planning. Deciding how to get back home is not a decision that should be made after a night of drinking, it is a decision that should be made before the night even begins.

Kelly Y. - University of California Santa Barbara - Read Essay »

Countless driving lessons and fancy car equipments cannot ensure one's safety. In fact, unless you avoid staying on the road, there is no guarantee of avoidance of accidents. Many car accidents such as due to mudslide or construction are not avoidable However, not driving under influence is a choice that can be made by us. It only takes a quick call to ask friends or family, or call for Uber or taxi for a ride. When driving under influence, we not only put ourselves in risks, but we also put other innocent lives in danger. Last year, my best friend of seven years got into a terrible accident and became a quadriplegic. She did not know how to drive nor had a license. However, because she chose to ride with her friend, who was under drug and alcohol influences and was driving way over the speed limit, her choice changed her life forever. Luckily, the other three passengers in the car were fine. However, it also shows the unfairness and unpredictability in life and how a simple decision can ruin a life. The driver who caused the accident carried on with his life, and so did everyone around her. She had to go through multiple surgeries and is still recovering through physical therapy. It was a very devastating period of time for me, and I couldn't even imagine how it was like for her parents. Ever since then, I feared driving. I try my best to avoid excessive conversations and loud music in the car whenever I was in the car, regardless of who is the driver. A driver not only responsible for my own life but also others. If you are going out to have fun with your friends or family, please take precautions and make sure that there is a designated driver. Be considerate of others and do not disturb the driver, and do not be afraid to refuse rides from those under alcohol influence and convince them to find another way to get home. If necessary, report them because it could not only save their lives but also lives of other people.

Jessica L. - Georgia State Perimeter College - Read Essay »

Ever heard of the butterfly effect? The butterfly effect is the ripple effect that occurs from one event. Think about it like an author setting up a plot to a story. The author establishes the story word by word, page by page leading to a catalyst that like a bomb, shakes and destroys everything around it. The catalyst can be traced back to every character's decision and therefore be a ripple effect. When I think of people drinking and driving, I think about the butterfly effect. This is because, someone's decision to drink and drive can be like a bomb and destroy everyone around them. When I was younger, my stepfather's siblings went out clubbing and drinking and at the time no one thought of having a designated driver or maybe having money to call a taxi. This was the time before smartphones and therefore, Uber. My step father lost his youngest and oldest brother that night and therefore, became the only male left in his family. His sisters suffered from scars on their face as well as having traumatic brain injuries. The decision to drink and drive broke a family. I wish I could say that my step father rose to the occasion and took care of his family but the pain for the people he lost that day, turned him into an alcoholic. As a result, my brother and I grew up without a father figure. Their decision to drink and drive, caused my step father to drink, and as a result, my brother and I missed on growing up with a father. Drinking and driving was a bomb that destroyed a family. When people want to drink and drive, I wished they would think about the consequences it has because that is the butterfly effect. If you drink and drive, you're not just putting your life at risk, but that of others. You can kill someone else other than yourself. At that point, you will deprive someone of their loved one, and those people will have to wake up every day without their loved one because someone thought it'd be harmless to have a couple beers and drive home. Drinking and driving doesn't make you "cool" and it makes you nave. We live in the age of technology where it is now possible to get an Uber or Lyft when out drinking. There are no more excuses to drink and drive. Next time you want to drink and drive, take a moment to think about your loved one hearing you died because you decided to drink and drive. Think about how much blood, sweat, and tears you've put to just be able to be where you are today. It's not worth it to drink and drive.

Bobbi C. - Troy Universty in Troy, Alabama - Read Essay »

If there is anything worse than the death of a loved one, it is the death of a loved one caused by irresponsible reckless actions. According to 2016 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 29 people are killed daily by intoxicated drivers in the United Sates. This totals over 10,000 lives a year. By no circumstances is that number justifiable. It is not justifiable that a human being feels that driving under the influence at the expense of their life and others' lives is worth the money that they save from choosing to forgo a taxi cab ride. In addition to the direct loss of life is the indirect loss of life that occurs when grief weighs down family members and friends of the victim. Fortunately, I do not have personal experiences being negatively affected by drunk drivers. Unfortunately, I have members on both sides of my family who were the irresponsible motorists endangering the lives and safety of others around them. Their stories are tales of consequence. My paternal uncle nearly lost his employment after missing several days or work after being arrested and detained by law enforcement. He also paid bail and was charged hefty fees as a result of his arrest. My maternal grandfather nearly lost his business as a contractor and backhoe service. He would have lost his license and certification, if he had not been given just a warning by the policeman who stopped his vehicle. To anyone who does not have compassion for others when they attempt to drink and drive, I remind them that they, themselves have much to lose, as well. I have overcome many adversities in my life. My mother suffers from multiple autoimmune illnesses, including Lupus, Myasthenia Gravis, and Fibromyalgia. She retired from her career as a secondary English teacher at the young age of 38. Many days I am tasked with fulfilling the responsibilities that she cannot, such as grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and watching my siblings. My mother's failing health causes great financial strain for our family- so much so that we were forced to file for bankruptcy in 2011. My family was forced to move out of my childhood home to an apartment in another city that was more cost conservative. Moving was an adjustment, but I was dedicated to adjusting to my new surroundings. My experiences in life have fortified me as a strong, independent individual.

Guadalupe V. - Michigan State University - Read Essay »

The idea of partying and living your life to the fullest - without any regards as to what consequences your actions can lead to- is a phenomenon that has become increasingly popular among the youth. There is the common misconception that the more often you drink alcohol the more you can grow a tolerance for it, this is untrue since the more you drink overtime the likelier you are to have an alcoholism problem. Yes, parties are a great way to socialize and loosen yourself up, but when intoxicated the last idea you should have is to drive while drunk. The problem with drinking and driving is that your vision becomes impaired, coordination becomes reduced, and reaction time is minimized, this and many more effects become an essential risk to not only yourself but also to the innocent people around you. The whole concept of being invincible while being intoxicated is mainly the fuel that drives people into doing stuff that if conscious they wouldn't dare do, such is as driving a vehicle while being impaired. Life is meant to lived to the fullest and as many people would say you only live once, but if you end up driving while drunk and crash into something or someone then you might see that your life may be cut short either by death on impact or a long sentence in jail. I remember when my older brother would drink beers and I would always advise him to not drive or to call a friend to drive him somewhere but when intoxicated a person tends to not think straight and a sense of invulnerability overwhelms them. One time I was in the same vehicle as him while he was drunk driving and I remember telling him to pull over and walk home while I called a friend to take our car back home, it's amazing because right around the corner there was a police officer and if I hadn't convinced my brother to pull over then he would have surely gotten a DUI and been arrested. It takes great self-consciousness to understand the risks that you undertake when drunk driving. Take time to plan when heading to party or a small meetup and either designate a driver or call up a taxi or an Uber. Imagine yourself driving your family before you get drunk or think about the innocent people who's lives you place at risk when you drive while under the influence of alcohol. Be self-aware and understand that your actions do have consequences!

Nicole Q. - Brightwood College - Read Essay »

I think when an individual decides to drink and drive they don't care ablut their own life or anyone else. I here alot of individuals give reasons why they choose to drink they want to have fun maybe their dealing with depression. None of which are acceptable excuses, the outcome and consequences for making auch an irreaponsible decision never seems to be thought about. I have never chosen to drink outside of my home especially if I didn't have a designated driver. Although in my life I've dealt with depression and homelessness. I a songle mother with ten year old twins life has not been very kind to me and I've made bad decisions and learned from them. But I every time I ever thought about drinking I asked myself will my situation be any better the next day or will my problem still be there in the morning. Drinking and driving is never the right decision because the outcome could mean the end of your life or someone else's.

Lucia L. - University of Connecticut - Read Essay »

For many young adults, driving is instinctual: open the door, get in the car, click on the seatbelt, and turn the key to start the ignition. With that comes a bit of laziness, as many people treat driving like a routine, sometimes zoning out behind the wheel. Drinking comes to young adults in a similar manner. Most high school and college students experiment with different kinds of alcoholic games and mixed drinks, allowing that casual drink to become just another part of their lives, a hobby of sorts, in which they become unaware of their changing behavior and growing addiction. Although it is illegal, a large number of young adults under 21 years of age will engage in drinking, whether it be purely social or an even more serious alcoholism problem. Many people are aware of the lethal combo that is drinking and driving, yet what measures are being taken to stop it? We learn about drinking and driving in school, the statistics of how many innocent people are killed because of those drunk drivers who plow down the roads, swerving from side to side. Yet these tactics don't seem to prevent these teens from making the decision to harm themselves or others when they sit behind the wheel, too drunk to see clearly. I believe you should never drink and drive because it is like adding gasoline to a fire. You drive every day, unaware of the sober accidents that could leave your family mourning your loss. With car malfunctions, bad traffic intersections, and just plain poor drivers, you are at risk everyday to crash your car. Then some nights, you add the blurry vision, offset balance, and distorted thoughts to the act of driving which increases your odds of causing a serious accident by at least triple. By being aware of your intoxication, you can know whether you are in a safe state to drive, but many people fail to think of this before they begin drinking, allowing their drunk selves exclaim I'll be okay, don't worry! to their friends as they leave the party. In our world today, technology has allowed us to connect with people much faster and easier. Instead of taking that chance to drive home after drinking, you can call or text family or friends to save you from making a great mistake. In the five seconds it takes for you to reach out for a ride, a mother, sister, brother, child, or friend can be killed on impact by your car as you drive intoxicated. Moreover, you could be the one leaving the scene with the absence of a pulse and cold skin. So, remember, driving is routine, but when you add in alcohol, you are unable to perform those actions the same as you would sober, which could lead to the devastation of a family, even yours, being delivered the news that their loved one was killed in a drunk driving crash.

Jenna B. - Eastern Kentucky University - Read Essay »

Driving while under the influence is a very dangerous act. It will most likely end with someone getting hurt - sometimes even death. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is far too common for people to drive drunk. There are many reasons that no person should ever do it, but unfortunately these reasons may not be enough to stop certain people. Some of these reasons include teaching their kids that it there is nothing wrong with it, the possibility of hurting a loved one, and ending up in jail for an idiotic decision. Firstly, children are very impressionable. Seeing their parent do something makes them believe that it is something that everyone should do. If a child grows up with their mother or father drinking a few beers or other alcoholic beverages before getting in the driver seat, they will most likely do the same when they are older. Especially if they are a part of the lucky few that can get away with driving drunk and not getting in a wreck. This causes children to think It won't happen to me. This is a very dangerous mindset to have because this can branch off into many other bad decisions, including driving under the influence of drugs. Some day when they are older, they may get into a wreck and hurt someone they care about, possibly even kill them. I myself have an experience with someone that I care about getting hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver. This person was my cousin. Her father had taken her and a friend to waterpark and he had been drinking most of the day. On their way home is when the accident happened. His blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was .23 percent. He and my cousin's friend weren't as badly injured as she was. Just a few cuts and broken bones. My cousin however had so many injuries that she had less than a 50 percent chance of surviving. These injuries including compound fractures in both legs, bruised kidneys, swollen brain, and her heart was almost separated from her body - only being held in place by a tissue thin layer. It took her about two months in the hospital with about three surgeries until she was able to be released. She was so young and we were all afraid that she wasn't going to survive. She was brought so close the edge of life and death because of an irresponsible father that decided to drive drunk. While she was recovering, he was sent to prison under many different charges. He was in jail for two and a half years. Other than the DUI charge, he was charged with child abuse. He almost lost all of his freedom, was not able to vote, lost his child's trust, and was a child abuser on his record. All of this because he made a decision to drive while he was under the influence.

Paiden B. - Radford - Read Essay »

We live in a society of normalization. What I mean by this is that our culture, over recent years, has steadily normalized behavior that should be viewed as a threat to the well-being of those around us. I believe drunk driving is one of these behaviors. Despite recent movements to bring these problems to light and portray the cold hard facts of the dangers of drinking and driving, our culture continues to ignore and do as they please. The main reason for this behavior, in my opinion, is because our nation encourages people to do what's best for you regardless of what others think. Now, in theory, this isn't the wrong way to encourage people to live, but the majority of people take this to mean do whatever you want as long as it's benefitting to you in some way. The danger of that mindset is it completely disregards those around you. People look at the statistics and propaganda that correctly portrays drinking and driving in a bad light and responds to it by thinking that they will never be apart of that statistic. Our culture arrogantly believes that they know what's best or, more specifically, they know how much they can handle. I experience this mindset on a consistent basis when I go out to share a drink with a friend and observe others, who are drinking, get asked if they plan on getting an Uber or having a friend take them home. Nearly every time that individual will reply in a patronizing manner that they know how much they can take or, even worse, I've driven like this before. It's discouraging to see the lack of respect we show each other because we are essentially saying I don't care about those around me, I have blind faith in myself. To avoid drinking and driving is to cultivate a culture of respect and care for those around you. Being an outspoken advocate in situations similar to the ones I find myself in, is to outwardly portray you're desire to change this individualistic belief that is so embedded in western civilization. The problem is not that people are stupid enough to put themselves and others at such an imminent risk, though that is a true claim, rather it's that people blindly believe that they know how to best live in this society. And we the people need to walk in humility and respect of one another if we are to view this topic in the important light that it demands to be viewed.

Lindsay M. - Gwynedd Mercy Univeristy - Read Essay »

Independence. One word that we all crave as we grow up. Through every stage of life, we are exposed and rewarded with more and more independence. From learning to walk to picking your own friends through getting your license and going off to college, children all over the world are gradually given more and more responsibility to help us succeed as independent, contributing citizens of this world. I remember riding our family lawn mower when I was 15 years old, cutting grass for hours in the summer to earn my allowance, pretending that I was driving a car. It was such an invigorating feeling. With all of that independence however, comes responsibility. I was the oldest in my class, meaning that I was the first one to be able to buy a lottery ticket, first one to have a later curfew and of course, the first one to be able to drive. I'll never forget getting my drivers license and my mom following me to school while I kept the speed limit, music low and focus on the road. I'll also never forget the helpless feeling of watching people leave parties in high school and undergrad, knowing they shouldn't be getting behind the wheel but unable to stop them. As I watched my friends and classmates around me gain more and more freedom and responsibility as they took their turn at 16 and later in undergrad, I also noticed a terrifying trend, a trend that seems to be affecting us millennials and kids younger than us. Too often the idea gets into our heads that "it won't happen to me". That I won't get in an accident, I won't get pulled over, I won't get that disease. As someone who has, her entire driving life, been DD (designated driver), I watch in shock the choices that people make simply because they honestly think it won't happen to them. Throughout high school, as independence and freedom gave kids the urge to explore alcohol, I took on the role of mom (preferring the title 'fun mom'). One too many times I watched the designated DD decide that a "few drinks would be okay" during a party (see the trend?). From that early moment on, I valued our safety too much to rely on the word of a classmate to get my friends and me home safely. Because I trusted myself to never take a sip and drive. My father was diagnosed with cancer 4 times over the last 10 years. When you watched someone you love go through something as terrible as cancer, something no one chooses, it makes you wonder how someone can choose to drink, have fun, and then risk everything just to get home or avoided consequences of their actions. In this day of Uber and Lyft, I believe that more and more people will choose the option of paying to get home through money, instead of lives.

Makayla A. - Texas Woman's University - Read Essay »

" A Pedestrian" You wake up. You do what you do every morning before work. Force your aching body up, slowly removing one leg at a time from beneath the sheets. Even though you rather stay in bed, you have responsibilities. After taking care of your morning duties, you head out to start your day. Whether it is by car or by foot. Sounds like a normal day, right? On July 20, that "normal" day was changed forever. He lost his life. A friend, a brother, a father, a son lost his life doing what he does every single day. He was walking to work but never made it. He was hit by a drunk driver. I think it is important to acknowledge that he never made it to his destination because the driver's decision to drive while under the influence. Drinking and driving should be avoided because that could be you or someone you love injured or deceased because of someone else's senseless decision. If you are found drinking and driving you will get arrested, license could be suspended, possible loss of job, and fines. You can take the life of someone so innocent and ruin your own. Unfortunately, we are not taught how to deal with emotions. I have experienced emotional adversity, I had to learn to express my emotions without letting events like the loss of a loved one consume me. There were times where I just wanted things to go back to the way they were before the accident. I wanted my loved one to come back. I wanted his kids to know who their father was, and that he loved them. I have matured emotionally through that experience of loss. I understand now that I am here to spread awareness and share his story. I hope to prevent this from happening to anyone else, especially prevent them from feeling the pain I felt. I have overcome emotional adversity by practicing positive affirmations, finding things that make me happy, letting go, and surrounding myself with positive people.

Isabella C. - Ohio State University - Read Essay »

My name is Bella Czajkowski, I am the founder of Smiles of Kindness. I'm an 18 year old student from Columbus, Ohio. I was inspired by a tragic event that occurred in my life in October 2013, leading to an initiative. My grandparents were on their way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting one night. My grandpa, being over 50 years sober, was a highly accredited speaker who attended these meetings often to encourage others to continue on their path to sobriety. As they slowed their vehicle to turn into the church where the meeting would be held, they were hit from behind by a 17 year old underage drunk driver going well over the speed limit. My grandparents car accelerated from ten to 30 mph on impact, and smashed immediately into a light pole. While my grandma escaped with a few broken ribs and a concussion, my grandpa wasn't so lucky. He remained in a coma for a substantial period of time. Against his prognosis, he eventually awoke. But he remains in a persistent vegetative state. He didn't speak but a few words that weren't understandable, didn't have control over his body, and remained expressionless. This was a terrifying time for our family- not knowing what was going through his head. Was he in pain? Does he recognize us? Does he think this accident is his fault? Among all this concern, he did perform one reassuring action. When he would receive random, often anonymous gifts to his room (whether they were delivered by Girl Scouts, carolers, or regular citizens with big hearts,) his normally expressionless face would light up. This filled my family and I with overwhelming joy. Out of everything we tried to get through to him, an anonymous stuffed bear triggered some sort of positive reaction. Following his reaction to these gifts, I knew what I needed to do. If those thoughtful little gifts could lead to any sense of happiness for my grandpa, I needed to do the same for others. About two months later, in December of 2013, Smiles of Kindness begun. I picked a target audience to begin, children. It's devastating that some kids will never live out a normal childhood due to a disease or condition. While we can't take that pain away, it helps to know someone is thinking about you. Smiles of Kindness donates fuzzy socks and internet tablets. Fuzzy socks are fun, colorful, comforting and warm. They're a great way to show consideration and lift a child's spirits during their time of need in the hospital. The tablets serve multiple purposes ranging from an educational resource to a distraction for the kids. The mission of Smiles of Kindness is to brighten the day of pediatric patients in the hospital through these donations, creating something positive from the unsettling actions of that drunk driver.

Elizabeth C. - University of Florida - Read Essay »

Drinking and driving isn't a question of whether you're legally intoxicated, but whether or not it is safe to drive after drinking anything at all. The effects of alcohol consumption often take time to appear and before you know it, you might be behind the wheel with blurred vision, lack of concentration, slowed reaction times, and lowered alertness. The appearance of these symptoms sounds incredibly dangerous to be experiencing while driving, but the shocking part is these symptoms begin before even reaching the legal limit for BAC. The legal limit for BAC in all fifty states is .08. The symptoms previously described occur around a BAC of .05. This means, you can legally drive exhibiting some of these symptoms. Think about someone operating a vehicle with reduced coordination, diminished ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, and a reduced response in emergency situations. This sounds like an accident waiting to happen and it often is. Around 30 people die every day because of drunk driving and this is only counting those with a BAC higher than the legal limit. As a college student, I am often surrounded by people who are drinking. Whether it's at a party, a football game, or just a girl's night in, alcohol is usually involved. Luckily, I'm part of a group that organizes sober brothers so there is always a chance to get a safe ride home. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky. My friend in high school went out with some older friends and there was alcohol involved. Everyone was drinking and having a good time, but eventually the party must end. She and another girl decided to drive home after having a solid amount of drinks. Her last moments were recorded on the Instagram live streaming service. Her friend recorded themselves in the car with a half empty bottle of some alcohol, listening to loud music and laughing. Everyone who tuned in to watch her and her friend have a good time, watched her car tumble and crash to their deaths. It didn't feel real. It was a movie moment caught in reality. The following days were draped in black and sorrow. Looking back, it's eerie to see her old posts of getting the car that would lead to her death, but her Instagram remains untouched as a solemn reminder of how drinking and driving can be fatal. There are times when it's easy to blame myself for not being there. I couldn't be her sober brother, but at least now I can be someone else's.

Treyden C. - The Juilliard School - Read Essay »

Engines rarely in perfect condition, but I could ride for a lifetime to this place. In this place, joy lives on the skin. Expectations drop from concern and I sit, exchanging a chance to realize my weight. Tension just right, the texture of leather resembles the purest taste of freedom. Through the windshield the moon's gaze makes contact. This immense space which separates us decreases as its light guides me tonight. I merely follow, relieved to be led anywhere. To this place, the ride is as close as I can get. Driving is a luxury many individuals don't have the opportunity to experience. Insufficient finances, unsuitable environments, and various physical or mental inabilities can prevent one from getting into the driver's seat. Having a license is a privilege which most of us forget once we grasp our first set of keys, ready to burn rubber. With the gift of living in America, 87 percent of the population over 16 has a license contributing to 263.6 million registered vehicles sharing the roads. These heavily traveled roads are for everyone; the boy driving to see a girl for a first date, the mom rushing to pick up her child eager to hear what he/she learned at school, the elderly couple embarking on that adventure they mapped out years earlier. Innumerable lives ride by your window as you too look forward to your own destination. Unfortunately, all these individuals privileged enough to drive don't treat it as such; one in every five drivers will be charged with driving under the influence. The net cost for alcohol-related incidents is over 44 billion dollars annually and 29 individuals are taken from life everyday in America due to incidents resulting from intoxicated vehicle operators. As a child, my dear friend's parent was a victim of a DUI accident, taking away the right of another innocent child to grow up in a household with both a mother and father. A truck driver, too arrogant in the apparently mundane job of driving, chose to drink before getting behind the wheel, deciding my friend's future with one senseless act, an act that couldn't be undone - one of 28 others that day. Even from a distance, one victim was more than I could grieve, as I experienced the reality that there is never only one victim. These deaths can be prevented, these individuals can be saved, by a single choice to not start the engine and to take responsibility in securing alternate transportation. Accidents happen, but for the sake of oneself, and all fellow humans on the road, no one should recklessly choose to increase the likelihood of such incidents occurring. Cherish the joy driving brings. Choose a sober ride for a safer future.

