10 Ways To Avoid Drunk Driving

10 Ways To Avoid Drunk Driving

Friends don't let friends drive drunk.
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While driving home last night, I was listening to Connecticut Radio 104.1, per usual. The radio personality said that on Saint Patrick's Day, incidents of drunk driving spike 50%, especially because this year, Saint Patrick's Day fell on a Friday. He encouraged listeners not to drink and drive, because not only do you endanger yourself when you do so, you endanger everyone else, including him, his children, family, and friends.

We've all heard the slogans: drive sober or get pulled over, don't be a statistic, buzzed driving is drunk driving, etc. The best one I've heard, though, is friends don't let friends drive drunk.

Every 53 minutes, someone dies from a drunk driving accident. Not only could that be you, it could be one of your loved ones. Use these tips to avoid drunk driving at all costs.

1. Purchase your alcohol while sober.

If you are already drinking when you decide you didn't buy enough alcohol for the night, you may feel tempted to get in your car and drive to the liquor store. Don't do it. Buy your alcohol during the day completely sober, and once you've bought it, you're not going back again that day.

2. Download Uber.

Set up an Uber account on your phone before a night of drinking. Download the app from the app store, and provide your credit card information so that if you need to request an Uber ride, you will be all set to go. If you don't want to use Uber, look up local taxi services and save some of their phone numbers to your contacts.

3. Assign a designated driver.

Appoint someone trustworthy and responsible in your group of friends to be the designated driver (DD). Either use a straw pull to determine the driver, or use the volunteer system, so that everyone gets a turn being the DD. If no one steps up to be the DD, be the responsible one and do it yourself. You'd rather miss out on a night of drinking than see one of your friends get seriously injured or die.

4. Exchange phone numbers.

Everyone in the group, including the DD, should all exchange phone numbers in case you guys get separated at a party or bar, and to make sure you all leave together.

5. Charge your phone.

You don't want to get separated from your DD with no way to contact them.

6. Seize the keys.

Not only does drunk driving endanger your life and everyone else's on the roads, it's illegal, and you can be arrested for it and even lose your driver's license.

Have everyone who is not the DD, and will be drinking, place their car keys into a cup and hide them away in a cabinet or closet. This way, no one, while drunk, has access to a vehicle. The only person who should keep their car keys is the DD.

7. Do not allow the DD to drink.

Whether you or someone else is the DD, make sure that person does not drink. If they are responsible, however, they will not in the first place. Remember, they're the ones with the car keys. If the DD does drink, have a backup plan: use Uber or public transportation to get home.

8. Stay where you are.

If possible, stay the night where you are to avoid drunk driving. If at a friend's house for a party, you can always try to sleep there for the night, or, if at a bar, walk with friends to a nearby motel for the night.

9. Call someone you trust.

If you get into a situation where you or someone who plans on driving is intoxicated, call a trusted friend or family member to come pick you up.

10. Use public transportation.

If the DD has a drink, or you feel an Uber ride would be too expensive, take public transportation, like a city bus or train. This will get you home safely, and cheaply. Use the buddy system to stay safe in the process.


Always play it safe. It is literally a matter of life or death.

Cover Image Credit: The News Wheel

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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9 Beautiful Words And Why They Matter

While pictures can give form to the world around us, it is words that give birth to raw imagination and distinction.

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Words bind the world together. Without them, we would be a rather humorous collection of grunting, sniveling idiots--maybe we already are. Anyways, it is words that inspire men, make women go weak at the knees and help children develop into adults. Words and their meanings are rooted deeply in our everyday lives and, sometimes, they are worthy of a closer look.

Petrichor 

We'll start with a beauty of a word, pronounced pet-ri-kor.

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The word means as the picture alludes, "The smell of earth after a rain." Whoopie, right? But there's something about the thought of the refreshing fall of a summer rain that comforts the soul. The parched earth is replenished by waves of life-giving essence, and we are gifted the soothing scent of a healing world. On an interesting side note, the etymology of petrichor is nearly as beautiful as the word itself. The word has its roots in the ancient Greek words "petra" (meaning stone) and "ichor" (the fluid that ran through the veins of the gods). When you stop and think, rain and the life that it brings are gifts from our Creator and we get to relish in it.

Rantipole 

Pronounced ran-ti-pole.

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No, it doesn't mean Madonna. But, suiting enough, used a noun, it does mean a wild and reckless person. Madonna comes to mind, no? The versatility of rantipole adds to it's attractiveness. It can be used as a noun, a verb and an adjective and they all revolve around untamed beauty and wild abandon. I doubt that you'll walk around town hearing people spout of rantipole in everyday conversation, but maybe that's alright. It's a unique word meant for unique people.

Orphic

Pronounced or-fik

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The word orphic actually comes from the noun Orphism which is a, "name given to a set of religious beliefs and practices originating in the ancient Greek and Hellenistic world" according to Merriam Webster's Dictionary. The word orphic is an adjective which means mysterious and entrancing or beyond ordinary understanding. Why not replace three words with one, short, concise and beautiful word? Our understanding of the world is finite and ever-changing and a word such as orphic helps us to describe it just a little bit more.

Brontide 

Pronounced bron-tide.

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I must have an affinity for words describing weather because brontide means, "the low rumble of distant thunder." Like most of the words on this list, brontide has her roots in Ancient Greek. Bront meant thunder and ide came from the Greek word id which roughly means, "child of or descendant of." Think about it. Child of thunder. I got goosebumps typing that out.

Slubberdegullion 

Pronounced slubber-de-gul-e-on

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Every list has to have a class clown and this is it. The words roughly means a slovenly or unkempt person, a fool if you will. I have to admit that some words give away their meanings before you even know, which I suppose it the purpose of language. Many words are ethereal, transcendent, or just downright gorgeous whilst others are goofy--like slubberdegullion. It seems like a lot of effort to through after such a simple meaning word, seriously try saying it 3 times fast, but it's worth it because it's such an interesting word.

Zephyr 

Pronounced ze-feer.

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Awww, Beware, whilst other words sound like what they try to communicate, seems to be the dark sister. The zing of the "z" in the word misleads one to think it could possibly mean spirited, spry or energetic. However, the world itself means a gentle, mild breeze; it brings a pleasant sensation on a warm summer day. We all know the feeling. You're walking down a shaded grove on the river-walk when a gust of warm, eastern winds suddenly flow over you. You never know what you might stumble upon when you research words, let me tell you.

Virago 

Pronounced ve-rago.

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This word is like a double-edged sword. I found two meanings, both revolving around women with distinct connotations. The first meaning for virago that I found stated that it means a "strong, brave, or warlike woman," the second definition I found stated that it means a, "a domineering, violent, or bad-tempered woman." *Silence* I don't know about you but these meanings seem quite different in their tone, their reverence and their respect towards women. I wonder if the first meaning I found was a result of the feminist revolution of the 1980's whilst the second meaning I found was the original. Beware if someone calls you a virago, it's all about circumstance I suppose.

Brumal 

Pronounced broo-muhl

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Simply stated, brumal can be used in place of the word wintry. I love the simplicity of it. Weather has powerful, oftentimes intrinsic, meanings and I love the word brumal. Next time you get a heavy snow, take a quick look out your window and think to yourself, "What a beautiful, brumal day."

Metanoia 

Pronounced meta-noy-a

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Like it's better known cousin, paranoia, metanoia has everything to do with decisions, the mind and changing. The Ancient Greek word, meta, means after or beyond whilst noia stems from the suffix "nous" meaning mind. Metanoia altogether means to change one's mind, behavior, or way of seeing the world. There's value in change, no different than value in a word that denotes change.

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