Saturday, February 23, 2008

Drunk Driving Is Bad

I am here today to warn against the dangers of drunk driving.

Sure, this has probably been done before, but it's time to take a long hard look at one of society's ills.

First, let's set the facts straight.

Fact #1: People love to drive drunk.

It's the truth. Slamming back some lager bottles and then getting in your car, turning the radio up, and driving excessively fast is a lot of fun. It gets you where you need to go, and it also gets your car there. Win win.

Fact #2: If the sun is out, it's not drunk driving.

If we are going to be fighting something, we need to define exactly what it is. And better yet, what it is not. No need to go preaching to the choir. People that drink a lot of alcohol and then drive their car when the sun is out are responsible people. They know about the dangers of drunk driving, that's why they are getting all their driving in during the day. So we do not need to target this group.

Fact #3: Drinking and driving is not drunk driving.

Let's be honest, sometimes you get thirsty when you are out on the open road. And sometimes you want to arrive somewhere (the beach, the bar, a concert, traffic court), with some of the boozing already out of the way. I mean, most every car comes equipped with cup holders. You mean to tell me those aren't for the beers? So we can look past these people as well, they are not drunk driving, they are simply drinking and driving. Totally different.

In order to really have an impact, we need to focus our preaching on actual drunk drivers. That means people who drive their cars between the hours of 2 and 4 am with at least 12 beers and 3 shots in their system. Anything less, and it is simply buzzed driving (Fact #4 buzzed driving is not drunk driving).

I am about to get into the actual dangers of drunk driving, but I first want to set a scene. Here is an example of a situation where someone might drive drunk, followed by the ramifications.

It is a Friday night. Billy is going to meet up with some pals at a friend's house around 8 PM. They are going to drink a few beers, play some beer pong, and then head to the bar around 11PM. At the bar, they will do a few rounds of shots, and also booze beers aggressively. They will then walk back to said friend's house and drink a few more beers, play some beer pong, and slowly call it a night.

Billy is considering doing all of the above and then getting into his car and driving home around 3 AM.

The following list will be in no particular order and will detail why driving home is a bad idea for Billy.

1. Throughout the night, Billy will be subconsciously thinking about driving home later. This may cause him to turn down a round of shots, skip out on some beer pong, or just not drink his beers fast enough. End result? He will not get as drunk as if he had no intentions of driving. Not getting as drunk as possible is one of the most serious side effects of drunk driving. In fact, they should probably call this not-that-drunk driving.

2. After the bar, it's the after-party, as R. Kelly taught us. This can be one of the most magical, and boozy, times of the night. People are often fall down drunk, getting in fights about beer pong, and spilling things. In short, it is can't-miss booze time. If Billy drives, he will miss out on most of this. Either because he doesn't want to drink so soon before driving, or because he has already left. Think about all the great times you've had after the bar, and think about what you would miss if you drove home.

3. Hungover Drunk. I can't stress this one enough. One of the best parts about drinking is that, when done properly, you get to wake up the next morning and be hungover drunk. This is probably one of the best times in my day, those first few hours before the headache really sets in, when I am refreshed from some passed-out slumber. You can do anything you want hungover drunk - it combines all the effects of actually being drunk with none of the legal consequences. So if you really want to drive drunk, I suggest driving hungover drunk the next morning instead of piss drunk that night.

Also, when hungover drunk, it is best to be with friends. Nobody wants to wake up the next morning in their bed and have to call a friend to loudly discuss all the doings that transpired. It is much better to do this in person, so you can slam your fists against a table when guffawing and really get your point across. After this, you can go out to breakfast, and maybe even order a beer (No worries though, because you will be driving home in the sunlight).

4. When you do finally make it home, you can really relax and appreciate your bed. A lot of drunk drivers tell me that they just want to sleep in their own bed. While perfectly understandable, I ask these people to consider delaying that gratification. Instead, sleep curled up in a recliner, or on the bathroom floor. That way, when you drive home the next morning, you will be able to crawl into your own bed and really get down and dirty with it. And you will need to, because sleeping from 5 to 8 AM while hugging the toilet bowl is not going to be enough shut-eye.

Some side benefits of refusing to drive drunk include: less time spent at the mechanic waiting for him to fix those pesky dings and dents (which means more money in your pocket! ka-ching!), no more cleaning up dried blood from the bumper (or vomit from the floor mat), and getting to know Judge Snyder on strictly social terms (scratch golfer).

I hope you take my lessons to heart, because refusing to drive drunk could really add to your quality of life.

Take it from me, I'm a winner!

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