Caleb M. - Morehouse College - Read Essay »

When I was in ninth grade, I was hanging out with a friend at my house. When my stepdad left, my friend suggested that we let a friend of his come over. Saying yes was my first mistake. His friend brought another friend and vodka. This was my first experience drinking alcohol so I had no understanding of what amount would achieve the result we desired versus the result we got. Once we started drinking, we didn't think about the fact that my stepdad would be back soon. He returned home to find four drunk teenagers in the house, two of whom he didn't know. I was stumbling down the stairs and vomited on the new carpet. My friend broke some sentimental items when he fell into them and the two people he invited over were belligerent and disrespectful when my stepfather confronted them about being in his house. My stepdad had to clean up the mess I made because I couldn't stand up long enough to do it myself. The next day I awoke to a splitting headache, and my stomach was upset for a couple of days. My mom started randomly drug testing me because she did not know what else I may have tried and made me go to a drug and alcohol awareness program. I learned a lot about addiction, and how experimenting with substances while my brain is still developing increases the likelihood of dependency, but what hit me harder than the statistics, is a realization that came to me when I started driving with my learner's permit more than a year later. There are so many factors I have to consider when I am behind the wheel - speed, pedestrians, other cars, road conditions, driving directions, distractions in the car like friends, phone or radio, and construction zones to name some. Other drivers and people using the road expect me to be coherent enough to operate my vehicle, and I expect the same of them. Yet, I couldn't even make it down the stairs without falling when I was drunk. My coordination was poor, my speech was slurred and my reaction time was slowed. I felt too physically ill to give anything my full attention and I did not think rationally about the likelihood of getting caught and those consequences once I started drinking. My friend ruined irreplaceable artwork when he lost his balance and knocked them over. The other kids were too irrational to consider what they had done wrong. If each of us had been maneuvering a car under those circumstances, how would that impact our lives, those who love us, the other people sharing the road, and those who love them?

Sia H. - Delaware State University - Read Essay »

A Promise Never to Be Broken Early one Christmas Day I received a text message from my older sister, but in all the excitement of the Christmas holiday, I was not looking at my phone. When I finally took a second to check my phone I did not hesitate to open the message that was from her and I was devastated at what I saw. She was sending me pictures of the accident that she was in the night before. Her car was totaled, but I was more concerned with her safety and well-being. She assured me that she was going to be fine and that she had no serious injuries. When I asked her what happened, she told me that she and a friend had gone to a local bar to catch up. They got a caught up in the moment and had a little too much to drink and against her better judgment, my sister insisted on driving. She was driving on the same streets that she would normally take to get home. About a mile away from her house she lost control of her vehicle and ran into a brick wall surrounding a nearby neighborhood. When local law enforcement arrived on the scene it was obvious to them that her being under the influence while driving was what caused her to lose control of her vehicle. My sister was very disappointed in herself. She made me promise to never drive under the influence of alcohol or get in the car with someone who is driving under the influence. I have the highest respect for my sister because she has always been there for me, so when I made that promise I meant it. Drinking and driving is one of the most dangerous activities in the world. Alcohol inhibits a person's ability to think clearly and slows down their reaction time, which makes it even harder to focus on the road while driving. Those who drive under the influence are putting not only themselves in danger, but the lives of other drivers on the roads. More importantly, driving under the influence of any alcoholic substance is against the law in all fifty states. By law, getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (bac) of higher than 0.08 is considered driving drunk. Driving under the influence is very dangerous but there are steps that can be taken to keep everyone safe. Drivers can call an uber, lyft, friend or even designate a driver for the night beforehand. Taking steps like those listed above will help to make the roads a safer place for everyone.

Anna K. - University of Kentucky - Read Essay »

The age teens start drinking is decreasing. When I was in school, drinking was occurring as early as 13 years old and is continuing to get younger. Any social event I went to was filled with kids drinking just to drink because they thought it was cool. They had no plan on getting home and often walked because they couldn't drive. When age 16 rolled around, drunk driving became a very common occurrence at high school parties. After parties would get shut down, the amount of high schoolers stumbling to their cars was a common scene. Moving onto college was a whole different story. I learned so much about alternate ways to get home that did not involve operating a vehicle. Finding a sober ride home is just as important as eating before you go out or the outfit you're wearing. Drinking and driving is becoming too common among youth because of the secrecy behind teen drinking. Many teens who drink do not tell their parents because of their fear of punishment, so they drive home despite the number of drinks they had. Some of my friends have said to me that they are good at driving while drunk, suggesting that it was a common practice that they got good at. Forming this habit while young might ensure that it is not going to be broken in adulthood. The sad reality of drinking and driving is that it is fueled by selfishness. Teens and young adults would rather put their own lives, and the lives of others at risk, than use apps or other services to get home and deal with the wrath of their parents. Adults would rather drink and drive than leave their car at a bar or a house for the night. Both of these reasons are not an excuse to drink and drive. Too many people are dying on the roads for drinkers to care about where their car is or how much they're going to get yelled at. Alternate methods of getting home have become popular and involve more than assigning a designated driver for the night. One solution to this problem has been presented to society during the past decade. With the rise of technology, smart phones with internet access have become available to us at the touch of a button. One of the service apps I used religiously in college was Uber. Uber was a great way of getting from place to place with a certified safe, sober driver. The only issue I have with this app is how much it costs per mile, which can be an attributing factor to why younger teens do not use it. Many teens in high school do not have a job because they don't need it. Many adults don't use because it's not something they're used to or trust. Educating teens and young adults on the dangers of drinking and driving can help diminish the habit while young. There has been more awareness the past few years on this subject, but more actions need to be taken in order to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road. Uber and Lyft are great alternatives to get home and only cost a few dollars. Noticing how much someone has had to drink and stopping them if they try and drive can save lives. If drinkers continue to take small actions like this, the amount of drunk driving related crashes can go down dramatically. Stopping one drunk driver can save the lives of several.

Brittany B. - Full Sail University - Read Essay »

In Alaska, one can expect the wilderness, the land, and the animals to provide a certain risk level. To live in Alaska, a person must expect and prepare for the elements to surprise them. Yet, some of the most dangerous areas are found on the roads. Alaska is a leading state in driving under the influence, alcoholism, and fatalities connected with alcohol consumption. What is striking about this fact is that while the land can provide natural dangers, it's a sobering thought that people choose to endanger families. While there are moral and ethical statements on drunk driving, I think it's best to lead with a positive message instead. We live in a progressively conscientious society, and this can have quite an impact in dismissing the number of drunk driving. First, providing an alternative moves in the right direction. Uber, Lyft, and a number of savvy ridesharing apps safely provide such alternative. This is extremely brilliant option to reducing the driver's need and potential temptation to drive himself or herself home because it's accessible and affordable. Second on the list is constant and consistent marketing on why not to drink and drive. More and more youngsters, also a high percentage on those individuals who do drink and drive, are bombarded daily with new ideas on how to live a better life. If there's a strong initiative to educate, I believe more and more will become responsible or informed enough to choose not to endanger people. And lastly, a message of positivity only becomes strong with a familiar face. As an Alaskan, I have also seen the after effects of drunk driving. A college student in my class was killed by a drunk driver. Her impact before she was hit was one of a pure ray of light, helpful, and happy. The butterfly effect was felt on the entire campus from students to faculty. Such a loss of life is difficult to process from one act of negligence. By combining her story to the Anchorage community, a fund was set up, articles were written, and even a plaque was made in her honor. Her story is one of many, but including such hardships can hopefully improve a positive message of not drinking and driving. People are generally good natured and no one aims to unintentionally hurt families. If we can provide alternatives in a positive direction, I believe we can decrease the number of infractions and create a safer environment for our future.

Eric S. - University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyRead Essay »

My dad has a book that he consistently wants me to look at. I always decline his offer. His book is filled with pictures of car accidents caused by someone drinking and driving. He was a former state trooper for Maryland and is now a medical examiner for Baltimore. He's seen plenty of people do it, from teenagers to seniors. The hardest part is having to go to the victim's family and tell them that their son, daughter, mom, or dad has died because someone decided to drink and drive. That is the reason why you shouldn't drink and drive. The law should deter someone, but the potential to kill an innocent person should scare someone straight. The guilt following an accident will haunt you for the rest of your life. It's not an easy thing to live with Even if another person isn't hurt by drunk driving, there are other potential consequences. You could lose your license with will impact your job, family, and life. During the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, there was a commercial featuring the friendship between a man and his dog. The man went out to drink with his friends and left his dog. The commercial showed the dog alone waiting for his buddy to come home. Night came, and the man still wasn't home. Then it panned black with the words For some, the waiting never ended. It was heartbreaking to think that the dog lost his owner because the man decided the drink and drive. Luckily though the man came home the following morning saying that he had stayed at a friend's house. Still, the ending message stuck. You have to think about your family and friends before you decide to drink and drive. Drinking can be an easy solution to personal problems. I suffered from post-concussion syndrome for three years. Depression came with it and drinking seemed like a good idea to help ease the pain. The hope was that it could help me feel something other than a sad emptiness. It didn't work, but luckily my friends and family helped me through that tough time in my life. They kept me motivated and helped me achieve a 4.0 my sophomore year of college. Hopefully people look at my experiences and take time to hear other's stories, so they can avoid drinking and driving.

Elizabeth C. - Hanover College - Read Essay »

Every young adult anxiously waits for two things: the moment they will turn twenty-one to legally drink and the first time they get their drivers license. These two milestones are great when separate but together are disastrous. Unfortunately, not every young adult wait to start consuming alcohol or listen to the repeated message said to both teenagers and adults: "do not drink and drive" or "drink responsibly". One message may same more blunt than the other but what both are saying is a person should not drive after drinking to make good judgments. Often, people mistake consuming large sums of alcohol with having a good time at a party. What they do not realize is that once they are behind the steering wheel, they have taken responsibility of themselves, other drivers, passengers that are driving with them, and pedestrians on the road. Blurred visions and dizziness could instantly cause a crash, injure someone, kill lives, or damage properties. If any of these things happen, the driver could spend quite a while in jail for being irresponsible. If a fatal crash were to happen, the driver would be the first person that dies. Both drinking and driving is a personal choice, but when someone is already drunk, driving is not a good idea. There are other solutions if they have been drinking (or know they will drink) to prevent themselves from driving while intoxicated. There are options to call a cab or have a friend who has been drinking drive you home. Drinking coffee or waiting for the alcohol to wear off won't work. No matter how much a person drinks, or how it appears they can hold their alcohol, no one should drive after drinking because they put others at risk every time they settle in a car. If you do not drink and drive, you might save a life.

Maxwell H. - The University of Toledo - Read Essay »

Drunk driving is one of the most leading causes of death here in the United States for teenagers. It is important to spread awareness of this issue. One of the most important things to do is to not get in the car with someone that has had a few drinks. Even if they say they will be fine, it cannot be promised that the person is completely fine. It is also important for your peers to know the effects of drinking and driving, as it could lead them down a series of unfortunate events that could easily be prevented. What I would do to help my friends and acquaintances with staying away from driving when drinking is that I could offer to drive when sober, or for someone else to have a designated driver so there would always be a safe ride home. When going into college, exposure to more alcohol is likely. This does not mean however, to operate any sort of vehicle under the influence of alcohol. It is important to know that if you were to operate a vehicle under the influence, you are putting yourself and the other people on the road at risk. I don't believe I have friends that drink and drive, but if they were to do it, I would tell them the dangers of it and offer to give them a ride home next time. Even though everyone talks about the negatives of drunk driving, many still make the unfortunate decision to do so. I think one reason may be that they are not thinking straight or being confident that they can get home okay. The problem with this is, that their thinking is barred because of the alcohol a person has been drinking. Another reason may be that they think there is no other way home. This is not true, if they would think to call a friend I feel like the friend would value your life more to take you home than not and you risking your life to get to where you need to be. If there were a friend I knew that drinks a lot, I would let them know to call me when they need a ride. There are a lot of things I have learned in my life and one of them is stay away from things like drugs and alcohol. Constant lectures in schools, driving school, and parents letting me know the side effects of each, has shown me that doing either one of them can lead to some bad decision making and unfortunate circumstances. I always have thought that the negatives outweigh the positives every time. Negatives include: injury, death, DUI, and jail time. When I really think about it, there are no positives I see when driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In conclusion, drinking and driving is a major cause of death in the United States. It is important for others to know other ways to get home besides operating his/her car under the influence. Calling a friend or even using Uber is a way better alternative than getting behind the wheel. No one should ever drink and drive.

Habibul I. - Wayne State University - Read Essay »

What Are You Really Worth? I've always hated the feeling of helplessness. Being in control always meant that I could decide the fate of my well-being. But there are some worldly pleasures that can take that away, one of which being alcohol. Some people are peer pressured into doing it. Some do it while repeating the saying Everyone's doing it. It is a refuge for those who are depressed or just want to forget. And others enjoy it so much that it breathes life into a party that would otherwise be boring. No matter the reasoning it will have an effect on you. One of the worst ideas a person can get in their head after drinking any amount is I feel fine. This is a scary. Humans think that they are better at things than they actually are. As soon as a thought like this crosses their mind, they plan out the rest of their day as normal. They believe they can just hop in their car and have a smooth drive home without a worry in their mind. What they don't understand is that alcohol is proven to lower motor functions, reaction time, and leads to poor decision-making. But without endlessly repeating the negative effects of alcohol, I want to get to the bigger question. Is drinking and driving worth the risk? Is it worth losing the years and years you've put into your life when you can slightly inconvenience yourself and take the bus? Is it worth risking the lives of other around you that are just trying to live their lives when you can call a friend to pick you up? Is it worth surrendering all of your dreams, the greatness you have within you, and everything you aspire to be when you can just call an Uber with a few taps of your phone? I value each and every human life and as one rational person to another I say this. If the life of a single person were to be put in harm's way, it is not worth it because the life of a human is priceless.

Savannah L. - Mercer University - Read Essay »

Imagine laying in your bed and watching your favorite movie waiting for your child to come home from a party they asked you to go to. You were reluctant to let them go at first because you were afraid there might be alcohol or even drugs at there, but you trust your child to make the right decisions. It is getting late and you are expecting your child to arrive home any minute. You see your phone ringing and it's a call from your child. Suddenly your gut sinks because something feels strange about this moment. Slowly, you answer the phone and answer Hello? Is something wrong? but it's not your child's voice on the other end of the phone. It is the sound of an older man calling you to tell you that your child's car was hit by a drunk driver and your child is now in critical condition being rushed to the hospital. Your heart drops. You grab your keys, get in your car, and rush at full speed to meet with your precious child. Often times when people drink they do not picture these moments, but rather the fun they are having. People are often not thinking about the consequences of their actions, but the many things they could do within the next ten minutes. It is not wrong to drink alcohol responsibly, nor is it wrong to have fun with your friends at a party. However, what is wrong is to put another person's life in danger. There is no excuse to drinking and driving, especially with all of the services offered in today's technologically advanced world. Services such as Uber, Lyft, and SafeRide have different ways of bringing a person home all at the convenience of summoning them with a few swipes on your phone. While it may be fun to drink and go out with your friends you do not have to drink to have a good time. If you do choose to drink, drink responsibly, as all the alcohol commercials are cautious to put at the end of each commercial. Make arrangements to sleep at the place you are partying at, arrange for a car to come get you, or even at the beginning of the night establish a designated driver. Use whichever method to keep you safe, but do not be the reason someone else is hurt because you could not wait. Even if you do not cause injury to someone the first time does not mean you will escape an enormous fine, or cause injury to yourself or someone else next time.

Grace C. - Baldwin Wallace University - Read Essay »

There are many ways to harm loved ones but most of those can be forgiven-- you are able to forgive yourself and they can forgive you, but what if that couldn't happen? What if forgiveness was taken off of the table? Drinking and driving can make that a reality. Drinking and driving allows for the safety of you and those around you to be taken for granted. When you put yourself in that position you have the potential to kill or seriously harm yourself and everyone in your car and around you. What if you did kill yourself or someone else? Would you be able to live with the guilt hanging over your life? When someone dies in an accident but the person at fault didn't, it places a huge burden over their life, but accidents happen. It isn't so much of an accident if you choose to drive drunk. You no longer have complete control of a situation making it either manslaughter or murder charges. I have never been involved in an accident but I have known people who have and who have lost their lives in accidents. It is hard enough but what if you were drunk and driving and then you hit another automobile and killed a mother-- her children would then be orphaned or only have one parent. How selfish is it to take lives other than your own into your hands? How selfish is it to knowingly put your own life at risk, but also have the ability to ruin the lives of so many other people? Driving drunk leaves you at a dangerous place with a guilty conscience from making selfish decisions. You have the ability to not gamble with life and death. Make the best decision and drive sober-- don't risk your life or the lives of others.

Kelsey T. - Grand Canyon University - Read Essay »

Every person has a story. So many stories remain untold due to the reckless decisions of others to drink and drive. Being completely aware and safe while driving is extremely important as it only takes three seconds after you are distracted from the road to cause an accident. Not only will it keep you safe but others driving around you safe as well. It is our responsibility as drivers to make smart decisions to ensure that everyone gets a chance to continue their stories. So many families and friends lose a loved one because people decide to drink and drive. As a part of student government in my high school for the past four years, I have been an active participant and event planner for every fifteen minutes. Every fifteen minutes someone precious life is taken due to the actions and decisions of someone distracted under the influence of alcohol. This project holds a very special place in my heart and is very personal to me. It was my sophomore year of high school when the city of Thornton came to our school for the big demonstration of every fifteen minutes. Two of my teammate and friends were chosen to be apart of this demonstration. They were the people picked to die in the fake crash. Although the crash was fake and my friends are still alive it had a very deep impact on my life. For the 48 hours they were away it felt as though they were really gone. It was very eerie at school and the guest speakers that presented furthermore enhanced the impact this demonstration had on my life. To this day I can't shake that feeling from my head that they were really gone. It still feels in a way that they are. Having the opportunity to be apart of such an important project means the world. Safe driving is a personal subject that is near and dear to my heart due to the impact of every fifteen minutes and so many other stories ended because of unsafe driving. There are many ways to help prevent a drunk driver from being on the street. Assigning a designated driver is always a great option. Having someone who won't be under the influence drive, keeps others as well as yourself safe on the road. Uber and taxis are another alternative options. Even calling your parents or another friend to drive you home is a better idea than getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Being responsible and choosing to not get behind the wheel and drive under the influence is our duty and responsibility. Coming home to your family and providing a safe drive home for others is more important than avoiding conflict with your parents. Teenagers are not immortal, these kinds of things affect everyone, you never know what could happen to you. Most people think that this will never happen to them until it does. They fail to realize the consequences of driving under the influence. Not only would you have to live with possible taking another life but going to jail and ruining a good future. Drunk driving is a choice that you make each time you get behind the wheel. It is our responsibility as active participants in society to help others as well as our self be safer on the road. It is not our choice to decide when other peoples stories end. Rather it is something we must hold ourselves personally responsible and accountable for not only your life but the lives of others around us when we are on the road. Street safety is extremely important and we can make it better one step at a time one less drunk driver on the road.

Kristen K. - Indiana University - Read Essay »

They kissed you goodbye, told you to have fun, and went back into the house to worry. You didn't come home at the agreed time, and at 2:08 am, a time they will never forget, there is a knock at the door, and they look at each other with that look. They are older, they know what they are going to face, and are terrified to open that door. If they don't answer the door, then nothing happened. Right? But answer the door they must, and the police officer, and a clergyman are standing there and ask to come in. They know what is next, they are told you, their child, was killed in an accident in which you had been drinking. It's shocking how just a few bad decisions could cost you your life. They, your parents, are dying a thousand deaths right now because you didn't do the right thing. You never tried alcohol before, you never were even tempted, So why tonight, of all nights, did you drink and then drive? Was it the peer pressure, was it the incredibly handsome boy that came to the party? Was it the need to act older, cooler? The Promises Treatment Center cites ten reasons teens drink. Peer pressure, to look and feel grown up, modeling parent's behavior, curiosity, boredom, self-medication, rebellion, ignorance, to have fun, they've become addicted. Later, when they look at the why's of your death, they will decide that it had to have been peer pressure, ignorance, and the thought that if you drank you would have more fun. They can't imagine what would have tempted you to drink, but why, why drive? They thought you knew they would come get you, no questions asked. But you didn't give them that chance. You made the final choice. You were Sr class President, you were Student Council President, you took the pledge to not drink and drive. You did everything we tell all teenagers to do, yet everything has changed now Everyone that came to the funeral told your parents you looked like you were just asleep. Why don't people understand those comments don't help. No one understands why you drank that night and then tried to drive home. You just didn't do things like that. You always hung around with the right group, you always had yourself together. Mom and Dad tried to smile through tears; they were hugged until they thought they would break, but they couldn't break, because they already were broken. You broke them, your parents. You broke yourself. I decided to write this dialogue because it made me think about how precious life can be. I personally have never experienced anyone close to me or in my community lose a life due to drunk driving. I thought writing a dialogue would give an interesting perspective on how one decision could change your life forever.

Jonathan A. - Principia College - Read Essay »

Greetings, I saw this scholarship as an opportunity to write a poem that could save lives. Drinking and driving is a dangerous thing and should be avoided at all costs. "I sit" -- By Jonathan Ansumana You drink, a drop, a shot, you feel, the world is a wheel, Its spinning, Music is going, time is slowing, Together with friends, you're laughing, We're dancing, they're chatting, romancing, It's a night party, we're glowing! I'm tough, not drunk, I can drive, Just tripped, didn't fall, I'll survive, Later bros, later homies, You señorita! Don't forget to phone me! It was lit, call it a night, I quit I sit, behind the wheel. I'm grinning, the street is a wave, Its moving from side to side, Not scared of alcohol, I'm brave, Ignition, ignition, foot on the gas, Can I get home? I can get home...really fast! Tire screeches, pedestrian was crossing, The light from the headlights, attack the hands shielding the eye, Pedestrian couldn't help but scream and cry, Am I about to die? Hospital gown, I look around, All I can hear is that digital beating sound, What day is it? How long have I been here? How did I get here? My clothes are bloody in a bin there, OH MY, Pedestrian? DID SHE DIE? The doctors say she's fine, My car missed her and hit a pine tree. I feel better in my mind, I'm free. My parents are here, it's time to go home, I sit. In a wheel chair, my right foot is gone, I'm sorry dad, I'm sorry mom, Drunk driving is the dumbest thing I've ever done. If I could go back, If I could rewind, I'd stay in that lot, or I would find, a cushion on the couch, a spot on the floor, a spot on the field, pass out and snore, Drunk driving is dangerous, drunk driving is deadly, Millions die from it yearly. Lives have been ending. I'm drunk, I'm drunk, but I won't drive, I'll do this for mama, I'll stay alive. I'm drunk, I'm drunk, but I won't drive, I'll do this for mama, I'll stay alive.

