When Is It OK To Drink And Drive?

When Is It OK To Drink And Drive?

NEVER! Period.
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Within these last two weeks, I was involved in a car accident. I was stopped at a traffic light around four in the afternoon when I heard a bunch of beeping from behind me. I looked into my rear-view mirror to see a silver car swerving from one lane to mine with no intentions of stopping. I was at a light with cars in front of me with nowhere to go... These thoughts all came through my head as I braced myself for impact. Crunch. I ended up sliding into the lady in front of me, and before i could even react, she was out of her car checking on me. It took me awhile to gather myself. I didn't even know what to do. I was trying to figure out if I was hurt, but I couldn't feel anything, adrenaline I guess. I finally got out of my car to evaluate the damage on my poor car, and get a glimpse of the perpetrator.

My car was pretty banged up, but it could have been a lot worse. It didn't take long for me to recognize that the man who hit me was drunk while I watched him interact with the lady I slid into and the individuals who witnessed the accident. I heard him explain to one of the ladies with slurred words, that he hit me because he was beeping in support of the people on strike along the road. At that instant I could feel my blood begin to boil, so I stayed by my car until the police came, instructed us to move our vehicles to a safer location, and hauled off Mr. Silver Car to the hospital for a blood alcohol test.

I was so upset thinking about how the accident could have been so much worse than what it was. He could have killed me! Not only was he drunk at four in the afternoon, but he decided to get behind the wheel when he obviously was not in a proper state of mind to drive! Now because of him, myself and the lady in front of me had to deal with unnecessary pain, damage to our vehicles, insurance claims and medical appointments. The poor lady I crashed into was late picking her kids up and stressing out about the events to follow in her evening. I had to make that heart-stopping call to both my boyfriend and mother telling them that I was hit by a drunk driver, but I'm alright. No one is calm after hearing this news.

Following the accident, I am still struggling with back pain, getting a hold of the drunk driver's insurance company, and finding a new doctor because my previous one's staff was a joke. When I told them I was in an accident and needed to be seen on May 26th, they informed me that they wouldn't be able to see me until the 13th of June!

Drinking and driving has always been a pet peeve of mine, and since my accident, I have been reading a lot more more about it, and my feelings only become more intense. So many lives have been taken because someone decided to drive while intoxicated. It is careless and disgustingly selfish! According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in 2014, 9,967 people died in drunk driving crashes... that is one every 53 minutes. In the same year 290,000 people were injured in drunk driving accidents as well. If people chose not to mix alcohol with driving, almost 10,000 people could have been spared, and this is only in 2014.

I know many individuals whose lives have been permanently affected by drunk driving, and it breaks my heart. Whether they were involved in the crash and seriously hurt themselves, or someone else involved was seriously hurt or killed, or they have a loved one who was killed or killed someone because of driving drunk. The consequences of driving drunk are not only severe, but they are permanently life-altering! Is any Jägerbomb or Jello Shot really worth ending up in jail or the morgue? If you want to go out and get have a good time, get a designated driver, take the bus, call an Uber, walk, or call someone!

Bottom line... drunk driving fatalities and injuries are 100 percent preventable. Stay home, or have a plan to get home.

Cover Image Credit: Andy Citrin

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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