Karen D. - Paris Junior College - Read Essay »

For the child sleeping in the backseat who would be an unsuspecting victim when the another car started driving on the wrong side of the road. For the parents asleep at home, not knowing of their child's actions that night and won't learn of the consequences till early morning when they hear about the terrible accident their child was in. For the bright future available to everyone that can easily be ripped away from them for one stupid decision. There are so many reasons not drink and drive, so why risk it? For many the habit starts early. They try a drink, feel fine, and drive home one time and everything ends up fine. Soon the drinks start piling up, and they know they shouldn't drive... but they need their car in the morning for work so leaving it there isn't an option. They somehow manage to reach their destination with no accidents- so they continue this reckless behavior because it was fine last time, till they can no longer say that due to a terrible accident. There are so many alternatives to drinking and driving. We have taxi cabs, Uber, and Lyft, so many new ways technology has helped to make the roads safer for those who want to drink. Yes, these alternatives can be expensive but it's a small price to pay to not only make it home safely, but also not to risk others lives for your bad decision. When going out to have a drink, by yourself or with friends, you need to set limits for yourself and conditions. You can only have so much so long as you eat first, nurse your drink rather than downing it, or simply just drink at home where you're already safe and have no need to drive around. With so many alternatives to get home safely, there should be no need to drive under the influence of alcohol. Sure it's easy. You're feeling nice after a couple drinks, want to go home and lay down and relax; but that simple decision could be the worst decision of your life. So drink responsibly, or not at all. Simple as that.

Julia J. - Biola University - Read Essay »

In a culture where someone's image is more important than their safety, it's not surprising that taking a risk comes naturally to our generation. With the boom of social media, everyone has an image to manage and a face to market. Sometimes risk taking is what makes popularity come faster. One decision that incorporates risk is deciding whether or not to drink and drive. I'm not that buzzed, she says as she fumbles out of the house with her keys. My place isn't that far he says as he finishes off his last beer. The risk of driving home a little intoxicated doesn't seem like such a big deal in the moment, but it is. To those who aren't afraid of taking the risk of driving intoxicated, I would ask them to consider one thing. If the worst case scenario happens, how would it impact your future? How would it impact your family? Finances? When taking risks, even ones that seem small, one should always outweigh the worst and best case scenarios. In regards to drinking and driving, the worst case certainly outweighs the best. As everyone continues to manage their image in just the way they want others to see them, I would challenge them to take more risks, but risks where the best case scenario outweigh the worst. A risk not like drinking and driving.

Anissa P. - Texas Christian University - Read Essay »

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, on average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. Yet, did you ever think someone you know could become a part of this statistic? I remember I was sitting in my room on December 24, 2016 when I received a call from my uncle telling me that my cousin, Jeremy Reyes, was missing and had not returned to his home in North Carolina from the bar the night before. A wave of shock came over me as I had to tell my parents what happened. In a panic, my aunt and uncle made the strenuous 18-hour road trip from Fort Worth, Texas to Carrboro, North Carolina where Jeremy had gone missing. The next 48 hours were some of the most stressful in my life as family, friends, and authorities searched for Jeremy. The day after Christmas, Jeremy's car was found on the side of the road near the Virginia border with Jeremy still inside and barely breathing. He was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support until December 30, 2016 when he tragically passed away at 39 years old. Although it has been almost two years since Jeremy's passing, the whole family is still grieving. After his death, we found out that Jeremy's blood alcohol level was over the legal limit. Fortunately, there was no one else injured as a result of his careless mistake. While I realize how lucky we are that Jeremy did not injure anyone else, many families are not so lucky. Seeing a close family member become a victim of a drunk driving incident has made the drunk driving epidemic hit close to home. All of a sudden, it feels much more real. Jeremy's accident has opened my eyes and made me realize just how common drunk driving is because anyone can be a victim of its consequences. Not only does a person's decision to consume excessive amounts of alcohol lead to life changing consequences them, but also for their family and potentially the family of another driver who could also be injured. Drunk driving has a domino effect. One wrong move and many lives could fall apart due to a simple mistake. Jeremy's three kids will now grow up without a father and that is something that cannot be undone. Ever since December 30, 2016, I promised myself that I would never drink and drive and I would do everything I could to prevent my friends and family from driving under the influence. A few months after Jeremy's passing, I did a school project on the statistics of drunk driving. As I presented it to the class, I told my story of how someone I knew was now another statistic. Because I was fully aware of how many of my classmates chose to consume alcohol in their spare time, I did my best to convey to them the dangers of driving under the influence or how simply being in the car with someone who has been drinking is a decision that could put their lives in danger. After telling my story, some people may still ask, Why shouldn't you drink and drive? The answer is simple. You shouldn't drink and drive because you will face jail time if you survive the car accident. You shouldn't drink and drive because the alcohol has the potential to cause you to kill yourself and other drivers on the road. Most importantly, you shouldn't drink and drive because one thoughtless decision has the potential to affect hundreds of lives.

Ethan N. - McMullen county ISD - Read Essay »

Drinking and driving is a horrible combination. Many people do this and don't think about it. Vehicle's can be identified as either a weapon or a mode of transportation. Driving a car to get from point A to point B is the point of a vehicle. It's easy to accomplish such things when sober. When intoxicated it becomes more difficult to do such things. When intoxicated your vehicle becomes a weapon. Many people can and most likely will die when someone decides to drink and drive. That makes their decision much worse. Not only are they puting others in danger. They are also puting themselves in danger. The decision to drink and drive is one of the many ideas that cause unnecessary deaths. This decision robs the world of potential that could have been. It brings sorrow and pain to many. It is a decision no one should ever make.

Alexis B. - Western Governors University - Read Essay »

My thoughts on drinking and driving is summed up in four short words: "is it worth it?" You go out with your friends, have a couple beers and once the bar closes, it's time to go home- but does it really stop there? You could make the responsible decision and designate a driver or call a taxi, but because of the alcohol in your system, you don't make the right decision. Because of that alcohol, your judgement is impaired. Because of that alcohol, you chose to drink and drive because you think "it won't happen to me" OR you just don't think at all. Because of that alcohol, your life and others lives are in danger and could be lost. So my question remains: is it worth it? Is that drive home worth the devastating, traumatic ending that could happen? I have so many more questions to people who drive drunk like 1) Why didn't you call a taxi? 2) Did you know you were drunk or did you think you could handle it? 3) Did you think about that teenager who could have been heading home from a long night at the library or the mom heading home to her children after working second shift? 4) What would your own family say if they knew what you did? 5) WAS IT REALLY WORTH IT? But you see, my questions will never get truthfully answered because the person who made that decision was not in the correct state of mind.. there reaction time was slow, their vision was impaired, their concentration decreased dramatically and their coordination was reduced caused by the enemy- alcohol. Alcoholism runs in my family and it runs in my boyfriend's family, so unfortunately- we have that "addictive gene" already embedded into us. We are not selfish people, we are not people who put our lives ahead of others, we do not think we are invincible.. so with that being said, we have chosen to take the higher road and not drink. Someday we may be at a special occassion where we have a drink, but if that happens- we will make a plan and make sure our lives and others would never be at risk. We do not put ourselves in those situations because we know that it 'could' happen to us, we could become impaired, we could make a stupid (regrettable) decision and not only will it effect us, but it could effect other people too. I made the decision to not drink and not drive or let anyone behind a wheel the has been drinking, and for that, nobody will ever be able to look at me and say "was it worth it?" Your life is valuable and your life is worth so much more than some may think. Drinking and driving will never have a good outcome- don't do it. Driving home after a long night at the bars may sound good but I can promise you, with everything that could happen IT IS NOT WORTH IT. Don't put yourself in a situation to ever be asked, "was it worth it?".

Alexandra A. - University of Toledo College of Medicine - Read Essay »

As an undergraduate student considering a career as a Physician Assistant (PA), I shadowed physicians and PAs in different areas of medicine in order to gain insight as to what field of medicine I might like to go into as a healthcare provider. I could have never predicted that Emergency Medicine would capture my attention so quickly. Watching doctors and nurses care for patients coming in with traumatic injuries was both captivating and frightening. The idea that I could be a source of support, positive energy, and comfort in a time of crisis was what drove me to want to become a physician assistant in an Emergency Department. I will never forget the cases I saw where victims of a drunk driving accident came into the emergency room while I was shadowing on a late night shift. I was able to see the absolute despair that can propagate from a single decision. Drivers, who sometimes walk away from the accident unharmed, came in the ER to be assessed, their faces full of confusion, guilt, and fear, unsure of what would become of their lives next. Victims of the accidents came in with a great range of injuries, from easily stitched lacerations and bruises to life-threatening or life-altering traumatic injuries. The family members who came to see their loved ones in the hospital, shocked and afraid, broke my heart each time with their grief. I will never be able to shake the image of a mother crying over her son, laying on the hospital bed, wondering what will happen to him. There is no question: the choice to drive while intoxicated affects so many lives other than that of the driver. The consequences of a split second decision can result in such terrible destruction; it is an issue that must be addressed. The decision not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol seems like such a simple and easy one, yet tragedies from drunk driving still plague our nation. In a split second, you can make the decision to completely change not only your own life, but also the lives of others. With all of the resources available to us today-public transportation, car services, reliable friends- getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated should never even be a thought. Today, in my first year of my physician assistant program, I am working tirelessly to reach my career goal of working as a PA in an Emergency Department. While the courseload and material is extremely challenging and fast-paced, I am motivated by the experiences I had while shadowing ER physicians and physician assistants. I keep those patients and their families in the front of my mind in the hope that I will be able to serve as a source of support for people in similar situations in the future. I will undoubtedly see more tragedies like the ones I've witnessed before, but my hope is that as a society, we will eventually recognize the unnecessary peril we put ourselves if we choose to drive drunk.

Serena C. - University of Texas at El Paso - Read Essay »

Three minutes. It's not common for people to consider how long five seconds truly is. If you asked someone to beat their knuckles on the wall for three minutes, they would quickly realize just how long it would take. Mindless and numbing, to the point where most would likely give up and laugh it off unless they were particularly dedicated to the task. Three minutes is more than enough time for a car accident to happen. For a driver, their senses addled by liquor, to end up swerving just enough to the right- maybe just a foot or two, perhaps, a foot or two in just the wrong direction- to end up crashing their car into another. For a life to be taken, for a family to be torn apart, for the driver to live the rest of their days swallowed up by the guilt that tears up their insides and haunts their dreams with screams and the warping of iron and the screams of agony from the victim's family, mourning the loss of their beloved little girl or their dear, sweet boy. Three minutes. An instant. A bad decision, that could lead to the most awful kind of tragedy. Many who choose to drive while inebriated don't realize that the consequences of their actions don't just affect themselves. They might wave off the concerns of their friends, with offhand comments about how they drive drunk all the time, and nothing happens. Or how the alcohol helps them focus, or, if in a darker place, that they don't care if they got into a grisly accident. While they might be able to get home a few times without too notable an occurrence, it only takes one wrong serve to ruin a life. If they end up dying, their families and friends will mourn. The guilt of not stopping them from going out, of not doing more, will eat them up inside. It's a terribly selfish burden to put on someone. And if someone else ends up being killed due to the actions of a drunken driver, it only expands the circle of pain. There will still be family and friends mourning a loss, but there will be someone alive left to pile all that blame onto. And the person responsible, the drunk driver, will forever be saddled with the knowledge that it was their actions that left someone dead. Even unintentional, someone will have been killed at their hands. Of course, this is all speaking in the worst case scenarios. In some instances, the only casualty is a car. Sometimes there are some that are hurt, but after a quick visit to the hospital, are fine enough to go home. Even then, however, those can lead to particularly nasty consequences. The victim might not be able to afford the medical visit, or another car. They might be left with an injury that could leave them unable to walk. The drunk driver might also end up in a similar position, all thanks to a decision that could have easily been avoided. Driving while intoxicated is never the right choice. Calling a friend or a ride is better than driving drunk. Waiting until sober is better than driving drunk. Because a bit of embarrassment or time wasted is, in a worst case scenario, better having the blood of someone innocent on your hands.

Emma S. - Flagler College - Read Essay »

Distracted driving is never a clever idea. When I first started driving on my own, I had developed a horrible habit of being on my phone while driving and I would play music at a loud volume. At the time I thought nothing of it. I thought that I was a good enough driver to get away with it. Thankfully I never hurt anyone or myself while driving like that. Once I realized I had a problem I started really focusing on my driving. I would put my phone in the glovebox and would drive without the radio on until I became fully focused while driving again and to this day I have not used my phone while driving again. However, the worst distraction for a driver is alcohol. Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous. When a person is under the influence their vison is weakened and they are not able to think as clearly, lowering their reaction time. So many people are killed or injured every year because of drinking and driving. There are several precautions that can be made so that a person is not in a situation where they would have to drive after drinking. Whenever a person goes out and plans on drinking they should make sure that they have a designated driver who will not be drinking. The designated driver should always be someone that the drinking person can trust. If for some reason the designated driver ends up drinking or a person just can not find a designated driver there are other options like Uber, Lift, or the bus. Ideally rides like this are better if the person is not completely drunk. Self-control is very important because it can keep people out of these situation that are likely to go bad. Self-control to not get completely drunk and self-control to find a safe ride home instead of trying to drive themselves can seriously make a person's trip home safer. Driving distracted is extremely dangerous and not only can hurt the driver but can hurt anyone else who is out driving or just about. It is super important for a person who plans on drinking to make sure they have a safe ride home.

Nash W. - San Diego Mesa College - Read Essay »

One of the most common consequences for a drunk driving conviction is a license suspension. You could lose your license anywhere from a few months to a few years. This is sure to put a strain on your life when you can no longer get yourself from place to place on a daily basis. Instead, you will have to rely on friends and family or public transpiration to get you to and from work and to help you run your errands. Your car insurance provider will also be notified of your drunk driving conviction and they could decide to raise your monthly rates as a result. Insurance providers even have the right to drop your coverage due to drunk driving as well. Losing your license could even result in the loss of your job if you aren't able to get to work regularly and on time. For those who are required to drive while on the job, the loss of your license will likely mean the loss of a job, too. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you can be sure some hefty penalties are coming your way. Not only do you face a license suspension, but you could also be sentenced to jail time and be required to pay exorbitant fines. In some cases, those convicted of drunk driving are required to complete alcohol programs or driver retraining courses. Your arrest will become public knowledge. Drinking and driving often leads to motor vehicle accidents due to the fact that alcohol can impair your vision and your driving skills overall. Alcohol negatively impacts your visual acuity as well as your peripheral vision and depth perception. It can even delay your reaction time when behind the wheel, which can lead to traffic accidents. In many drunk driving accidents, drivers being to drift into other lanes of oncoming traffic or drift off the road. Failing to stop your vehicle in a timely manner could result in fender benders or other incidents. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much alcohol to impact your driving.

Jewel D. - Clemson University - Read Essay »

People tend to continuously confuse the difference between a privilege and a right. Freedom of religion, speech, and press is a right. Deprivation of life, liberty, and property without due process of law is a right. Driving, however, is a privilege. The consumption of alcohol is a privilege. With privilege, comes responsibility, which is what people to realize when they do both. Taking responsibility for one's actions includes not only the person who decided to drink and drive, but the bystanders who watched a drunk person decide to hop in the driver's seat of their car and leave in that state. It includes the friends who knew that person was going to drink by themselves and didn't tag along to take them home. So many accidents could have been prevented had actions been taken to stop a drunk person from driving. A few days ago, my family and I went to Applebee's one night for a late dinner. As we were walking, we saw an old man hobbling out, headed to his car, obviously too drunk to comprehend what he was doing. My father decided to take action to talk to the old man, advising him not to drive home right now because he was heavily intoxicated. The old man listened, and walked back inside the restaurant to call his family. We were so happy because we prevented what could have been the fatal death of several innocent people, and a simple negotiable conversation is all it took. In 2018 alone, there have been over 19,000 deaths due to drunk driving, whether it be the driver losing his or her life, or ending someone else's. Regardless of the situation, more action needs to take place. People don't understand what they're doing when they're intoxicated, but the people around them can see. They need to think about the outcome of what would happen if this person they are watching fumble would get in their car and possibly injure someone they love and care for. If someone does decide to drink by themselves, they must think about every future step before deciding to put their lives and other innocent lives at stake. Bring a friend to be the designated driver to take them back home. If they have no friends, keep a cab number on them to take them to the bar and back home. Or even better, don't drink at all. Alcohol consumption is a huge factor of obesity in America.

Mareli A. - Northern Arizona University - Read Essay »

People are first exposed to alcohol during an extremely vulnerable time in their lives. Teenagers and young adults have not developed the maturity to deal with alcohol responsibly. They can find it in middle school, high school, and if they did not get peered pressured then, they will definitely find in college, like I did. I have always been seen as hard working, responsible, determined, and successful. I never got involved with parties and "booze" in high school. I have managed to keep a 4.0 GPA in college for the past three years, but it has been a major challenge to stay on the right path towards getting the diploma. I started college and immediately wanted to have the "full experience." I gradually started to attend college parties my sophomore year, then I joined a sorority my junior year. The peer pressure was high, and I was influenced in a negative way. I wanted to prove to a group of people that I can be fun too, and I pushed my studies in the back of my mind and became too engrossed on fitting in. One day, I woke up in a hospital bed with one of my sister's looking at me with great concern. I passed out because of alcohol poisoning and because someone spiked my drink while I was under the influence. I felt complete shame, embarrassment, anger, fear, and I could have died if an ambulance did not pick me up in time. That regrettable experience was overwhelming for me, and I can't even start to imagine the trauma of the various outcomes that can happen when drinking and driving. Parties and wanting to have fun is inevitable, but drinking smart can be possible. When people start drinking, they are already bound to make bad decisions. That is why nobody should ever be too confident of themselves and risk lives by drinking and driving with a liquid that disrupts thinking or common sense. A night of fun, is not worth risking a life or many lives. That is why, it is smarter to have a designated driver or call for a ride. One terrible mistake, has allowed me to reflect on the way I want to finish my college career for my last year at my university. I have been blessed to continue working hard and I have taken advantage of it. I dropped my sorority, kept a perfect GPA while working and volunteering. I now drink in moderation, and most importantly I never drink and drive. I plan to finish strong because I have the opportunity; while there are many young students in the world that never got a chance due to a tragic car accident.

Kelly L. - Southern Methodist University - Read Essay »

Imagine this: you're hurt. Incapacitated and cannot drive. You've fallen off of a ladder whilst trying to help your grandmother hang another picture, it's a family wedding you attended a while back. She told you to be careful, but mistakes happen. The only option: she drives you to the emergency room. How hard could it be? The kicker is, your 95 year old grandmother is not only deaf, but blind, not that she could see over the steering wheel in the first place. Would you let her drive you in your time of need? Of course not! There is an option not yet considered, calling an ambulance. It is a simple solution which keeps everyone safe. It's a no-brainer? right? The astounding part of this story is that people agree to this everyday. This story is a metaphor. The risks involved in getting in the car with your 95 year old blind and deaf grandmother are comparable to those involved in driving while intoxicated, or letting someone else drive you while intoxicated. Per Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an association devoted to stopping the drunk driving epidemic, 28.7 million people have admitted to driving drunk in the year 2013. Apparently this choice is not as much of a no-brainer as we thought. So, why is this happening? Why are people still getting in the car with grandma when they can so easily call the ambulance? A lack of respect for one's own safety and that of others? Not planning ahead? Not knowing your own limits? What can we attest this phenomenon to? There are many variables which play into this, but a common factor is that people all overestimate their abilities to function while under the influence. Decision making, motor function and many other capabilities meant to keep us alive are severely impaired, but this information is not new to the public. In fact, the effects of alcohol have been publicized and debated over in the U.S. since prohibition in 1920. So if awareness is not the issue? then why is this seemingly simple issue, still killing people everyday? The drinking culture in the United States is one major factor, not discussed as urgently as it should be. In countries were the rate of alcohol related deaths is much lower tend to have a lower drinking age. In the U.S. drinking has become something so sought after by our youth that when given the opportunity, those who have just come of age or have aquired it illegally are not properly educated on how to conduct themself while under the influence. They do not have an understanding of their own limits and drink emotionally. This results in irresponsible behavior such as drinking while driving. Something with a simple solution, but again, when under the influence, cognitive thinking is severely impaired and underestimated by new drinkers. Don't let grandma drive you. As a society, we need to be careful climbing ladders that may be too high, but if we do, we need to teach of how to handle ourselves in such situations so everyone stays safe, including grandma.

Michael A. - Virginia Tech - Read Essay »

Individual relationships that we share with our loved ones are truly what make life worth living. The dynamic of every relationship is different, but every single one plays just as big a role in shaping the people we turn out to be. Parents guide us through every major experience in our lives; our first steps, first day of school, first date, first heartbreak. They continue to watch us grow and develop into individuals who are capable of having meaningful relationships with different people everywhere we go. We make friends with people who share our similar interests and values, those friendships nurture our passions and turn them into our identity. Now imagine being surrounded by those friends, together celebrating how far you've come and all the things you've accomplished. A celebratory toast, a drink to many, and then its time to go home, prepare for the next day of interacting with those people we love so dearly and who love us back. Parents, friends, siblings, people that care about us deeply. And in an instant, on a night just like any other night, driving the same road you've driven a thousand times, you uncontrollably swerve into the car next to you. The devastating part is that you ended up just fine, but the passengers in that car you hit weren't. Their relationships, their passions, their identity was stripped from them for something they simply had no control over, but you did. Their parents, their friends, their loved ones that cared for them so deeply, now mourn in agonizing pain over something that was 100% your mistake. And you have to live with that. See when someone drinks and drive they're gambling not only with their own life, but with the lives of innocent human beings. They gamble the sorrow and heartbreak of those who could potentially be effected. At the end of the day, it simply isn't worth it. Unfortunately, a friend of mine just suffered this awful burden. On his drive home, after a night drinking, he was turning a corner a block away from his house when a figure appeared on the side of the road. His reaction was too late as he had already struck the man who was out walking. It just so happens that that man was his own father, who after being hospitalized for weeks, passed. I can't even begin to imagine that burden, and I hope I never have to. But at least to me, this is the reason I vow never to drink and drive. I realize I'm not the only person with cherished relationships in my life. Others love the same way I love and care the same way I care and I couldn't even begin to imagine the weight of living with the fact that I stripped someone's loved one away from them.

Paula C. - Rutgers University - Read Essay »

As a 30 year old, it is sometimes awkward for me to tell people that I do not drink. I am a social person, but I know the dangers of drinking. Far to often do I hear stories of people going out at night, drinking, and driving home afterwards. In our cultural, there are so many ways of getting where you need to go besides getting behind the wheel of a car. Take an uber! Call you parents! Call someone sober! Stay over (if you know the person)! Take public transportation! Why would you want to be another statistic? Why would you want to put anyone else's life in danger. Over my time in this country, I have faced a lot of adversity. Hello! My name is Paula Caetano and I feel very privileged to apply for this opportunity! I have been in the United States over 4 years and I have been searching for a program like this one. I am from Brazil where, in 2013, I graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition from the 3rd best University in the country - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). I was given a full academic scholarship to the university where I earned a 3.28 GPA. This degree certified me as a Registered Dietitian in Brazil. Upon graduating, I worked at Giovanni Restaurant as a Nutritionist. While my husband has a salary that does not allow me to qualify for Financial Aid, he has many of his own bills to pay. I will be paying for my education myself, which is why I am seeking as many scholarship opportunities as possible. I have also applied for a scholarship through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and will continue researching to find as how aid as I can receive. In 2014, I moved to the United States (USA) with my husband who is American. One of my biggest struggles here has been that my certification from Brazil was not reciprocal in the USA. I did extensive research to find out how I could practice Nutrition in this country. The first step that I knew was a very important one was to improve my ability to speak, read, and write the English language. I enrolled in the English as a Second Language program at Norwalk Community College (NCC) in Norwalk, Connecticut. During that time, I also became the sole student member of the NCC Wellness Committee. This role allowed me the opportunity to develop material for workshops, serve on panels, volunteer in the school's food pantry, develop healthy food menus for the cafeteria, and utilize ESHA Nutritional Tracking Software. I also earned positions working in the Admissions and ESL offices as a student worker where I spoke in English with students all day. During my time at NCC, I was able to put my interpreting skills to work as well. I was able to translate and communicate with people in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. This was extremely helpful to allow me to assist several people that other workers were not able to assist because of the language barrier. As I progressed at NCC, I was awarded the Excellence in English Language Studies Award, was chosen to be a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and was made the sole NCC Nutritional Tutor. I worked hard to earn a 3.79 GPA during my time at NCC. All the while during my schooling in the USA, I networked with Registered Dietitians. I began to take more non-ESL classes to strengthen my skills, including Nutrition classes. After completing one of these courses, one of my Nutrition professors (a Registered Dietitian) hired me to assist her at her business with auditing the cafeteria food offerings at a local school as well as modifying meal ingredients to ensure that meals were in compliance with USDA guidelines. I was hired as a Dietetic Technician at the Center for Discovery. This was a live-in rehabilitation facility for adolescents that were struggling with eating disorders. I prepared meals, which were created by Registered Dietitians, and monitored eating habits to ensure a healthy path to recovery. I improved my knowledge and understanding of eating disorders and how to improve behavioral competence. I then transitioned to working in a hospital setting as a Dietetic Technician at Yale New Haven Hospital. I started out working in the call center. In this position, I interacted with nurses, dietitians, patients, and their families in order to ensure their dietary consumption was in line with what the dietitians had set up for them. This was an opportunity for me to see how an elite hospital operated and see the inner workings of how patients' diets were handled. It certainly was a difficult struggle working with patients that wanted to eat certain things, but were not allowed to because of their specific conditions. I again was able to use my linguistic skills to communicate in Portuguese, Spanish, and English as well as learn more about how food service in the United States healthcare system works. My efforts were rewarded at Yale New Haven Hospital when I got promoted to the role of Lead Dietetic Technician at our newly established Milk Room. The Milk Room is located on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) floor. My position involves translating individual diet orders to recipes and making sure all orders for breast milk are correct before premature babies are given them to consume. I work with nurses, lactation consultants, dietitians, and technicians who physically fortify the milk. This is a very important task to make sure that the correct mixture of formula and breast milk are created in order to provide the baby with the correct nutrients. I not only work with the mother's milk, but at times, donor milk as well. This has been a great opportunity for me as a Lead Tech. I still work in the call center and have also been one of a few technicians trained to work with anorexic patients. When working with this segment, there are specific guidelines that I need to make sure they are following in order to effectively make their own specific improvements. While working at Yale New Haven Hospital, I wanted to continue learning and also gain further certification to help in my role at the hospital. I enrolled at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut, in order to earn a Dietetic Technician Registered (DTR) certification. This has been a great experience thus far. In addition to taking classes, I have interned at a nursing home and with an RD from a local grocery store teaching healthy cooking classes to children. There will be several other internship opportunities for me through this program. I am slated to graduate during the summer of 2018 and I am proud to say that thus far I have earned a GPA of 3.70 from my Dietetic classes at Gateway Community College. I love working in the hospital setting, but I also love teaching. I am creative and enjoy developing materials that get people excited about Nutrition. Nutrition is my passion! Coming to the United States, I looked at all of my options. Especially when it was so difficult to not be able to use my degree and certification that I had from a profound university that I so worked hard to get a full scholarship from, I looked into other options of career choices that I had. What I found was that, Nutrition was the only option for me. It is what I love to do. I have and will continue to seek out as many opportunities as I can to grow professionally and make an impact in the world of Nutrition and Dietetics. My short term goals are to receive my DTR certification, get accepted into the Entry-Level Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition program at Rutgers University, increase my knowledge of Nutrition, learn as much as I can about Dietetics in the United States, network with as many people as possible, earn my Master Degree and earn my certification as a Registered Dietitian in the United States. All of these goals are possible and would allow my dream of being a Registered Dietitian in this country to come true.

James R. - Northern Illinois University - Read Essay »

Music is very important to me. I enjoy all genres of music, but I am particularly passionate about playing gospel music. Music is at the core of my being. I am a drummer and most recently started learning to play keyboard. Life for me without music and playing the drums would be an empty existence. I play drums to relax, to motivate myself and even when I find myself in stressful situations. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved music. I began playing drums at the age of four years old at church and to this day continue to play at church as well as with two gospel singing groups. I enjoy playing gospel music most as it is universal and pulls elements from all genres of music. Playing the drums has afforded me many opportunities; I have been able to travel across the United States playing in various venues. Additionally, I have met many great musicians while traveling. Whether in the car, at school, at the store, there is always a beat inhabiting my soul. The rhythms, beats, lyrics and harmony in music, and especially the drums convey many emotions. Music is both inspiring and emotional. No matter how good or bad things are going, music helps me to escape my reality. Music is ever present in my life and has the potential to make the worst of situations seem less stressful. Music alone can tell a story and produce fond memories that can last for a lifetime. Even without lyrics, music has the tendency to touch me in unexplainable ways. Music affects different people in many different ways, it is more than just something to play or listen to. I feel music from within. I come from a very musical family. Members of my family play instruments such as the drums, guitar, keyboard as well as sing. Music is very important to my family as it is one of the driving forces behind our family bond and closeness. Music is universal and one of the singular things that nearly everyone enjoys in some form or genre. Whether I am happy or sad, I regularly put on my headset and play along with the song. Often time, I ask my grandad for the keys to the church and go down and lose myself in the music while beating my drums. I take the art of drumming very serious and through intense practice, I find myself getting better and better at it. Additionally, I enjoy studying other drummers in person, as well as on YouTube. I have a strong passion for drums and it has been a driving force in my life since the age of 4. My two older cousins taught themselves to play the drums and passed the craft on to me. Playing the drums keeps me occupied and out of trouble. Instead of going outside where trouble lurks on every corner, I make use of my idle time by playing music. I enjoy teaching young children at the church to play drums. I hope the music reaches the core of their being and is one day a driving force for them. With so much going on in the world and the city I reside in, I strongly believe that music can make a difference in the lives of many others as it has done for me.

Deiya H. - North Carolina A&T - Read Essay »

Drinking and driving are one of those things that most people regard as advice more than awareness. Such as what my mother tells me people always think they know everything and that it could never happen to them until it really does. I know my mother is usually right so I'm usually a bit more keen on her advice. Advice is given because usually there is guidance needed. If more people would take the advice to not drink while driving as serious as it really is; then there would be fewer mortality rates, safer streets, and neighborhoods, and people could live life a bit more stress-free. The first step would be re-education on terms we all have heard before. An important term such as Intoxication. Intoxication can take place when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol into their bloodstream. As a result, there can be a lot of physical, as well as mental symptoms while under the influence of alcohol. Such as memory loss; anxiety, lack of balance, blurred vision, headache, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and so many more. The effect of alcohol can even prove to cause long-term complications in the body as well as with relationships. These traits can be the result of alcoholism. Alcoholism is a serious issue that not only impacts other drivers on the road, but families; friendships, workplaces, and everyday livelihoods. People usually turn to alcohol for many different reasons. Past experiences with negative interactions can form one's character currently; such as alcohol abuse from a parent or being exposed to harmful substances at a young age. Impulsive and poor judgment to try and achieve the quickest option in order to find a solution to one's problems. Stress levels reaching high levels of anxiety and depression. Or even being regarded as a what is socially acceptable or becoming a victim to peer pressure. It is true that people have the power to control many things that can be harmful, but it can also be hard as well. Just because one person is driving safely on the roads doesn't mean that other people are doing the same. That is why it is important to have laws and awareness to build consideration for all people. The common reason why people get into car crashes is distractions. Alcohol can be a interruption of everyday normal life if not monitored correctly. Car crashes are terrifying when you think about it. They are not only very dangerous but also very unpredictable. The very first car crash that I can recall was when I rode along with my sister when she got her first car. We were driving down the street very casually; then from around the corner, this teenage girl ran her car into ours at a very high speed. I remember the car coming to a really violent halt and hearing a loud crunch from the front. I closed my eyes when we were hit and I was crying because I was so scared. Mainly due to the fact that I had a cut behind my ear from hitting the seat really hard and that I thought my older sister had gotten hurt. Thankfully no one got hurt seriously, but there was physical and emotional damage as a result of someone else's reckless driving. Just because this driver was not under the influence doesn't mean that neglecting the rules of the road isn't important. These rules help provide order and safety to ensure the betterment of our overall health and wellness. A simple car crash can change someone's life forever all in the span of ten seconds. But we can make a conscious and informative decision even in half the time. You have a choice. We all have a choice. Before getting into a car if you are intoxicated, just take a moment to think does drinking really matter more than my own life if I know I'm not in full control of my actions or decisions? The answer should always be no because life is a one-time thing and there are no second chances when it comes down to it. Remember; it's always better to arrive sober and late than never.

Chyna B. - Georgia State University - Read Essay »

What if your life depended on how you walk on a straight line or read a simple sentence? Is that one drink more important than your life and the people around you? Now everybody loves to have fun and enjoy themselves, but people tend to have a little too much and forget what is at stake once they leave and get behind the wheel. Drinking and Driving is the worst mistake a person can make and they often thinks it goes unnoticed. One mistake can change your life. Nowadays, people do not know how to drive safely anymore. When you drive you not only have to look out for yourself, but you have to look out for other people. It's a well-known fact that driving under the influence can prompt some really serious results and punishments. In the event that a person is sentenced, a DUI allegation on your open record can contrarily affect your life, both financially and physically. Not only do you confront the outcomes the court doles out after your preliminary, however drinking and driving puts you and others out and about in danger for injuries and even a life. More than half of these half are caused by liquor weakened drivers. More than half of all lethal interstate accidents including at least two autos are liquor related. More than 65% of all deadly single auto collisions are liquor related. More than 36% percent of all adults on foot accidents are liquor related. Every day in the United States, roughly 9 individuals are killed and in excess of 1,000 harmed in crashes that are accounted for to include a drunk and distracted driver. Be selfless when you step foot into any car because you can lose your license, your job, face penalties, your arrest will become public, and you will forever be living with guilt. Care about others & Stay alive. Don't drink and drive!

Alexander C. - John Jay College of Criminal Justice - Read Essay »

Long before the Egyptian pyramids, before Stonehenge, before religion and writing, humans have been found to have produced fermented drinks, still to this today these drinks are made, but we now refer to it as alcohol. Throughout history, it can be said that alcohol was used and enjoyed by many, past and present alike the keyword to any drinking escapade is the word moderation. Even thousands of years ago the Greeks had written about the dangers of alcohol abuse, and there have been many events in history which should stand as a grim reminder of the dangers of alcohol. One of these incidents goes back all the way to 1120, where the 17-year-old son of King Henry I had gotten not only himself but the entire crew of his ship drunk. To their dismay, with not a single soul being sober on the ship it had run aground on shallow rocks and sank, with everyone being lost at sea except for a butcher who was aboard. The invention of the automobile in 1885 was a huge step forward for the human race, but the dangers of using these machines alongside alcohol could not have even been imagined. Every day, 29 people are killed in the United States due to vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver, this roughly translates to one death every 50 minutes. With roughly 253 million cars and trucks on US roads you never know whom you may run into, and who may have been drinking. In my personal life, I luckily haven't had to deal with any drunken driving incidents, but before I was born my father had gotten into an accident due to a lack of sleep after a long couple of days revolving around rugby tournaments, this accident had left my father in the hospital with a broken back and with the doctors saying he would never walk again. Today he has beaten the odds and walks with a limp, but the scars he bares and the lack of feeling in this right leg are always a constant reminder of how dangerous an automobile can be. Now take that incident, an accident caused by natural factors, and add alcohol, the danger that was already imposed on my father could have increased drastically and could have not only landed him in the hospital but maybe others as well. To be behind the wheel of an automobile is not a right, but rather a privilege, as it should be, due to the possible dangers of driving could present to yourself and others. I believe that drunken driving is one the most dangerous, foolish, and selfish activities that a human could partake due to not only putting your life at risk but putting others in harm's way due to a decision made on your own behalf. I also am fully for the ignition interlock car breathalyzers which make it so a drunken person will not be able to start their car if they are over the legal BAC limit. I also think that those who are responsible for a motor vehicle death while under the influence of alcohol should be always charged with DUI Murder instead of DUI Manslaughter due to the second you get behind the wheel while under the influence you are making a choice that may result in the death of another person and are aware of that. I think that when faced with the choice of driving after a few drinks a person should always call someone to pick them up, or hire someone to do so. Being an 18 year old these days I have faced and still face many difficulties regarding alcohol, these difficulties being peer pressure and the presence of alcohol being at almost every party. Many kids my age have had exposure to alcohol and have made a decision on whether or not to fall victim to it. Myself, I have knowledge on the effects of alcohol on the brain and body and know to a good extent what it can do to you, and tend to stay away from it. I also have gone through the difficulties of getting over my fear of the road due to the power I know I hold while behind the wheel, and the power I know others hold as well. I know I can control myself and my actions, but I can't control others, thus spawning my fears of the road. Ultimately, throughout history alcohol has been used and enjoyed by many, but under the surface, it has a much darker side, a side that when combined with a vehicle can create a dangerous cocktail not only for yourself but others as well.

Patrick L. - Columbia University - Read Essay »

When modern day America was built, it was built for cars. The urban density and walkable cities of Europe stayed with the old world, as American infrastructure forged ahead on the back of Henry Ford's innovation. The reality of living in post-war America is that for most people, driving is the primary, nearly exclusive, way of getting around. This reliance on cars has led to a series of pros and cons. Nestled far on the side of 'con' is the negative impact of drunk driving. Driving drunk is one of the most dangerous, idiotic, yet seemingly widespread things that someone is able to do. The general public knows that drunk driving is dangerous. Everyone has a story about that 'one person' from high school who was a victim or perpetrator of a fatal drunk driving accident. The impact of driving drunk is far beyond your own personal safety. Drunk driving means that car insurance is more expensive, that health insurance is more expensive, that policing is more expensive, but most importantly, driving drunk can hugely impact the safety of others. Pedestrians are particularly at risk, as they are unprotected against the accidental whims of a drunken driver. The police know that drunk driving is dangerous. Policing will often change in anticipation of an event where there could be drunk driving. Roadblocks will be set up, with policemen armed with breathalyzers; ready to catch someone in the act. The law reflects the seriousness of the offence. Simply being caught inebriated while driving is a mark on your criminal record, meaning travelling to many other countries becomes almost impossible for a period of time. The law would not be so serious if it was not viewed as an act that has a huge potential for impact. Everyone knows that drunk driving is dangerous. Children are taught in school, teens are shown videos from MADD, adults see advertisements in bars, everyone knows that drunk driving is dangerous. Yet many in our society are still chronic violators of the law, and drive while being intoxicated. Some are willing to risk a higher chance of death, or at minimum serious legal repercussions, in order to socialize and have a 'good time' with alcohol. The effort to reduce drunk driving cannot come from authority anymore. The revolution to prevent drunk driving must come as a social change. The mindset must transition within each and every person from 'you probably won't get caught' to 'how dare you think of drinking and driving'. Time and time again it is shown that peer ridicule has a huge impact on the way that we act. We must change our society so that the fiscal cost of a cab, Uber, or limo is less than the social and personal cost of peer antagonism. In this way, we will create a future where the risk of driving drunk is much less, and the streets are safer for everyone.

Jade H. - West Chester University - Read Essay »

In the era of technology and public service announcements, it is easy to inform people that buzzed driving is drunk driving and it's against the law to drink and drive. But what most people fail to realize is that it only takes one moment to define your life. Deciding that it's a good idea to drive while drunk can not only affect your life, but someone else and their friends and family. Several years ago, my aunt's bestfriend, Norma was a few blocks away from home. She had just got finished a bowling tournament unaware that those were her fatal moments, a drunk driver passed a red light, then struck and killed her. Norma's family and friends struggled trying to understand why this happened because she was good person. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to why she had to die other than the fact that driver decided to get behind the wheel drunk and that moment will be a part of him for the rest of him and Norma's families lives. Everyone is capable of making two decisions: whether they are going to drink, and if they are going to drive. The best advice someone has to me is if you're going to do one, then don't do the other. We are fortunate enough to live during these times where we have resources to help us avoid drinking and driving. There are apps you can download on your phone like Uber that can provide someone who is intoxicated a safe ride home. Another alternative is if you're planning on consuming alcohol, then you should go out with a group friends and have someone who is sober so that they can be a designated driver. There is no harm in consuming alcohol if you are the legal age to drink it. The danger is when the alcohol-impaired decide to go behind the wheel. That decision can cause you and the people around you to be endangered. Always be sure to have a plan if you do intend on drinking. Ask yourself, how will you define your moment?

Kimberly K. - Stanislaus State University - Read Essay »

A person thinks they are creating their best memories, filled with alcohol, friends, and whatever else the night provides for them. They get in their vehicle to drive home at the end of the night, and then those "best" memories become the worst night of their life. That person decided to drive under the influence of alcohol and has now created an accident. Potentially putting their life, and other people's lives at risk. Are a couple of shots, and alcoholic drinks combined with driving home the equivalency of a human's life? That is what every person should think about as they get behind the wheel, after a night of drinking. When I was about ten years old, my mom and I were driving home from work and school, when we came behind a driver who was clearly intoxicated. He was swerving in and out of lanes, going on the wrong side of the road. As a young girl, it was frightening to watch and caused a lot of anxiety for me as I sat in the passenger seat of our car. My mom quickly called 911 and shared what was occurring with the operator. They advised us to stay away from the erratic driver, as he was a danger to himself and the other drivers on the road. Luckily this drunk driver did not harm himself, or others. However, the scary memory has followed me since that day. In high school, I was apart of a leadership team that focused on the health and well-being of the whole student body and our community. We would give presentations to our fellow students, our partnering elementary schools, and the people we interacted with in our neighborhoods. One of the main topics we provided information on, was the consequences of drinking and driving. We were persistent in the fact that you are not only risking your own life but many other innocent lives that share the road with you. The reality of getting behind the wheel after drinking is that you can take a human beings life away. Not only do you face the consequences of living your life behind bars, you must face the fact that you took a life. I have personally not lost someone I know to a drinking and driving accident. However, I have known people who have. It is an absolutely heart-breaking experience to live through. Nights of dancing and friends are fun, but if a person has had too much to drink they must find another way to safely get home. Call a friend or family member, or a transportation company, it will make that fun night remain a great memory. Keep creating your best memories, but do not have one night turn into the worst night of your life, because of one terrible mistake. Please do not drink and drive.

Brittany S. - University of Indianapolis - Read Essay »

One of my close family members got addicted to alcohol after overcoming her opioid addiction. She would often drink and drive after coming home from her friends' houses or the bar. I noticed this becoming one of her routines so I stressed to her the consequences of drinking and driving. Unfortunately, she told me that it was not a big deal and to mind my own business. A few weeks after our conversation, I came home to see two police cars, a firetruck, and an ambulance in my driveway. I rushed out of my car to see my family member being rolled away on a gurney. Naturally, I was absolutely frantic. A police officer then came over to calm me down and to brief me about the situation. He told me that she was driving recklessly and drove over the median twice while her child was in the back seat. Luckily, an off-duty police officer followed her home and alerted the proper authorities. After medical services checked her out, they determined that she was intoxicated. Later that day, Child Protective Services came knocking on our door to investigate the welfare of the child. CPS decided that the child was safe at home but they were going to make monthly visits for at least six months to make sure the child was safe. Ten months passed and my family member was sentenced to probation for 18 months. She is also required to regularly visit her therapist and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I have always been an advocate for safe drinking, but after this experience I took a tougher approach. Even though the legal drinking age is 21, I do realize that my underage friends are going to drink regardless of what I say. To keep them as safe as possible, I remind them to secure a ride home before they start drinking. The consequences of drinking and driving are both catastrophic and limitless. I let all my family and friends know about the dangers of this high-risk behavior. They may find it irritating but I would much rather for my loved ones to be aware. Overall, drinking and driving is completely irresponsible and can even be deadly. It is always best to ask a sober friend for a ride home. I am certain that they would rather take you home late at night than to be at your funeral. Due to my seemingly constant reminders, I have received plenty of backlash from loved ones. They tend to be on the defensive side as if I am against them. I reassure them that I just want what is best for them. I explain to them that their safety, as well as other people's safety, should never be compromised for their own reckless behavior. Death is not something to play around with. When my family member made the choice to drink and drive, she was risking not only her life, but the lives of the people around her, especially her own child. A simple "I'm sorry" is definitely not enough to alleviate the situation. In reality, nothing can. Lives are lost and families are broken because of a drunk driver. When I emphasize the severity of that decision and share my emotions, suddenly my family and friends understand that drinking and driving needs to be avoided at all costs.

Juan S. - New Mexico State University (Las Cruces) - Read Essay »

The world is evolving in a fast pace in the past few years. Technology has evolved past many people's expectations such as how the newest automobiles are getting more and more technologically advanced such as having Wi-Fi in the vehicle, GPS, no need to insert keys to start them up, etc. But there is still one thing even these advanced machines can't properly control and its not even about the car, but who is driving it. Driving under the influence has costed the life of many innocent people, and for the ones that survive such event it can leave them with physical or mental scars for the rest of their lives. Ever since we were children, most of us have been taught the risks of driving while intoxicated and its consequences, but somehow people still get into accidents because of having a few too many drinks. No one needs to be told why it's bad to drink and drive, but until these accidents stop happening we will just have to repeat this to young people repeatedly until it becomes second nature to everyone. The most obvious and know reason of why DUI is a terrible decision is the chance of the loss of life of either of people inside the vehicle driven by an intoxicated person or anyone who's unfortunate to find themselves in their path. But what if there was a more unfortunate outcome to an accident that you could have thought of? There some cases where no person loses their life, but they are hurt beyond repair by the accident. People have lost the ability to walk, talk or do anything. People's life has been ruined by an accident like this and there's no money in the world that can undo the damage completely. This can either happen to the intoxicated driver or anyone else. Being paralyzed, not being able to do anything for yourself or watch someone go through that just because you had a few too many drinks and decided to drive home and got into an accident is one of the biggest regrets a person can feel. We all know how this causes accident and can cause death, but what many don't know is that sometimes nothing happens. By some miracle everyone can survive in one piece without damage or by some bad luck be hurt or killed. This is not a gamble anyone should take. I had many friends who post their parties at Snapchat and I watch them drink their hearts out. I don't care how much they decide to drink but I do care that they reach home safely without an accident or they assign a designated driver. That's what many don't know either. If you are going to drink in a group/friends, then assign a designated driver so the chance of any accident is decreased immensely. Drinking and driving is not cool or badass, it's just stupid and selfish to put people's life in danger, even your own, just to have fun. Not only that but if by some miracle you don't get into an accident there is another outcome that could happen in a situation like this. You see when you are drunk you are not yourself. You can go from the most introvert person in the United States to a party animal with enough alcohol in your system. Our morals disappear when we are under the influence of alcohol and it may cause a person to do something they will never do. Some people have been raped, or have raped someone, while intoxicated and that not the only outcome. One can get into trouble with the law for many reasons such as if you are a minor drinking or if you are DUI. The list is endless with negative outcomes that can all come from just deciding to get drunk. Driving while drunk isn't the only issue we have with alcohol as a society, but it is one we need to teach people of every age. I don't have to tell you why you don't drink and drive because deep down everyone knows it. We see it everyday in the news and on the internet, but it still happens. Why? Because we are not blunt about the consequences that will result from it. You can die or get hurt. You can hurt or kill someone else. You can be sent to jail for endangering lives by DUI. You can ruin your whole future for a night of fun. A night of fun isn't worth all this consequence. I'm just going to say it nice and clear: Driving while drunk is something you should avoid at all cost. If one values their life or the lives of other they won't drink and drive. And if you still decide to drink and drive just remember: whatever happens will be no one's fault but your own. Don't drink and drive.

Bonnie E. - Western Washington University - Read Essay »

Invincibility. It's something most of us in good health feel on some level or another, because we don't really imagine a day that we or someone we love might no longer exist. The truth is that sometimes we take our lives and those around us for granted. One of the best examples I can think of for that is drinking and driving. People start drinking and they feel relaxed and confident. Inhibitions and fears take the back burner. They don't imagine a situation in which they wake up and realize they've lost both of their legs, or that their friends were thrown through the windshield and are in intensive care. They don't imagine that someone they love won't ever wake up again. Those are real life consequences which I've seen that have come from drinking and driving. For the people who insist that they can drive perfectly fine inside the lines even with alcohol in their system, I ask this: what about all the other drivers on the road? What if they swerve into your lane when you're least expecting it, and your reflexes aren't what they should be? A few seconds' delay could have huge repercussions. There is nothing worse than not being your best and having a tragedy ensue, only to have the question What if I could've prevented this? dog you afterwards. Lastly, cops are always on the lookout for drunk drivers. A single DUI could result in loss of a driver's license, fines and fees, jail time, and mandatory ignition interlock device installations. The cost of paying for a DUI far exceeds the cost of paying for someone else to drive you home. When having a night out with friends, family, or coworkers, the biggest thing you should worry about the morning after is whether or not you drank too much. It's not cool to risk your wellbeing or that of those around you for something that could be avoided so easily. Don't drink and drive: it's just not worth it.

Ellie R. - Grand Valley State University - Read Essay »

When you are little you are so innocent. You don't realize that there are so many problems and hardships in the world. You learn about them in school about the horrible things going on in the world around you, but you never really take them to heart because they aren't happening to you personally. I have been through many hardships in my life but one of them was when I got a phone call from my dad a few summers ago. He called me and told me he went to jail the night before. Hearing my dad who works as a police officer being arrested for drunk driving broke my heart in half. I felt like everything in the world had stopped. I was just standing there as an unrecognizable voice came out of my cell phone. I did not know what to say, think, or feel in that moment. Even though he just ran into a guard rale and did not hit or injury anyone else it still does not make it right that he decided to get behind the wheel. As horrible as it was go through that experience to see my dad's name on the news and people at my school asking me about it was so horrifying. It was hard enough to know my dad was at a such a low point in his life but for it to be broadcasted all over was even worse. Everyone knew about it and a lot of people were there for me but I have never felt more alone in my life. This time in my life more than ever showed me how horrible drinking and driving is. Drinking and driving affects way more than the person who decided to drive under the influence. Drinking and driving is not just some problem you hear on the news or see people make commercials about. It affects so many people every day. Every time you plan on going out and drinking you should always have someone be the designated driver. Also, you should have a backup plan in case that designated person decides to drink. There are so many services now days that allow you to call a car to come pick you up. If you are not comfortable using those services then call someone you know is staying in to come pick you up. Under no circumstances should you decide to get behind the wheel after going out. Even if you think you are fine and it's just a few miles, it is not. You not only have your life in your hands but everyone else on the road as well. Make the smart decisions and do not drive under the influence of alcohol.

Eli N. - Cal Poly Pomona - Read Essay »

Driving is an escape for some. An annoying necessity for others. Many of us simply tolerate driving. At it's best, driving is an easy experience; going from A to B, with few other cars on the road. At it's worst, you're actually not doing much driving at all, because you're stuck in the same spot, maybe slowly crawling along the freeway due to traffic. What both situations have in common, even in Los Angeles for the most part, is that the road and cars are predictable. As drivers, we are trained to avoid obstacles and drive with caution, because the one thing you don't want to do when going fast, is come to an immediate stop. For the most part, just by driving we are slowly learning how to deal with the obstacles we come across. Little things like short-notice lane changes and cars that don't quite make the yellow light. These seemingly small mistakes happen so much that they become predictable. We are faced with these obstacles, so we are better equipped to handle them. Drunk drivers create unpredictable scenarios. Any sloppiness or split-second decisions can create a mistake that other drivers can't avoid. To add on to that, driving while drunk makes the entire road more unpredictable to the offender. They won't always be in the mindset or have the alertness to deal with another driver's mistakes. These mistakes turn into crashes, crashes with outcomes that can also be unpredictable. The potential of these mistakes aren't just a pricey mechanic bill. These are lives. Lives of anyone, any age, any number of people. It's not worth it. Today, there is so much we can do to avoid these scenarios, with companies like Lyft and Uber making it easy to get a ride wherever you need to be. A parking ticket or tow is nothing compared to the potential damage. Keep the road at a predictable level of unpredictability.

Everett P. - George Mason University - Read Essay »

As someone who has worked in the field of public health for the last few years, I have worked with a client that was the victim of a driving accident. I believe that permanently handicapping an individual, because of selfish alcoholism, is unfair. Due to the client's handicap, she has to pay a higher healthcare cost for a lifetime. Her health may also deteriorate, as exercise may be more difficult in her current condition. Sometimes people die or lose limbs, which could lead to depression. In another past experience, one of my friends almost died while driving home under the influence. When a person is drunk, his or her judgment is impaired, so the mentality is that risky behavior feels acceptable when a person is intoxicated. When my friend almost lost his life, his family almost lost a son and brother. So if a person loses their life, their family members lose a family member, and their friends lose a friend. So everyone related to the victim is at a loss, as well as the victim. In addition, my friend lost his license, was severely injured, and had a harder time commuting to work via public transportation. In a driving accident, the impact of the event, be it through injury, or the loss of a life, can last for a lifetime. I am fortunate enough to say that I personally have not been a victim of drinking and driving. However, I have witnessed several bad experiences with alcohol. One of my previous roommates was kicked out of his school due to a fight while he was drunk at a party. He may have also been drinking underage, as drinking is a common activity for teens and people in their early twenties. I also recall personally witnessing a father beat his child, a childhood friend of mine, on several occasions, due to alcoholism. This same friend also recalls being woken up one night, just to get beaten, and he never understood why. As previously stated, alcohol impairs judgment, so my friend's dad probably thought that his behavior was acceptable since he was drunk. Again, this is probably why people feel comfortable drinking and driving. Both of my parents are alcoholics as well. Alcohol has many health effects, such as stomach ulcers, nerve damage, gout, kidney and liver problems. In addition, I've read that alcohol can effect the frontal cortex, which controls reward circuitry and emotional self control, along with judgment and critical thinking. If this hasn't already been confirmed, in the field of neuroscience, I believe that, like the other health effects, Alcohol has a lasting effect on the frontal cortex. If this is true, then it could explain my dad's short temper, or my mom's flat affect, hence the effect on emotional self control. The alcohol could also lead to a long term habit of impulsive decisions, if the mental effects are long term, due to the effect on reward circuitry in the brain, rewiring the brain for instant gratification. Adversity can be overcome through communication with peers that drink. I believe that people usually don't change unless they have to; so showing consequence is a solution. The mother of a friend of mine put her foot down and told his dad either you go, or the alcohol goes. There are alcoholics anonymous meetings to help people. People can also introspect, asking themselves why they drink. Avoiding peer influence, or peers that might reinforce their bad habits may help. Reading about the effects of alcohol is another form of motivation. Personally, I've spoken to my mom when she bothered me, and I am not close to my dad. In addition, as an adult, I don't have to keep seeing my friend's family, including the father, when I see my friend, since he no longer lives with his parents.

Evan T. - Arizona State University - Read Essay »

Two of the earliest commercials that I have personal memory of involve drunk driving. One was a closeup of two hands, each holding full beer steins. The steins were being smashed together in slow motion. A sound effect of screeching tires ended with a crash as the mugs shattered. A voice then said, Drinking and driving can kill a friendship. The other commercial had the chorus of Don McLean's American Pie playing as a car drove down a dark road. As the song said, This'll be the day that I die, the car crashed. When the chorus ended, the same voice as the previously mentioned commercial said, If you drink and drive, this WILL be the day that you die. People should not drink and drive because it has devastating, life-altering - and often life-ending - consequences. All through my childhood, I heard stories about how wonderful my aunt Patty was. She was my dad's younger sister. I never met her, because she died six years before I was born. Within a week of her high school graduation, she and her boyfriend were in a terrible car crash with a teenage drunk driver. She was killed, and her boyfriend was lucky to survive. Later in life, as an adult, a friend of my wife - a corrections officer - was killed by a drunk driver, leaving behind her husband and three grade-school-aged children. How often do you hear of the drunk driver dying in these crashes? Most often, the victims who are either killed or hurt the worst are completely innocent. My 18-year-old aunt had a bright future. My wife's friend was one of the most beloved workers in the entire corrections department. Each of their funerals had over 200 people in attendance. Hundreds of children who die in drunk driving crashes are passengers in a car driven by a drunk parent who survived. These untimely deaths were completely avoidable and unnecessary. The consequences of driving drunk are devastating for the driver as well. In the legal arena, the consequences include heavy fines, prison time, and a loss of license. In fatal crashes, the drivers also have to live the rest of their lives knowing that they made a bad decision that killed someone else - whether they remember the event or not. It makes absolutely no sense for someone to drink and drive. The consequences of doing so are not only disastrous, but they are also well-known. There are so many transportation options out there for people who choose to drink - designated drivers, taxis, and Lyft/Uber, for example - that there is no excuse. Parents need to make sure to teach their children from an early age to never drive after they've been drinking. Mine did. As I grew older, I decided on my own to avoid drinking alcohol altogether, because I never want to put myself in a position where a lapse in judgment would end up putting me behind the wheel of a car while drunk. I don't want to put other people through the grief that my family or the family of my wife's friend went through. Every time I see my aunt's senior portrait, I see her beaming smile and wonder about how much fun she and I would have had. I also wonder how many more cousins I'd have. Why shouldn't people drink and drive? So no one else has to wonder what the future might have been like for a loved one who was taken too soon.

Hannah J. - University of Denver - Read Essay »

While growing up, my parents were emotionally detached and absent. Thus, i looked up to my brother for everything. He was my role model and hero. He always had goals in life. One of his goals was to go into the marines through OCS. Him having goals taught me to have goals. He worked hard every summer between college at officer boot camp. He taught me what it meant to work hard. He had finally finished his OCS training, but would not receive his commissioning until he graduated college the following year. One night, my brother drove home from a bar a few blocks away from his apartment. He got pulled over. The officer impounded his car and he went to jail for the night. His decision to drink and drive drastically changed the course of his life. He had dreamed about and planed on joining the marines since childhood. It was all he wanted, but because of his DUI, his dreams of becoming a marine was no longer an option. My brother fell into a deep depression with suicidal ideations and became stagnant. While no one was physically hurt, my brothers entire life was altered. He was emotionally hurt, lost his motivation, and loathed himself. Because of his choice to drink and drive, I lost the brother I once had due to his unyielding depression. My brothers decision taught me that every action has a reaction. It taught me that driving while drinking, even if it's only a few blocks, is never worth it. My brothers dreams were squandered, I refuse to let this happen to me. I will meet my goals in becoming a clinician. I will educate others on the consequences of drinking and driving. I will relentlessly make decisions that will improve my life and lead to success.

Tijah A. - Emory University - Read Essay »

Visual and cognitive consideration is critical in order to drive safely, but numerous advances can make drivers lose sight and focal point of the street they face. Sans hands, voice-charge highlights and other intuitive advances progressively regular in new vehicles may make visual and mental diversions that accidentally furnish drivers with a misguided sensation that all is well and good about their security in the driver's seat. Driving requires loads of direct and careful focus and your complete consideration. Diverted driving influences all drivers every now and then and can accompany hardened results. Some go out on a limb and give careful consideration to street expanding their hazard for calamity. Completely understanding what is in question and how little diversions can influence your capacity to drive could keep a genuine mishap. Diverted driving isn't simply messaging, it is any movement that removes a driver from the essential assignment of driving. What's more, in spite of the fact that the generalization is centered around teenagers, grown-ups are similarly as liable of being perilously engrossed in the driver's seat. Diverted driving can be to a great degree hazardous and result in horrendous mischances. The seriousness can go from minor vehicle harm to a totaled auto and obliterating wounds or perhaps even fatalities. Besides texting and driving, the most cliché theme with regards to occupied driving is drinking and driving, and it's cliché due to its commonality among individuals, specifically teenagers and very young adults around the age of 21 years old. Instead of looking at this prompt with regards to why one shouldn't drink and drive, I look at it as why one should drink and drive because the former question has many answers, but the latter has no answers. I believe that there is not any reason to drink and drive, but sometimes the ignorance and naivety of individuals control their common sense because for some reason, common sense is not so common. Today, while driving to my grandmother's house, it began to rain an outstanding amount, with droplets pounding on the window like rocks being thrown. The car slightly slid due to the wet streets, prompting me to pull over, and then I thought: this what it must seem like to drink while driving. One's vision is blurred outrageously, disabling a clear and focus vision that is needed when using a car. There are slides in the car due to the disillusioned state of the driver. The only difference between driving in the rain and drunk driving is that in the first, the obstacle to driving is out of your hands, but you are as focused on the road as you can possibly be, trying not to harm others. However, in the other, the obstacle to driving is completely on your own account, and you endanger others by believing that you are capable of driving sanely when drunk. What people fail to realize is that when you are drinking and driving, you hold an exceedingly amount of power, with not only your life in your hands, but also, the lives of others. A few weeks ago, after partying hard, my godmother was arrested for a D.U.I because she was driving while under the influence of alcohol. Fortunately, she didn't injure anyone on the road or herself externally, but mentally, her mentality about drinking has went to the opposite side of the spectrum because she not only knows the consequences of her actions, but she has also experienced them, and internally, her body was screaming for help from the large consumption of alcohol. This example is so important to me because not only could I have lost a godmother, but due to her being arrested, she needed to be bailed out, and with her lack of money, she needed help from my mother. Due to my mother being a disabled veteran but still managing to work when she can, she doesn't get paid a lot, and my godmother's ridiculous actions took away money that was valuable to me, my mother's, and my brother's lives. This is a perfect example to show that adults make dangerous decisions, too, and with something like this, there is not a such thing as a mistake because injuring someone else due to your disillusioned state is not a mistake. The only mistake was drinking that much alcohol to begin with. Drinking while driving is no joke. Life isn't a game, and once it's gone, it's gone. Instead of putting each other in harm's way, we need to help each other. If you're a passenger, and you feel for your safety, speak up. As the generations prolong, it is getting even more difficult to keep ourselves safe, but communication is key. Friends, if you see your buddy or pal about to drive while under the influence, call them a taxi and make sure they get home safe. Parents, be examples for your kids of what not to do because teenagers are being wiped out due to one decision. However, I do believe that we can rise upwards. I don't believe something like this should have the ability to wipe out our teenagers and family. We, as teenagers, have to stop being a stereotype. Through our struggles with ourselves due to our obsession with being distracted while driving, we have taken lives of innocent people. We need to implement harsher laws and advocate the importance of being sober.

Sanjina M. - Hunter College - Read Essay »

As children we are taught not to drink beverages containing alcohol due to our age. In middle school we are taught that drinking alcohol can result in teen pregnancies. In high school students are taught that drinking results in unwanted sexual advances and drunken accidents. At this point of a person's life, we know that alcohol alters the state of a person's mind, forcing us to make bad decisions that can change the quality of human lives forever. I learned the weight of this truth when I was eight, years before I learned about the negative side effects taught in school. I came home one day only to learn that my dad had been in an accident with two other trucks. Not surprisingly, I had been made aware that one of the drivers had been drunk. The heavily intoxicated driver rammed into the back of my dad's car, forcing my dad's car to slam into the truck in front of him. The images of my dad's car was frightening. My dad's car looked like it was a can of soda someone had crushed in anger. I was in tears. My dad had come impossibly close to losing his life permanently. Luckily, he only had a few scratches and bruises in place of life threatening injuries. Ever since that major accident, I mentally rejected the idea of ever driving a car on my own. I was horrified. While I couldn't prevent my parent's from driving, I could prevent an accident like that from happening to me while I was at the wheel of the car. It took me years to finally build up the courage to take my permit test. Once I got it, it took me another year of getting used to the idea of driving before sitting at the wheel and learning to drive. My dad was there every step of the way. Despite the accident, he was determined to continue in his line of work as a taxi driver. His motivation and determination gave me the push I needed to get over my fear and learn to drive. He helped me get over my fear by being patient, encouraging, and reassuring me my fear was real but proving to me that I can move on if I tried. The most obvious answer as to why people shouldn't drink and drive is the fact that being intoxicated leads to major accidents. People can die, get seriously injured, and hurt others without being intentional. However, what people do not realize is that drinking and driving is a choice. Being inebriated and getting into a car to drive is a choice an individual has made for oneself even before getting drunk. It is critical to establish a routine when an individual intends on consuming alcohol. Asking a friend to drive them home, giving the bartender their keys, or calling a cab are just a few recommendations. Sure drinking can be fun, but it is important to learn to value life over fun.

Loren H. - University of South Florida, St. Petersburg - Read Essay »

In american culture, drinking and driving is something that has been poured into our culture through movies, music and video games as something that is normal and acceptable. Unfortunately, very few movies that depict these extravagant party scenes that the actors then drive home from include the reality of drunk driving. Every two minutes someone is injured by drunk driving and alcohol impaired crashes account for 28% of traffic related fatalities. Statistics show that the highest rate of drunk drivers are aged 21-29, which is the same age groups that these movies and media target to show the good time that is associated with drinking. I live in a rural community in my town, where teenagers believe the only way to have a good time is to buy a 24-pack and drive out to pastures to drink with their friends. I have witnessed people that I have grown up with get into their vehicles, after consuming more alcohol than they can stomach, and drive around doing donuts and drag races, half of them stopping half way to puke out their windows. I am fortunate enough to have always been taught the statistics growing up, and I have grown up in a household where my parents have made it very clear that anything is better than driving home intoxicated. Throughout my four years of highschool, four people who have grown up in the same small community as me have died due to them driving under the influence, and many more have totalled their trucks and cars after crashing due to alcohol. The people I know who have firsthand experience with drunk driving are some of the kindest people I know, yet they lack the self-concern to keep their life safe. I feel that what drunk drivers fail to realize is that even if they don't value their life, the people that they are endangering value theirs. I believe that it is beyond important to avoid drunk driving because the life that may be taken while doing so could have been the person who goes on to fix climate change or become the president. Every life has value and importance, so doing something that is so easily avoidable such a drunk driving, is something that should not even been considered while someone makes their weekend plans. In the past, excuses, although not valid, could've been made. But in today's world we have uber and lyft, which will even come to the most rural of areas and certainly go to busier areas where bars and nightclubs are. I believe that you should never drink and drive, because even one life saved is a positive contribution to stopping the problem.

Stepan P. - University of Southern California - Read Essay »

The answer to this essay question prompts me to think of several safety reasons to not drink and drive and although safety is the biggest concern while driving, I also strongly believe integrity is just as important while getting behind the wheel. I have been driving for Uber for a little over two years now to be able to have a flexible enough schedule with school and every time I have the chance to speak with teenagers who will be drinking, I remind them that they are doing the right thing by taking an uber and not driving while knowing they will be drinking. For me, its a question of morals and integrity and a little bit of pre planning when alcohol is involved. I strongly believe that everyone needs to understand and think not only of themselves when it comes to drinking and driving but of others and how the results, though it may not always be fatal, can impact other peoples day to day lives. My older cousin, who is an aspiring singer/songwriter, had the unfortunate experience of what drinking and driving can result too. The drunk driver was speeding and missed the red light and crashed into her car at the middle of the intersection. She had a broken nose, broken left leg and left forearm and her car was totaled. Fortunately for her, the drunk driver was alert enough to dial 911. Although she survived, her life was drastically different from that point on and it was because someone decided that they were okay enough to drink and drive. I live with my cousin and watching her struggle to perform certain dance moves due to someone else's decision to be careless really upsets me and our entire family. The road is a shared space and everyone should drive with integrity. As I mentioned before, I have been driving Uber for a little over 2 years now to help pay for school and the flexibility allows me to actually have a job during school. I also have a part time job of applying to scholarships that I can relate to and qualify for in order to help fund my college career. This scholarship would provide tremendous relief with not only living expenses but the cost of attending school. I am beyond grateful for this chance and it is through organizations like yours that give students like me a chance at finding some financial aid.

Augustine T. - University of Texas at Tyler - Read Essay »

Why you shouldn't drink and drive? It is said that we cannot serve two masters at the same time, but part of our generation seems to disagree with this social norm. Nowadays our society has been challenged with doing two things at the same time clearly knowing one is bound to fall in one of the actions. A good example of such is texting and driving, and also drinking and driving. These two things have been the top causes of casualties among the youth leaving others dead and others scarred for life. Drinking and driving is the number one cause of deaths among the youth today. It is state law that while driving there should absolutely be no alcohol content in your blood and also that while driving alcohol content should be kept away and not be open either. Modern society now is living a life of partying and drinking and this is a big challenge. Laws have been set aside, police being deployed more and more to help get drunks off the road, and even Uber, lyft and taxi ride services being established ensuring safety of drunks but still nothing seems to change. Through my experience I can say that drinking and driving is not safe. During a school event back in high school, our school bus driver was to drive us back to school from the event. At the time of the event the driver was nowhere to be found but when it was time to leave he showed up and we all got into the bus and were ready to leave. En route, I and my fellow students noticed that the bus kept swaying across the road. We informed the teachers who were dosing off. As soon as they realized what was going on they were quick to take action. They asked the bus driver to stop but he did not. They noted from the drivers breathe that he was drunk, the driver was reluctant to stop since we were on the interstate. The other cars hooted their horns at the bus which frightened us as we feared for our lives. The teachers had no choice but to call the highway patrol to come to our to pull us over so the driver could stop driving. The highway patrol surely cane to our aid and we were safe at last. Ever since that day I have always been against drinking and driving. Our lives are precious and our carelessness nature can put them at risk. We as a community should come together and stop this trend. Parents should play the biggest role in helping solve this issue because charity begins at home.

Christina P. - Xavier University of New Orleans - Read Essay »

Drinking has becomes a huge barrier between and my mother. Though my mother has been through many discrepancies it has altered her presence in my life as a first generation college student and a daughter. Drinking while driving has resulted in my mother having many court tickets, dates, and of course jail time. All in all this has forced me to mature much more quickly, uptaking many more responsibilities in a single parent household such as bills, on top of my personal responsibilities of school and extracurricular activities. Though a troubling experience in my childhood, I am grateful for it because it has taught me the importance of other people's life along with their feelings. Learning responsibility at such a young age taught me to do the right thing in life and say no to alcohol and drugs. Having a significant love one in and out of my life due to reckless drinking helped me understand how it feels for someone to lose a loved one to a childish mistake of getting behind the wheel. In many instances of crash court, I have seen instances where fathers have lost their wife and children due to someone else's reckless decision making. Throughout what I learned I took responsibility of my love one's decisions by simply taking the car keys away from them and allowing them to lay down and sober up so they are able to make more rational decisions when handling a motor vehicle. I love my mother enough to have her hurt anyone else or face any significant jail time due to me not taking a stance to drinking and driving. This same consideration is applied for any parties that I attend, I take the initiative to be the designated driver for my friends, or suggest a uber ride or a call to a close friend to help us get home. All in all, I have been able to encourage many college students like myself to be accountable for one another and their future for a better tomorrow.

Linnea B. - Embry Riddle Aeronautical University - Read Essay »

Mosquitos refuse to bite him purely out of respect. Once, a rattlesnake bit him. After five days of excruciating pain, the snake finally died. He has won the lifetime achievement award, twice. Of course, we know these remarks to be in reference to none either than the Most Interesting Man in the World. It's been almost a decade since we first heard the now-iconic phrase, I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Does Equis. This campaign ad somehow lent unique credibility to the otherwise ridiculous message, which featured a Hemingway-esque bearded man engaging in various globetrotting adventures. Yet, the defining quality that truly attests to his status as the most interesting man makes him the most interesting man in the world was the fact he never partaked in drinking and driving. By this day and age, we all are aware that drinking and driving is a deadly decision that has resulted in too many lives being taken before their time. I can sit here and tell you that every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. But as I stated, these are things that we all know yet not many people are as aware of the legal ramifications of such an action. If you one of the lucky ones to walk away unharmed from a impaired driving experience, you luck runs out about there. One of the most common consequences for a drunk driving conviction is a license suspension. You could lose your license anywhere from a few months to a few years. This is sure to put a strain on your life when you can no longer get yourself from place to place on a daily basis. Instead, you will have to rely on friends and family or public transpiration to get you to and from work and to help you run your errands. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you can be sure some hefty penalties are coming your way. Not only do you face a license suspension, but you could also be sentenced to jail time and be required to pay exorbitant fines. Now in many towns, the recent drunk driving arrests are published online or in the newspapers. Not only is this embarrassing, but it could potentially be damaging to your relationships when your friends, family, and co-workers find out about your conviction. Your boss could even decide to fire you upon finding out. As everyone applying for this scholarship has hopes of furthering their education, I can only assume that they went to have an equally successful career. One DUI could change that career course forever. It would only be a shame to devote so much time and dedication to building a future, to only have one quick impaired decision remove it from your grasp. So I leave you with what I think is a truly more insightful quote from the one and only Most Interesting Man in the World. I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer to never drink and drive.

Sidney J. - Georgia College and State University (GCSU) - Read Essay »

An anonymous man once wisely stated drunk driving is a killer disease. He was undoubtedly correct. Drinking and driving poses an enormous threat not only to the driver, but also to the passengers and valuable cargo in the vehicle. By rashly choosing drunk driving, the driver risks injury, hefty fines, time in jail, or in the worst case scenario, death! Passengers who may be in the vehicle with an intoxicated individual additionally face the possibility of injury or death. Significant cargo or goods in the vehicle may be damaged or destroyed depending on the severity of the accident. Drinking and driving should be avoided at all costs. First off, is one night of fun, rowdy, hard core drinking and partying then driving home actually worth the risk of death? When the driver is caught and pulled over intoxicated, the punishment should be harsh. Such punishment may include large fines or time served in jail. Furthermore, the self-admitted penalty may prove more extreme, like injury or death to oneself and/or passengers. So the answer is no, of course drinking and driving is not worth the risk. To continue, if an accident indeed occurs while an individual is drunk driving and passengers are present, they could also be seriously injured or even die. What if the driver is barely scared while the passengers survive, but majorly bruised and with broken bones? Or, in the worst case scenario, if your friends die and you live because you chose to drive them home drunk? This would bore a deep, irrevocable hole in one's conscious forever. The mental, emotional guilt and regret would be unbearable. Do not drink and drive, and especially do not when passengers are riding along too. Lastly, if the driver is drinking and driving while carting precious cargo, i.e. company products or property, the consequences for damaging such goods may prove austere. For example, it may result in the termination of that person's job, a lawsuit against him/her, or other unpleasant forms of punishment. Driving impaired affects everyone, and everything, around that person. Watch out! Drunk driving puts at great risk the driver, passengers, and cargo in the vehicle. The benefits of drinking do not outweigh the costs of drinking while driving. As with every right and wrong decision, drinking and driving has short and long term consequences. It is life threatening, and you are not the only one in the path of danger. Remember what that wise old man once affirmed - Drunk driving is a killer disease. Avoid drinking and driving; always!

Emma H. - UW La Crosse - Read Essay »

When people think of my home state of Wisconsin, they think of cheese and beer, and rightly so. The dairy industry is vital to the economy and culture of the state, and the consumption of alcohol is too. Drinking culture can truly be considered culture here. In my family, drinking is usually reserved for holidays and other special occasions. In this way, my parents set a good example for responsible alcohol consumption. However, they know that they would not be the only factors affecting mine and my brother's decisions about alcohol. When my older brother and I got to the point where we could drive, we both got the same talk: I don't care if you drink underage. I mean, I'll be a bit disappointed, but you won't be grounded for the rest of your life or anything. What will get you in trouble though, is if you lie about it. If you and your friends have been drinking, you call one of us. No matter what time it is. I would much rather come pick you up in the middle of the night than have you driving drunk. To this day, I've stayed alcohol free, aside from trying a sip of one my parents drinks. This is another tactic of theirs, to introduce me to alcohol while they are present and in control. It also takes away some of its mystery and allure. However, not everyone treats alcohol consumption with the same care and caution. As said before, Wisconsin is known as the land of beer and cheese, and also as the land of DUIs. According to a study posted in 2015 by USA Today, Wisconsin is ranked fourth in the nation for the most drunk driving related arrests and fatalities. With a record like this, it's hard to not know someone that has been involved in a crash of some kind, either when they were driving under the influence or were hit by someone who was. For me, the person I know is my grandmother. One winter night, she was driving home when her car stalled. Stuck on the side of the road, she put on her emergency flashers. Suddenly, her car was struck from behind. When EMTs got there, they put her on a board and carried her into the ambulance, fearful that she may have sustained a neck or spinal injury. Luckily this was not the case. She appeared to have only suffered from whiplash. Later on however, she started feeling random pains in her body. One day a stiffness in her arms and shoulders, another day a sharp sting lancing up her leg and another day tightness and pain in her neck. She was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The chronic disease has plagued her in the over twenty years since the accident. Flare ups often came at difficult points in her life, adding the persistent pain to the stress of the situation. All this happened because the man behind the wheel of the other car was driving drunk and smashed into her car. She now has chronic pain from a car accident that was not her fault. It goes to show that driving dunk has a heavy cost. One person's bad decision cannot only put their lives in danger, but also the lives of everyone else on the road. This man drank and drove despite the alcohol clouding his judgement, and he hit an innocent person. Now, my grandmother has to pay the price for his recklessness. With every dull ache and every shooting pain comes the screech of grinding metal and the shock of her body being flung forward. Stories like this demonstrate why it is a mistake to drive drunk. I'd much rather nominate myself as the designated driver and drink water and soda all night than have anyone I'm with drive under the influence. Making sure my friends have a sober driver taking them home is how I can make Wisconsin's roads safer and protect everyone on the road from an accident that could impact them for the rest of their life or even end their life.

Kandis R. - Univesity of Texas Health San Antonio - Read Essay »

Although drunk driving is an issue that affects all ages, it's a manipulative monster that targets young adults and teens, first. Media in our society - movies, television, social media, commercials, etc. - glorify drunken stupor for something that it is not. Young people grab hold of this false façade and naively teach these lies to their peers. We cannot buy into what alcohol offers us, wrapped in a sweet, seemingly harmless bottle, or comfortable cup, because it's deception. Your sobered up right mind will say that you can handle yourself, because your family or friends can handle themselves good enough and drink. And this mind is right - in a way. You should be able to handle avoiding poor choices? with your normal state of mind. Your mind will not tell you, Hey. In a little while, I think I'll take a nap and let you do some decision-making without my help. I'll be tired after you have that alcohol and won't work the same (effective) way as right now. Young brains are not even fully developed until the age of twenty-five, even though the legal drinking age is twenty one, and even though teen-drinking is abundant. Drinking can affect your brain's development, reaction time, and logical decision making. People do not take driving while intoxicated seriously because driving is considered something easy. Our minds find it hard to believe that some sweet-smelling, pleasantly-wrapped, happy-juice could cause such simple tasks like stopping at a red light, avoiding trees, and driving inside the lines, difficult to accomplish. Alcohol makes us do things out of our normal character and judgement. It's hard to come up with a safe plan of action while intoxicated, so it is best to create a safe environment ahead of time. Although I choose not to drink, others inevitably will. We need to encourage others to plan their fun, before it gets risky. This can include giving your keys to a designated driver, planning to get an Uber or taxi (especially if your designated driver becomes drunk) or planning to stay overnight. In high school, some party hosts would let everyone sleep in their vehicles to discourage drunk driving. People would bring pillows and blankets and lock their doors when it was time to sleep. You can also hide your keys or give them to someone you trust, if you are planning to drink at home. However, there are certain big moments- like proms, weddings, or even debuts- where having a limo or party bus may be the best option. It can provide transportation for parents, chaperones, teens, etc., without giving worry to missing out on a celebration but still having fun. Young people love limo rides and party busses, and it gives them something to look forward to when they want to head home. Those who get used to drinking at a young age, get too comfortable when it becomes a habit. I see people who partied and got drunk in high school start taking beers with them in their vehicles now, as college students. You can get in trouble with the law, pay fines, get suspended like my dad did in high school, and even pay the price for other's injuries as well as your own. It's not only your own life you have an impact in when you drive. We take this for granted when we have our right frame of mind, because we get careless when it comes to alcohol. There have been people from my high school die because of intoxicated driving. There are always reports of drunk drivers killing or injuring innocent mothers, children, best friends, spouses, and significant others. It does not take a nasty criminal or evil-seeking person to make this mistake; all it takes is an average person with an un-average level of alcohol. It does not even need to be an avid-drinker, because even the first time you have a drink, there's no telling if you will let yourself go overboard. Bearing the burden of harming someone else's family or friend because of your own poor action is not worth the convenience of driving yourself home drunk. From what I have seen, it's more beneficial and morally comforting to not allow yourself access to car keys while drunk, to have a very trustworthy designated driver that never drinks, to always have a plan B, to have access to Uber or a taxi, to plan ahead and rent a limo or party bus, to call a parent, and/or to be willing to stay put.

Sarah D. - Quinnipiac Univeristy - Read Essay »

Wow. I shouldn't have been shocked, but I was. They had warned me. Yet when the curtain was pulled back and revealed a man with a gaping chest wound, I had no words. I didn't know this man, but just looking at him caused me to feel uneasy. I had been shadowing a Physician Assistant, and had seen many gruesome injuries and surgeries over the past month. We were going to replace a wound vacuum (a device that soaks up blood) in a man's chest. Written in his patient notes were the statements: car accident drunk driver. The beeping of the machines in his room echoed inside my head. The Physician Assistant peeled back the wound vacuum to reveal the unconscious man's heart through a gaping hole in his chest. I could see it beating and pumping blood as if it were in a closed chest. Looks much better today, she commented. Better? I questioned how this could possibly be worse. I questioned how long it would take for him to recover. I questioned how this all happened. Drunk driving has consequences that are extremely misunderstood. Often times, the topic of drunk driving is brushed off. People think, that won't happen to me, I'd never drink and drive. Yet, every single day, twenty nine people in the United States alone die in car crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. That is one person dying every fifty minutes, all because of a simple decision to drive while under the influence. With alcohol in one's system, making reasonable decisions is not possible, which is often times why people who have been drinking get behind the wheel in the first place. They think that they are fine, and able to drive home. In reality, however, they are uncoordinated and cannot be trusted on the road. Drunk driving has devastating results. Injuries, damaged cars, and death are part of the consequences. Unfortunately, helpless victims who have been hit have to pay these consequences even though they made no wrong decisions. If the fact that driving while drunk is illegal is not enough to stop you from getting into a car after drinking, think about how you would feel if you received a phone call saying that your mother, father, sister, brother, or best friend had been killed by a drunk driver. Imagine how devastating that phone call would be. Somebody else may be receiving that phone call if you decide to drive home after drinking. I didn't know the man that I saw that day in the hospital while shadowing a Physician Assistant. I didn't know his family or his life story. However, I do know what a big impact a drunk driver has made on his life. He has undergone multiple surgeries, spent months in a hospital bed, and will spend years trying to get back to his normal life. The second that the curtain was pulled back, I felt the weight of the stress and sadness the car accident had caused to both himself and his family. I hope that one day, everybody will understand this weight, and will pledge to never drink and drive again.

Brittney B. - Savannah College of art and Design - Read Essay »

Some people think they're invincible. That nothing touches them. That because of who their parents are and the privilege they're instilled with, they can escape consequence. And for a lot of people, that's true. A young black man can do a year in jail for a minor offense, while a young white man will only get probation. Man believes he is the LAW and the ORDER. But no man can control fate. Kids think its funny how their drunk friend is parked at a stop sign, waiting for it to turn green. To drunk to realize its not a stop light. He'll hit the curb, slightly knocking over the stop sign as he proceeds forward. Not enough for it to fall over completely. Just enough out of line of sight, obscured by the midnight hour. The drunken kids make it home safely. But the mini van holding the dotting mother, working father, and 3.5 kids asleep in the backseats, returning from a family road trip, don't see the obscured stop sign; not illuminated in their headlights. So their van drives through what should be a complete stop. They don't register the car speeding, crashing into the passenger side. Those drunk kids face the wrath of their parents on the dangers of drinking and driving. The dotting mother, working father and 3.5 kids face uncertain futures. Two of the kids were killed instantly, painlessly. The mother remains comatose; her baby delivered three months too early. And the third child is paralyzed from the waist down. The working father escapes with moderate injuries. But he's crushed by looming hospital bills and grief. The worst that happened to those drunks kids wasn't the gamble of their own lives, but the lives of others. And even worse, when they wake up the morning after the accident and see the broadcast of the family that suffered a deadly car crash, those kids will be too hungover to see the blood on their car keys. These days, drinking and driving is only one thing that can cause reckless driving. But it remains a serious issue. An issue that too many have to deal with. Not because they drink, but because others do. The disability club is the only club anyone, anywhere, at any time, can become a member. But its a club no wants to join. The mother survived, as did her baby. But the baby boy developed medical complications from premature birth. They completely rearranged their life to fit the needs of their disabled daughter. Grief still slowly kills them. But debt is killing them quicker. All because of a bottle.

Rachelle J. - University of Massachusetts Boston - Read Essay »

One time I went on a first date to a restaurant in the heart of Boston. Order whatever drink you want, he told me. He did not order a drink when asked by the waitress. He told me that he did not drink alcohol anymore due to a car accident. When living in Algeria, he went out with his cousins to a party. They have been drinking and he proceeded to drive home. In Algeria, roads are narrow and less regulated. He fell asleep at the wheel and woke up in the hospital. He learned that he lost his cousin due to the car accident. He vowed never to ever drink alcohol again. Victims lives are forever changed from drunk driving accidents. Survivors deal with long-term consequences involving disabilities, trauma or other complications. Many accidents become fatal, leaving families burdened. The victims range in age and backgrounds affecting them and their love ones. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,461 people died in traffic crashes in 2016 in the United States (latest figures available), including an estimated 10,497 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater). (Responsibility.org) Ways that drunk driving can be prevented it through policing, advertisement and education. There should be a stronger police presence on highways and main streets during late hours. This would help identify potentially dangerous scenarios. Highways can use message boards to communicate to the public about road safety. Also, having discussions with others, especially young adults about driving under the influence can be impactful. Through education, generations will be more aware of the severity of drunk driving. This would help reducing the likelihood of future accidents. As an Individual, I can vow to not drink and drive. By taking a stand, I am responsible for my safety and others on the road. Also, having conversations with peers who has or plans to drink and drive is vital. The key is responsibility. If I notice a friend is intoxicated, I will not let them drive. Its important for myself to speak up about the dangers of drunk driving. With more awareness, drivers would understand the importance of sharing the road and avoid driving under the influence.

Kieara M. - Drexel University - Read Essay »

According to humanity's accepted properties of life, all life should be able to reproduce. An unfortunate and less discussed aspect of life is the ability to put an end to another being. It is not difficult to get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of the twenty-first century, but more often than not our attempts to slow down can have the most extreme consequences. Liveliness is a precious gift that is destined for a lifetime but can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Thousands of people will not see their loved ones again because of irresponsible decisions made in moments of sub-par reasoning. Driving under the influence is a scenario that will never have a happy ending, and should be prevented at all costs. With distractions like cell phones, music, other vehicles, etc., people have a hard enough time focusing on the road and keeping a steady head without adding alcohol into the mix. Under the influence, humans are biologically and mentally slower than they would ever be sober, which completely contrasts everything a good driver should be. All of the alertness needed to protect the driver and those around them is suddenly out the window after a few "harmless" drinks. Never in a million years does anyone think, "I am going to be a victim of a drunk driving accident," but it still happens because no one expects to be the victim. In order to avoid these unthinkable situations, humanity needs to take initiative in this movement to stop drunk driving and grab a hold of consciousness because it is all we have. Drunk driving can be the difference between a person safely returning to their family after a night out and never regaining consciousness again. With life comes many privileges and an equal amount of responsibility to yourself and those around you. Whether it means being on the road with a complete stranger or a loved one, life is not something to risk over less-than-conscious decisions. The loss of life is a burden someone will have to carry on their shoulders whether it is the taker of the life or the mourners of the lost. Life is a gift that cannot be replaced and definitely should not be lost to something as preventable as drunk driving.

Gracie A. - Evangel Univeristy - Read Essay »

Consuming alcohol and the side effects of it has been an issue the human race has been dealing with since the beginning of civilization. Throughout time there have been prohibitions and other restrictions on fermented beverages, all in attempts make the affected communities safer. Many feel that it is at their discretion based on how many drinks they've had, or how strong of a drink affecting the toxicity level of alcohol in their bloodstream. This is a difficult topic to discuss. With beverages so widely consumed and accepted, its very common for someone to go out for a drink after work with their co-workers to blow off some steam and unwind. The atmosphere at most of these investments is relaxing and a convent place to meet up with friends. This makes it easy for someone to drink a couple beers and think their fine to drive, after all they have to go home and work the next day. But a little alcohol is ok right? According to the NHTSA a person is considered intoxicated when their BAC ( blood alcohol content) is 0.08 grams per deciliter. Anything before that is not concert impaired driving. According to the CDC, in 2016 alone, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. 28% seams like a lot smaller number, but a number nonetheless. Since another prohibition is out of the question. Perhaps something that could work is for bars and establishments, which serve alcohol keep a breathalyzer on hand to have available for people who want to check their BAC. This would really only work as a strong recommendation. The CDC also suggests more roadside breathalyzers checks conducted by the police force, as well as more harsh disciplinary actions for those who have received a DUI. I personally have not had a drink and then drove, and my experience around alcohol is minimal, the first time i went out for a drink with some people I didn't even drink. But the person I road with did. But it was only a few beers and he felt fine. I made sure to have a conversation with him about his convert level it was brief but i felt comfortable riding with him. The truth is people have their own comfort level and everyone handles alcohol differently. Yes, people should not drink then drive, or drink and drive. But it is going to do it anyway. The most we can do is keep those whom we share a drink with accountable and have these constructive open conversation about how their feeling. If someone at the table isn't drinking have them offer a ride, if you're riding with someone who's drinking later consider driving yourself. Through working together hopefully we can bring that 28% down to 0%.

Zainab M. - Emory University - Read Essay »

The reasons to avoid drunk driving are numerous. The more obvious ones are promoted through telemarketing statistics and displayed on 8 x 11-medium-print awareness flyers plastered across coffee-shop bulletins and sidewalk power posts. In 2014, 9,967 were killed in a drunk-driving crash. Over 50% of motor accidents are facilitated by alcohol-impaired drivers Nearly 300,000 individuals hit the road while under the influence, but only 1 out of every 100 of those drivers are apprehended for it. What isn't as well reported, however, are the feelings of those who lose a loved one in accidents like these. The irreparable heartbreak of a mother losing her only son to his own senseless obsession with intoxication and habitually poor decision-making. Or the unprecedented pain felt by a child upon the unexpected loss of her always-responsible father, his life stolen and his daughter's childhood marred because of a stranger's lack of self-control. Or even the silent suffering of a pet whose owner didn't come home the night before and won't be returning any night after because of his involvement in an accident with a senseless driver. The most profound impacts of alcohol-impaired loss aren't communicable in figures. No number of commas or recurring digits can even begin to depict the emotions that rage within a person upon losing an integral part of their life which, for many of us, are what our loved ones are to us. A father, a child, a friend, a caretaker. The pains of substance-impaired driving is widespread and felt by many more than those directly involved. While not directly impacted by a loss, witnessing the pain embedded within the eyes of those who have suffered one has left me feeling the same kind of emptiness and has, overtime, developed into anxiety and worry triggered whenever I or a loved one steps behind the wheel. Never before have I felt as uneasy as I do now whenever watching my parents pull out from the driveway to go to work. While both are responsible drivers, the awareness that those who may be accompanying them in the neighboring lanes may not be as considerate and as conscious is just as haunting. And the recent report of a mother and her two children killed in a drunk driving incident in my own hometown creates a vividly terrifying image in my own mind of what it might be like if my sister and I were to have to bear news of the loss of our own mother in a preventable accident such this one. The fear of loss is almost just as unnerving as the loss itself, though it surely doesn't have to be. As with anything in life, even enjoyment--which is often times what drinking is associated with-- not only is moderation advisable, it's beneficial. Overindulging leads to discomfort. Where there was once satisfaction now stands unease and displeasure. Why fuel it when it will only lead to more? The feeling of becoming further and further disconnected with the senses and more and more ill isn't in anyway enchanting and the risks that accompany those feelings are equally unappealing. True pleasure comes with control, the one thing we constantly strive for, the one aspect of life which holds so much value. Why hand over life's prime value for something as temporal as drinking? While statistics and propaganda possess their own effects, warning and steady reasoning can only do so much. It's choice that (quite literally) drives the decisions we make, including those that lead us to behave without sense or objectivity. And so I wish to leave with this: If the hefty emotional burdens of the six-digit casualties associated with intoxicated driving aren't enough to force you to steer clear of irresponsible driving or if thoughts of self-preservation and self-interest still aren't compelling enough, consider instead those who you risk leaving behind, the forever-lingering damage they're forced to endure and the control you risk losing. when you chose to step behind the wheel with such a dangerous passenger within you. Don't drive drunk.

Andru S. - University of South Florida - Read Essay »

It is easy to take the days we have for granted. It is easy to assume that we can wake up tomorrow healthy and happy. However, the reality is that these assumptions can lead to complacency and carelessness; and when individuals succumb to the pitfalls that these two characteristics harbor, they can unintentionally insert themselves into undesirable and preventable situations. The interesting fact is that the two groups of words previously used coincide with each other to create one complete idea. Undesirable complacency can lead to preventable carelessness. This idea applies directly to the combined actions of drinking and driving. Alone, the two activities are seemingly unrelated. Having a drink with a few friends or in a larger social gathering can be enjoyable during the activity; however, it can lead to a lack of personal control. Driving, on the other hand, is usually conducted out of necessity and requires virtually complete focus and control in order to ensure safety for oneself and surrounding drivers. With this being said, why would it be a good idea to combine these two activities? There are many examples of instances in which drinking and driving has resulted in tickets, serious injury, and unfortunately, death. These facts seemingly should act as effective deterrents, yet that is not the case. I would simplify the explanation for this in one word, control. The main reason, from personal experience, that I believe individuals decide to drink and drive despite the clear risks is because of a sense of control. Those that choose to follow through with these actions believe that they still have control of self. This belief results in elevated confidence in one's ability to remain safe. However, what usually is not accounted for is the lack of control that others have on an individual. The most control that we have is over ourselves. To that effect, we cannot control the actions of others, and all that is required is one wrong turn or one missed stop to ensure that another person loses control of their own life. This in turn affects those associated with the driver and the victim. The decision to drive based upon a false notion of control can lead to despair for many others. All of this, predicated by one decision. So, why should one not drink and drive? It is because it has the possibility of confiscating another's control, a value that was taken for granted.

Joelle W. - Daemen College - Read Essay »

Call me if you need a ride. These are the words that many people often hear as they leave the house before going out with their friends. I recently turned 21 and I always say that I will if needed; however, I have seen many people leave to drive home that should not have been driving. Everyone thinks that they are okay to drive; the alcohol distorts judgement and people often do things they would not do if they were not under the influence. These people drunkenly and stupidly put not only themselves in danger, but also the lives of every other person on the roads. Drinking and driving is a dangerous risk that is not acceptable. Law enforcement has really been tougher and tougher on drunk drivers especially now that Uber and Lyft ride services are readily available. The most unfortunate part about drunk drivers is that they are not intentionally trying to harm or even potentially kill others, but it happens, and then they have to live with it for the rest of their lives. The drunk driver is usually relaxed and comes out with less injuries than the others involved. If caught driving under the influence of alcohol, prices are high; the person involved must pay a steep fine for lawyers and then the charge placed against them. The driver must also cope emotionally and live with the guilt and their drunken decision for the rest of their life. The dangers of drinking and driving should really be made apparent to not only all of those in college and high school that are just starting out, but even adults need to be reminded sometimes. All people should learn to drink responsibly; this includes getting yourself and others home safely. Never be afraid to call for a ride, book an Uber, or rotate amongst the group for a designated driver. Driving drunk is never worth putting yourself and others at risk.

Blake B. - Purdue Fort Wayne - Read Essay »

There are a million factors that can indicate why drinking and driving is bad. But, to sum all those factors into one: it kills. Everyday, around 23 people are subject to fatality due to drinking and driving, costing over $55 billion per year in alcohol related accidents. I myself have done work as being a designated driver to ensure everyone gets home safely. Drinking and driving can also ruin your license, causing high fines, suspendions, and even the chance of never reclaiming your ability to drive again. How will you commute to work and school without it? You not only jeopardize your license, but your potential education. You are also subject to increase insurance rates, or even no insurance coverage at all. You also claim the lives of the innocent, from a bystander on their way to a friend, to you yourself taking your life behind the wheel. You are worth more than a bottle of beer. Overcoming adversity for me was difficult. As a triplet growing up in a low income household, we were always subject to bullying. But we overcame it not by getting back, but by pursuing our dreams. I want to be a computer engineer, my brother wants to be a Nurse and the last one is with the airforce. We grew up struggling in a home where we didn't always have food, but each of us grew up overcoming financial scrutiny that was always noticable in our day to day life. I was lucky that I've never drink and drive. To drink and drive is to put the entirety of your future at stake, your future endeavors, your livelihood. Your $100k salary- all at the expense of a bottle of beer. Don't drive and drink, have a Friend or a family member take you home, even if it's embarrassing. Or perhaps take services such as Uber. Because when you drink and drive, you live on a fine line.

Eva M. - Widener University - Read Essay »

When you watch a movie about young people in particular, there are romanticized and problematic images that recur. Something about not caring for oneself is made to seem attractive and cool, and that harmful image is often tied to alcohol abuse and drinking and driving. Whether it's laughing friends driving off into a sunset with someone leaning out of a sunroof, or someone driving with their feet so they can eat a burrito, driving and the deep, serious, responsibility that comes with driving is often minimized and almost mocked. People's lives are ended because of drunk drivers daily, and it is often because driving drunk was normalized or made to seem like something that lots of people do where everything turns out fine. It is easy to say that drunk drivers are heinous selfish people and to separate them from yourself, but in reality most people have found themselves in a situation where they were a bystander to drunk driving or knew a drunk driver personally. I have seen people refuse to go home with a drunk driver, yet still allow them to drive themselves home, and I have seen drunk people aware enough to know that drunk driving was dangerous, yet feel that they could watch their driver carefully to ensure more safety. All of these ways that people rationalize the decision to drunk drive or to allow someone to drive drunk contribute to the idea that it isn't that serious, or that there are ways to do drunk driving safely; that is not the case, and driving drunk is ALWAYS dangerous and life-threatening. Whether it is driving on a curvy road on a cliff, or driving only three blocks home on a road known well, drunk driving endangers everyone in and around the car, and the risk of harm and even death are great. Another harmful aspect of drunk driving that makes it seem like an acceptable choice or worthwhile risk is the misconception that renting a car or using public transportation is going to be a lengthier time investment, financially draining, or bothersome. That is just not the case. If you are planning to drink or go out with other people, sharing the cost of a cab or car is fairly reasonable, especially if you use a group payment plan for the multiple locations close by. This also ensures that you and your friends stay close or communicate throughout the night which is good safety protocol in general. If you are someone who feels uncomfortable bringing up drunk driving to an already intoxicated person attempting to do so, perhaps try to normalize preemptive moves for your friend group like having a bowl of keys at the start of a night, or making the decision to not even bring a car to an event with alcohol so the temptation to drive drunk is lessened. Hold yourself accountable, and hold everyone around you accountable, not just your close friends. Being safe and smart about drunk driving protects everyone, even people you have never met. Thank you!

Kimberly B. - California Southern University - Read Essay »

Driving is a task that should always be handled with much safety. When sober, it is important to pay attention to the road and all the surroundings while in the car. However, when someone drinks alcohol and they decide to drive, their chances of injury to themselves and others in the car or on the highway increases. There are many risks to drinking and driving, this decision could end the driver's life and even endanger anyone else on the road or in the car as passengers. Death is a major risk that is involved in drinking and driving. Judgement is often impaired and the ability to drive correctly and pay attention is decreased. The higher consumption of alcohol means there is a higher chance of being involved in an accident. Reaction times and impaired vision does not help driving in a safe manner. Alcohol, alone, affects the people immensely and combining that with driving adds the vehicle as a weapon to cause injury to the self and others. Prevention of drinking and driving is important and it should be an important goal to be able to educate young children, adolescents, and young adults on the risks of drinking and driving. If educational programs can teach about the dangers of drinking and driving, then it may help to develop the youth community into smart decision making adults and prevent fatalies. Smart choices need to be made when drinking. If someone chooses to drink it is important to have a back up plan on how to get home, whether it is a cab or another form of transportation to get home, or have a designated driver that has not been drinking. Also, it is important that young adolescents are not exposed to drinking, the awareness of not drinking should be the utmost priority when it comes to them as they have just learned to drive and sometimes are introduced to drinking before the drinking age. Drinking and driving is a crime, and it is a crime that should be made aware to human beings of all ages. The consequences of driving while being impaired are not worth it, it is worth to be cautious and not drive until one is sober.

Aleena C. - University of Phoenix - Read Essay »

We have all heard numerous times the warning to not drink and drive but yet people still do it. Drinking and driving happens way more often than it should and most of the time leads to injuries and fatalities that are easily avoided. These are the most serious reasons to not drink and drive but there are others as well. So if everyone knows not to drink and drive, why do people still do it? Consuming alcohol severely limits a person's motor functions as well as cognitive ability. The effect alcohol has on the body can make it hard to walk, let alone operate a motor vehicle. Also, it impairs judgment. A person who is intoxicated is not able to think clearly and make sound choices. The more a person drinks, the less they are able to make sound choices. The person is clearly inebriated and should not drive through the eyes of others but due to the inability to make reasonable decisions, the intoxicated person thinks that they are able to drive. The most serious consequences are injury and fatalities of the intoxicated driver, the other people involved in the accident, or both. Other consequences of drinking and driving could be loss of license, jail time, fines, probation, and job loss. If the intoxicated person is arrested and convicted of drunk driving, it could go on their permanent record making it difficult to secure employment. I am guilty of drinking and driving as I have done it a few times. The times I have done it, I was not able to make great decisions and although I know not to drink and drive, that is not a thought that crossed my mind while I was intoxicated. In some instances I remember it being difficult to stay in the lane and some I do not remember the drive home. I am lucky that I have never suffered consequences from my lack of judgment. Now to avoid the possibility of drinking and driving, most of the time I have a friend or taxi service drop me off. This way, I do not have a vehicle around if I am not of clear and sound mind again. If I do drive myself, I give my keys to someone there and have the person keep m keys until I am actually able to drive. The consequences of drinking and driving are not worth it but it can be difficult to think of those while inebriated. That is the reason why I do not drive there or have someone hide my keys.

Spencer W. - Virginia Tech - Read Essay »

It truly saddens me that the question, why you shouldn't drink and drive, ever has to be asked. Countless lives are lost every year because of peoples ignorance and carelessness. We all know what drinking does to your cognitive abilities; because of this, I think the better question is why do people still drink and drive. There are several reasons for this, much of which as to do with the life cycle the person is in. Young 21-year-olds think they are invincible; they do not realize the true damage they can do. Beyond that, they often do not realize the damage that can be done. They have not seen what the victims go through when they lose someone because of someone's ignorance. If the younger generation makes this tragic mistake because of lack of experience with the matter, why do older individuals still make the mistake? It is, generally speaking, for a much different reason. While it is hard to say for sure, I believe it is because of their personality. Many people believe they must maintain there dominate image. When they go out with friends they do not want them to believe they "are not good enough" to drive. There are two sets of drunk drivers that do not conform to these standards. One, they fail to make plans ahead of time. They drive somewhere, not thinking about getting home, and realize after it is too late that they need to get home with there car. With the alcohol in their system, they find a way to convince themselves they are okay. The other group, are people who drink to the point that they have no idea they are even driving. The part of this that saddens me as much as the question, is the fact that I have no idea how to fix the problem.

Christina H. - Lesley University - Read Essay »

High school health class. A class typically slept through by most, a class that features cheesy 80's after-school specials on teen pregnancy or the dangers of secondhand smoke. It was also the place where students were taught about the consequences of drinking and driving. Many kids brushed it off. It's not like it will happen to me, or I can drive just fine when I'm a little buzzed. You know, those classic high school kids that believe they're indestructable because they haven't experienced firsthand how cruel the world can be. I have. I watched those clips of car accidents that could've been avoided by a designated driver, I put up posters around school screaming the danger there was in getting behind the wheel while under the influence. I joined the Students Against Destructive Decisions club at school, and became an ambassador of the club, where I talked to different grade levels at the highschool about the consequences of this brand of irresponsibility. But even I was unaware of how painful and destructive drinking and driving can be. I attended a talk at my college, where a man took the stage and cleared his throat. He looked like a nice guy. Early thirties. A nice smile and a friendly aura. But he leaned into the microphone, and chatter of students around me fell away, as he looked out at us and said, My best friend is dead. And I'm the reason why. Silence. We couldn't process it. He looked like a good guy, not like he was capable of murder. He went on to explain how his drunk driving had killed his best friend in a car accident, a friend that had been trying to help him sober up. He explained the crunch of the glass on the asphalt, the wail of ambulance sirens, the squeaky wheels on the gurney that carried his best friend away. He wouldn't see her again. That hit harder than any abstract warning could. Why shouldn't you drink and drive? Think about it this way, would you risk your best friend's life over it? Why shouldn't you drink and drive? Because there are families in the cars around you, families with children and loved ones, all with dreams and aspirations. Why shouldn't you drink and drive? Because just as much as everybody else- your life matters. There is life left to live, life that you can fill with memories, family, love, friendship, vacations, good food, pets, your favorite music, the sound of laughter and the feeling of looking around, taking a deep breath, and seeing how far you've come. Tell me this, would you rather risk that than call a cab?

Rebecca K. - New York University - Read Essay »

It's not worth it. Drinking and driving is selfish and reckless and there's nothing positive that can come from it. It may seem easy to risk it when all you want to do is get home and there's no designated driver around. It might seem like a hassle to leave your car and pay to take a taxi home and then have to pick up your car the next day. But is that a bigger hassle than crashing your car, killing another driver, killing yourself, ending up in the hospital, harming passengers, being arrested, hiring a lawyer, paying legal fees, doing community service, having a record, and getting your license suspended? If not for your own self, do not drive under the influence or the sake of the other drivers on the road. If you chose the endanger yourself without harm to others that's one thing, but when innocent individuals have to pay for your reckless actions and bad judgment, that takes it to another level. Drinking and driving is easy to avoid and never worth the repercussions. This topic hit close to home because my brother was arrested for drinking and driving in his junior year of college. My parents had just spent their savings to buy him a new BMW. This was his dream car and it was meant to be a reward for all of his hard work and achievements. Soon after, he foolishly decided to pick up his girlfriend from a bar and on their way back, he was pulled over. He failed the sobriety test and was arrested that Halloween night. The next month was a financial and emotional nightmare for our family. Not only did my brother have to suffer the legal consequences, but also the guilt and shame that comes with a DUI. Fortunately, he completely changed his life around after this incident and used it as motivation to better himself. He is sober to this day and is about to begin his successful career as a lawyer. Not all people are as fortunate as my brother in this circumstance. Many can not afford the cost of this offense and it can put a lasting strain on their lives. The mandatory community service hours and AA meetings you have to attend can interfere with your personal and professional life. Having this wrongdoing on your record can also affect your finances because employers may not wish to hire a criminal. Due to the stress of the law, people can turn to drinking more than before to handle their feelings. This is a toxic coping mechanism, which can only make matters worse. In the worst-case scenario of drinking and driving, there will be fatalities. If you survive the accident, the legal ramifications will be greatly amplified. If you are killed in the accident, your friends and family will be left to suffer the tragic aftermath of your poor actions. These are all things that need to be considered next time you are legally drunk and are thinking about driving. Part of drinking as a responsible adult is having a safe plan of travel for when you become too inebriated to make rational decisions. If you are unable to find proper accommodations, then you forever have the option to remain sober so that you are not putting yourself or others in danger. There are always alternatives to drinking and driving. Think about the possible outcomes if you drink too much and drive. Every time, you will come to the same conclusion, it's not worth it.

Candice E. - Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey - Read Essay »

The chance for unintended consequences is the most compelling argument against drinking and driving. With their judgment so profoundly impaired by alcohol, people who drink and drive overestimate their ability to drive safely and underestimate their level of intoxication. Though they may not be acting with malicious intentions, the act of driving intoxicated is, in itself, a malicious deed. Not even the most heartfelt and sincere apology could restore the functional ability of a person paralyzed by a drunk driver. Tears and contrition cannot revive a person who lost his or her life because of a drunk driver. Saying, I didn't mean to doesn't remove the grief from the friends and family burying their loved one who died because of the recklessness of a drunk driver. These unintended consequences are permanent, regardless of how sorry the driver was. I am a nurse at the New Jersey Trauma Center, and I have seen the horrific results of drunk driving. True, a number of patients die from their injuries, but some injuries are so enormous it could be argued that survival is worse than death. Brain and spinal cord injuries, massive blood loss, extensive organ damage, paralysis, traumatic amputations, and disfigurement are just some of the problems borne by accident survivors and their families. Putting physical injuries aside, there are tremendous emotional, mental, financial, and social consequences for accident survivors and their families. For the survivors who retain their cognitive faculties, depression is often the natural result of being aware of the physical losses sustained in the accident. Those people have to goodbye to many of the plans they had for their future and instead, embrace a life of surgeries, doctor's appointments, mobility equipment, unemployment, and dependence on caretakers. When I was a sophomore in high school, my parents and I were run off the highway by an unknown driver. My mother, who was driving our car, said that through the rearview and side view mirrors, she had seen the other driver swerving behind us. This driver pushed our car out of the lane, and our car rolled over four and a half times, coming to a full stop in a ditch. My mother and I had minor injuries, but my father had to be transported to a trauma center via helicopter. He had gone through the windshield and landed 250 feet from where our car stopped. His collarbones broke, as did his shoulder and nine of his ribs. The broken ribs punctured both lungs, and he was suffocating at the scene of the accident. He was placed on a ventilator for nearly two weeks. He underwent CPR twice, and my mother signed a do-not-resuscitate order after the second time. Seeing the force of the chest compressions made my mother conclude that my father would not want to go through that a third time. Fortunately, my father's physical condition began to stabilize. Over several days, he was weaned off the ventilator and started breathing independently. He eventually came home, and though seeing him breathing on a ventilator in the hospital was hard, having him home was much harder. My father was so bitter about what had happened to him. He was unable to work for the next eight months because the extent of his injuries. He was in extraordinary pain, and he needed months of physical therapy. My father was in his mid-forties at that time, and he had worked since he was a teenager. Being out of work and the subsequent loss of income and self-efficacy caused intense grief and mental anguish. In his despair, he instigated arguments with and between my mother and I. The tension and toxicity in our home almost shattered my family. There was talk of divorce and selling the house, but somehow, my parents' marriage survived my father's convalescence. He eventually returned to work, and gradually let go of his rage. I have experienced multiple sides of interacting with intoxicated drivers. From the car crash I was in as a teenage to caring for intoxicated drivers and their victims as an emergency nurse, I am deeply frustrated by how preventable these tragedies are and how people continue to place themselves behind the wheel when they are not fit to drive. There is no consideration of the futures, families, and lives that could be ruined. The naked selfishness and overconfidence of intoxicated drivers are destructive forces that lead to incalculable heartache.

Devin S. - Southern New Hampshire University - Read Essay »

Our lives are so small and fleeting. Everyday you wake up there are less people in the world as a result of drunk driving. Not all of these people may matter everyone, but everyone matters to someone. This decision is detrimental not just to the driver, but to their loved ones and everyone around them. In many cases the driver is barely harmed in drunk driving accidents, but the lives of others can change completely. Imagine losing a mother, a father, a son, or a daughter. There are consequences to every one of the actions we make. Why should the irresponsible decisions made by others be able to impact our lives so severely? Throughout my life alcoholism has plagued my family. My parents have tried to shelter my little sister and I from this disease but you can't keep it quiet forever. The environment I grew up in has caused me to be much more cautious when it comes to drinking in my own life. The older we get the greater a chance we come to being just another statistic. Personally, I have been very careful to avoid dependence on alcohol meaning when it comes to hard times there's no substance to lean on. It is at our most vulnerable that we are most susceptible to succumbing to our vices. Going into my junior year of college and being a member of a fraternity on campus I must be vigilant as ever. We've had our own internal issues with the subject of drinking and driving within our fraternity that we have taken care of and do not take lightly. There are brothers who feel the need to have a morning shower beer or wake up and shotgun a beer before getting out of bed. Living the college lifestyle where you do what you want when you want the majority of the time is all well and good, however it is when you get behind the wheel of a car and put other people's lives in danger that it becomes a real problem. Self destruction is a personal problem that must be dealt with, but when others are put in harm's way this is where the line must be drawn.

Catherine L. - Northwest-Shoals Community College - Read Essay »

Choosing to whether or not drink and drive is the same as choosing life or death. Drinking and driving does not only effect the driver and passengers, but every other person on the road. Alcohol can numb the senses, thus drinking even a little bit can change a person's decision making enough to cause a life changing decision. Driving is a bigger responsibility than most people think. I have never been in a car with people who have been drinking, but I have been a passenger many times with people who decide that it is more important to use their cell phone instead of keeping their attention on the road. Because of this situation, I have had to explain to these people that I do not feel safe when they decide to drive while distracted. From this confrontation, my friends are not happy and usually tell me that it is going to be fine and that I need to calm down. To them, they think they are still in control and are fully aware of their surroundings, but studies easily show that this is not the case when people decide to text and drive. This is the same situation when people decide to drink and drive. People think that even though they have only consumed a small amount of alcohol, they are still focused enough to drive, but this is not true. Buzzed driving is the same as drunk driving, therefore the possibility of a fatal accident is still the same. With all of these facts in mind, I have needed to go through the decision of whether my life is more important than keeping a friendship. Usually I overcome this issue by deciding to be the driver so I do not have to worry about dealing with any of those possible situations. This adversity has made me change my views on the decision to drive while distracted, whether it is from drinking or texting, the possible side effects are simply too vast for someone to take the risk.

Diana G. - University of Arizona - Read Essay »

Any child could tell you that drinking and driving is not allowed because it is dangerous. It is as simple as that, however once we actually reach driving, and not necessarily even drinking, age, some of us forget what our wise ten-year-old self stated so simply. So why is it that we suddenly believe that we invincible and are above the law, and for that matter, even brain and motor chemistry? It's because facts become lost and we assume that an accident resulting from drunk driving is something that will never happen to ourselves, our friend, our parents or anyone we know. However, the only thing more convincing than facts, is personal experience. The summer after my sophomore year in high school had been off to a great start. I was a typical sixteen-year-old who had just gotten my license and I was feeling pretty cool. It was also the first summer that I had started drinking. I had been hanging around my older cousins and their friends. I would always get into their cars after a long night and put my full trust in the driver who claimed they were DDing for the night so they couldn't drink too much. Never once did I think that this was a problem at all. In fact, I thought that it sounded pretty responsible and mature of them, even though I had been taught the statistics about how many people die each year from fatal car crashes as a result of drunk driving, even if someone had only had a few drinks. One summer morning, after I had just gotten back from one of these parties, my friend from home called me to tell me that Jane Modlesky had died last night. My heart sunk and hot tears instantly began pouring down my face and she recalled that Jane had driven home drunk from a party and died instantly on impact as she collided with a tree. Jane was in the grade above me and was one of the most popular girls in school. I had never been close with her but a lot of my friends had been. I didn't even realize why I was so upset. Sure I had been in the same social setting with her on multiple occasions and always remembered to say hi to her as we passed each other in the hallway, but we weren't necessarily great friends, so why was I so shaken up over this news? It was because that could have been me just as easily as it had been Jane. I had been careless about who I had gotten in the car with and although I had never personally been the one driving drunk, I was just as responsible for being in the car with someone who had. You shouldn't drink and drive because it not only puts you, but others at risk of an accident and you don't even realize how many people that you barely even knew that will miss you. - Diana Garnett (Age 10, 16,17,18,19,20?)

Maja K. - Chestnut Hill College - Read Essay »

Drinking and driving is a current issue many young drivers face in America, and it often leads to tragedy. Drinking and driving not only puts yourself in danger, but is a selfish act that puts the lives of other innocent people at risk. When you drink and drive, you are not capable of using heavy machinery, such as a vehicle of any type. Your physical discipline is weakened, your focus is skewed, and, as alcohol is a depressant, your reactions are delayed. Therefore, you face many ways to get into an accident, regardless if you realize beforehand you may cause one. The delayed reaction will cause you to respond to an oncoming threat slower, thus making it less likely that the situation will resolve itself. When you drink and drive, you no longer choose yourself, and instead you show disrespect to the entire world. You show disrespect to and lack of caring to your family, who may never see you again, who will miss your presence at family occasions. You disrespect your friends, by telling them that a couple of drinks behind the wheel mattered more than spending time with them ever again. You disrespect all other drivers on the road, who were responsible enough to drive sober. You show disrespect to the family of the person who you may kill due to being under the influence. You display an even larger amount of disrespect to your entire state, who's citizens will be forced to pay more for insurance because of your choices. And, above all of that, you disrespect yourself, by telling yourself that you don't value your life enough to make the decision not to drink and drive. No good can come of drinking and driving, and it is drenched in negativity. So, rather than drink and drive, consider all of these people - your family, friends, significant other, the person or people you may crash into, their families, the citizens you share the state with, and yourself. It is ultimately a choice between life and death, and when that question is asked, the answer should be obvious. It is worth getting in trouble by your parents, or having to wake your friends up in the middle of the night, or sleeping wherever you consumed your alcohol, because regardless of how bad the consequences may seem, the chance of losing your life is the ultimate repercussion.

Britney P. - Walden University - Read Essay »

Drinking and driving: Who does it benefit? Everything we do has a consequence, good or bad. When someone makes a choice to drive under the influence, we must ask ourselves the question of 1) who does it benefit, 2) what is the consequence? If anyone can answer those two simple questions, I can guarantee that the majority will say it doesn't benefit anyone. We may get a few that will state that it benefits them because they didn't have to pay for an Uber and they didn't have to leave their car somewhere unfamiliar. Then we continue to the second question and the majority will say the possible consequences are getting pulled over and getting arrested for a DUI, maybe they will crash their car with or without involving another party, maybe they will accidentally kill someone or themselves, and maybe they get lucky and suffer no bad consequence other than the hangover they wake up with. Regardless, drinking and driving comes with a Russian roulette gamble. For those who think it is cool or fun, I would like to borrow a newborn baby and a few toddlers. I would like those people to hold the baby and interact with the toddler and then show gruesome pictures of babies and children who have morbidly lost their lives at the expense of a driver under the influence. There are children decapitated due to drunk drivers, entire families wiped out in a matter of seconds due to drunk drivers. Just imagine one of your most prized family members that you love so much never returning home because on the way home a drunk driver going 70 mph plowed into their vehicle crushing them or worse. Can you imagine the empty silence as you frantically call and text without a response? Can you imagine when you start thinking the worst but are praying hard that their phone is dead or lost? How about imagining when you finally receive a call that it is from the local police or hospital to notify you that a body needs to be identified? Close your eyes and think of that person. A person that means so much to you, a person that you can't imagine life without, then imagine them gone from your life because of a drunk driver. When you see that body, it isn't going to be how you remembered them. Their skin isn't going to be flawless, their hair isn't going to be how you last saw it, and most likely the trauma is going to make them almost unidentifiable. We are talking a bloody mess. Lacerations, cuts, bruising and possibly even decapitation. As a critical care nurse, over my career I have seen people who come in dead on arrival, I have seen the drunk drivers somehow survive almost every fatal crash. If people could see the other side of this consequence daily by gruesome pictures of the outcomes, the outcomes we get to see, we would definitely have less deciding to drink and drive. The images are haunting and traumatizing, even for us healthcare workers. Our society tries to protect themselves from seeing the blood and gore behind these types of situations because it is 'graphic', but I strongly feel that if we have to suffer from seeing this, then so should society. We need to stop protecting ourselves from graphic and sickening situations to let the reality sink in. If you drink and drive, the outcomes ARE graphic and gruesome and each of us deserves to have a mental picture of that stuck in our heads forever to permanently deter us from making such a poor choice. I cannot stress the importance of drinking responsibly and being committed to never operating any motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Karen A. - University of Texas at El Paso - Read Essay »

Have you ever been in a roller coaster? It feels as if you have no control of what happens during the ride and anything can happen, good or bad. That is how drunk driving feels like and it is way more dangerous. If you drink and drive you are jot only risking your life, but also the people around you. You should not drink and drive because you are putting yourself and others at risk and you are giving the worst example of conduct you can ever give to others. When you drink alcoholic beverages and drive it is an irresponsible decision because you have no control of yourself and you shouldn't expect to have control of a vehicle. You should think about how you could die if you crash with an object or even worse with another vehicle. The possibilities of an accident to happen are infinite. I remember when I was younger, my family and I were going home after visiting grandma. We got in the car and dad said "buckle up" and so we did. Thankfully, I helped my toddler sister before I did my own seatbelt, minutes before we got hit by a drunk driver from the back. My dad got into a fight with the driver's family whom jumped out of nowhere and I ended up wearing a neck collar because of back damage. Fortunately everyone was safe. Ever since I have a special kind of anxiety while in a moving vehicle. Driving is not only about yourself, it also involves people around you and that is why there are rules to follow while driving. If you drive while being drunk you are telling others around you that your conduct is completely adequate when in fact it is not. Have you ever heard a kid say that when they grow up they want to drink and drive like their dad? Let's be honest, that would be horrible. If you want your friends, family, and community to be safe and give the greatest example to others try being a good example yourself. It is not fun to go to jail because you could not ask someone for a ride or to stay at their place. In conclusion, driving is a difficult and dangerous activity in itself, why drink alcohol to increase the danger? Do everyone and yourself a favor and drive safely, do not drink and drive.

Anjali B. - Queen Mary University of London - Read Essay »

Intoxication is the experience of getting rid of your responsibilities and obligations for a while. It feels good to forget your pain or stress for a short while. Some may even say that it is necessary for them to cope with their everyday lives. While others, like college students, relate the drinking to their idea of fun and euphoria. The underline is that alcohol tastes bad, burns your throat, makes you do silly things, has many long-term negative health effects, gives painful hangovers and is one of the most expensive beverages out there but is still unbelievingly popular. All because it has the power to make us forget and we crave those few moments of freedom. But is it worth it to forget the responsibility to human lives? When a drunk person gets behind the wheels, they endanger their own lives and of those around them. Most importantly, everyone knows and understands this but still the cases of road accidents increase every year in multiples. Most drivers at some point in their life have driven under the influence of alcohol. Some of these may include teenagers, who seek fun in heavy drinking, racing their cars, testing their driving abilities and boasting about it afterwards. Though they are all school and college going educated young people, their reckless behaviour is attributed due to their young blood and excused with same reasons. The argument by tired parents is "We behaved same at that age". But isn't it time to change that behaviour. If your child ends up losing their lives due to drunk driving, then it means that your excuses for and coddling eventually smothered the life out of your child. They will never get to become the supposedly responsible person you are today because unlike you their luck ran out trying to tackle the implications of their drunk choices. On the other hand, if these young drunk drivers end up killing some other driver or pedestrian, then what? The died people won't get their lives back if you sober up in your life. Your remorse and guilt with stay with you, burdening you and impacting your life decisions. No matter how much you tried to prevent the accident by swerving the car left and right, you were still the one who decided to get drunk and then drive rather than taking a cab. This makes you the killer, an accidental killer but a killer nonetheless. If the victim survives and receives life long handicap, the situation is still shameful and beyond redemption. Maybe even worse, because now the victim has to pay the price for your callousness. You will be the reason for their lifelong physical and emotional pain and the recipient of their hatred. The person whose life you took away or else ruined, could have achieved so much in their lives but thanks to you, they can never do the great things they dreamt about. You not only ruined their bodies but their dreams and somehow that is more painful. Maybe they were the sole bread-earners for their family and now their family will face enormous survival problems on top of losing a loved one. The kids in that family may never have the safe upbringing and good education they deserved and were being provided. Even if the victim was a homeless person sleeping on a sidewalk, that person lost his life just because, you were overconfident and insisted driving when drunk. No normal person can live a guilt-free life after such a heinous error in judgement for which other innocents paid with their lives. All of arguments in upper paragraphs hold true for the adult and even senior citizens. You are suppose to be the intelligent ones but when you do something this impulsive and thoughtless, you are essentially setting a bad example for the young people you love to associate with the word 'rash'. Even more surprising is the number of people who get drunk because of a personal pain and then drive under the influence of all that alcohol mixed with their pain. They try to justify their lapse in judgement because of their extreme distress, which is for the lack of a better word, shameless. If you were switched with the victim or their family member, would you be willing to pacify yourself by accepting that excuse? Could you forgive the murderer of your loved one because they were facing some problem in their personal or professional life which millions of people face everyday without ending up killing someone? The answer is no. Even when you are taking a patient to hospital in a near life or death situation, you still cannot create such a mayhem that it becomes a life or death situation for someone. Doing so because you couldn't keep track of how many alcohol you ended up consuming is a pathetic attempt at any defense whatsoever. This essay is sharp because I have experienced the life-ruining effects of drunk driving. Around 15 years ago, the husband of my paternal aunt was travelling to his hometown in a state transport department bus.The driver was roaring drunk because the journey was at night he needed alcohol stay awake and ward off cold (or so he said to the passengers). The bus collided with the truck head on and went down the ditch killing almost all passengers and staff including my uncle. With no life insurance, his non-earning pregnant wife and two children ended up without shelter and money to support themselves. After spending most of their lives on the mercy of the relatives, the boys couldn't get the proper education and comforts deserved by every child. The pain of losing their father at young age mixed with the lack of guidance of a father figure in life led to wrong life choices like drugs, pickpocketing etc. The elder brothers are jobless and depend on the meager earnings of the youngest one. The mother is bitter, sad and feels threatened by her violent children. I have tutored all three of them throughout their school education.After the drug problem was discovered, I enlisted them in the support groups of local NGO for anti-drugs an an anger management where I drive them every sunday. As of now, I'm trying to find jobs for the unemployed boys while enrolling them in open education college. This close interaction with them for the past 9 months has lead me to experience the lifelong cycle of depression left behind by the bad decision of one person. This is only one case an I can only imagine what other negative ramifications were faced by the families of other victims. One life lost from a family can result can the collapse of the whole unit. Hence, the first and foremost thought instilled in every person's mind should be of "caring for others". When we become selfless and review our selfish decisions in terms of their possible impact on not only our lives but of those around us, we become capable of taking responsible decisions even in the most of difficult times. Secondly, pubs and bars should employ people to ensure that no drunk person is attempting to drive themselves. Cab should be called for the drunk patrons and taxi companies may team up with the drinking hotspots in a city. The designated driver approach is positive and must be promoted more. In the end, rather than drowning our sorrows in alcohol or seeking fun in a bottle of intoxicating liquid, we must find avenues to vent out emotions in a productive and helpful way. This may include exercising, joining any sports or even extreme adventure for fun junkies. Helping others is the best way to feel happy and forget pains. Drunk driving will only result in a chain of ba results that will forever alter our lives in negative ways. Hence, drinking and driving should be avoided at all costs, no matter how harmless it seems at that moment of time.

Tala D. - Robert Morris University - Read Essay »

The irresponsibility of drinking and driving is one of the riskiest decisions a person can make. I believe that people should not drink and drive because of the tragic events that drinking and driving create. There have been multiple times where incidents are televised of vehicular accidents that result in death or life changing injuries due to a motorist driving while under the influence of alcohol. These and other reports later televised display the repercussions of that individuals actions, leading to incarceration, license suspension and depending upon how many offenses, license revocation. These damaging effects on families who have lost loved ones due to such a selfish act are irreparable. It is understood that driving under the influence can lead to reckless driving. There a host of options to avoid this, a designated driver who opts to maintain sobriety to ensure the safety of others or various car service options to ride in. Having a DUI on your record may affect your employment and/or personal relationships. It is inevitable to avoid punishment once caught in the act of drunk of driving and because of the safety concerns involved, a lesson must be taught and hopefully learned. I am fortunate not to have been a victim of drunk driving or a passenger of an individual that didn't value their own life enough to be a responsible driver. I have witnessed the outcome of someone else not behaving with the respect for others to not drive under the influence. This coupled with not wearing a seat belt resulted in the driver being ejected from their vehicle to their death and the passenger suffering injuries that to this day have affected their quality of life. I don't advocate drinking at all and not because I'm against alcohol, it is just a personal preference of mine. It is up to everyone to know their own limits and once a person feels that they are reaching the cusp of those limits he or she should submit themselves to self-control. As with anything done in this life, once an individual goes through with something, good or bad it is irreversible. Why compromise your freedom, the life of yourself or someone else by driving a vehicle intoxicated.

Alexandra G. - Grand Valley State University - Read Essay »

Drinking and driving has become a fatal issue all around the country. Families and individuals are left devastated at the consequences of this action. Recently, a family friend who is a first responder was on duty, and was visiting with our family. His pager went off, it was a PI (personal injury). He immediately got up and took off to the scene. The PI was a crash caused by a drunk driver. Later our friend shared with us that he was the first on scene for six minutes, he tried and tried to get the driver out, but could not. Our friend watched this man take his last four breathes, while desperately seeking for a way to get this man out of his vehicle. There was an empty fifth in the passenger seat and thirty pack in the backseat. The car had flipped front to back end eight times. Cases like this are devastating to an individual's family and friends. Without any way, they could have prevented this, the reason that causes many of these cases is the fact they the individual drove with alcohol in their system. I could go on and on about the medical reasons not to drink and drive, but instead I am choosing to look at a much more valuable aspect, unnecessary consequences. Our family friend came back and said, cases like these are hard, but at least this man was the only individual involved. When individuals choose to drink and drive, some may say why should anyone care it's only my own life I'm putting in harm's way. However, this is not the case, when an individual drinks and drives, they put everyone's lives around them in danger. They put the little girl in the backseat of her mom's station wagon in harm, the man walking his dog, the family playing tag football in their front yard. Everyone is in harm's way when an individual chooses to drive after drinking. Throughout high school I was always irritated at how inconsiderate old friends were when they entered the party scene. I never stepped foot into the party scene after watching my older siblings wet their toes with it and hearing the dangers it brought on. Individuals should not drive after drinking due to the emotional tolls it has on families, the worry of a mother wondering if her child is going to make it home safe, the fear of a little sister wondering if she was going to wake up in the morning and have a sibling to run and hug or play with. Drinking and driving creates unnecessary emotional, relational, and individual consequences and tolls. There is no need for innocent individuals to be harmed or killed by alcohol induced accidents. The problem simply should not exist, it is hard on a family to lose their son, daughter, sibling, mother, or father. Individuals should not drink and drive because whether they realize or not, their choice effects everyone surrounding them.

Jack B. - Grand Valley State University - Read Essay »

Drinking and driving is a horrendous phenomenon, especially among younger people. Teenagers and college students get their driver's license around the same time they start to drink. This combination of gaining freedom and entering adulthood leads to partying and increased social interactions, which includes drinking with friends. Although young people aren't going to stop driving or drinking anytime soon, the combination of the two together needs to come to an end. The question of: Why shouldn't you drink and drive?, should be answered through anyone's notion of common sense, yet the very same question proves to be extremely elusive. So, how do we find a solution to address this terrible problem? I can't speak on the behalf of all young people, but I can share through personal experience how I have never encountered or fallen guilty to this problem. There is one piece of advice that comes to mind that always resonates with me when I think of drinking and driving. The advice came when I first received my driver's license roughly three years ago. My dad told me in an exaggerated manner to not even smell a beer and drive. If I ever was in a situation where I needed a ride, he advised me to call him, a friend, or a cab for that matter. There should be no exception to drinking and driving. Also, let's not forget to avoid being in the car with someone who is driving while drunk. I've witnessed this problem of driving while intoxicated through the stupidity of my own friends. Friends of mine in the past have been pulled over while drunk and had to spend the night in jail. Fortunately, no one was hurt which is more important. If you're not going to stop drinking and driving to prevent harm to yourself, which you would be idiotic not to, don't drink and drive for the safety of others. The idea of the common good of others paired with common sense is all the reason someone needs to not drink and drive. Lastly, I would like to address what you won't miss from drinking and driving. There are times where I have been peer pressured to get in the car with someone who is drunk, yet I have never made that mistake. Just because your friends are getting in the car and encouraging you to do the same, just take a moment to be the smart one and find a different method of transportation. There is no shame in prioritizing the safety of yourself and others. You won't miss the possibility of getting into a crash or being put in jail. No matter how tempted you are to get in the car, just don't.

Alyssa M. - Robert Morris University - Read Essay »

My father is a fireman, so I have seen firsthand the affects of drinking driving. Seeing and hearing about the car accidents, injuries, and even deaths, was enough for me to never think about drinking and driving. When someone is drinking, and they get in the car to drive home, they are not only taking their own life into their hands but everyone around them as well. Hurting yourself is your own choice, but putting innocent people in jeopardy couldn't be more selfish. As a young child a innocent girl from high school was hit by a drunk driver and killed. This girl had done nothing to deserve this, no one was ready for her to go, and there are no condolences that you can offer her family. That man is now in jail. A night of drinking and driving not only took an innocent girl from her family, but now he will spend his life in jail. Was it really worth it? Being in college you are exposed to alcohol and parties, and how you handle it is everything. If you believe that you are old enough to drink than you need to be old enough to make wise decisions. If you do not have a "DD" than you shouldn't be drinking. There is not a drink or a party worth going to that you would have to drink and drive for. There is no longer an "excuse" to drink and drive. We have excellent technology and applications, such as Uber, that allow us to have a ride virtually anywhere we would need to go. As long as you have the app, you just pay a small fee and a car arrives to take you wherever you need to go. Everyone thinks "it won't happen to me" or "I will be fine." You are not fine, and it will happen to you. Putting your own life at risk is one thing, but do not take innocent people down with you.


Aall In Limo & Party Bus is thrilled to announce its 2019 scholarship program that will reward one lucky college student with a $2000 scholarship. At Aall In Limo & Party Bus we understand how difficult it is to pay for school nowadays so, we came up with this unique opportunity!

The scholarship is online only, please apply online and do NOT call or email, all applications are received online through the form below.

The $2000 scholarship will be awarded to a (graduate, undergraduate or high school) student who will successfully write an essay regarding the following topic:

Why you shouldn't drink and drive?

A winner for the scholarship will be selected on August 7, 2019. The scholarship will be paid directly to the scholarship recipient's college or university.

*The essay must be at least 300 words or more. Be sure to include personal experiences, and your thoughts on the importance of avoiding drinking and driving. What adversity have you experienced and how have you overcome it?

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Necessary Documents Required of Potential Winners

  • One copy of Official High School or College Transcripts
  • Publicity/Liability Release
  • Copyright Assignment
  • IRS Form W-9
  • Copy of United States Driver's License
  • Headshot photograph in high-resolution, digitally as a JPEG or TIFF file

FAQs

A:

The essays can be submitted during 12:00AM MST on July 31, 2018 untill 12:00AM MST on July 31, 2019. The winner will receive an email on August 15, 2018.

A:

Each student that currently attends a college or university, or will be attending in 2019.

A:

The essays will be reviewed and noted according to the student's creativity specificity, and grammar. We are searching for students that need this scholarship to complete the college. We were students too so, we understand how difficult must be for parents to pay for college.

A:

A short amount of personal information is needed to check the submission and provide aallinlimo.com with the means to contact the student who wins the scholarship. This specific information is used only for our internal records and we will not share this information with any third parties.





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