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Drunk Drivers

I've had two personal experiences with drunk drivers in my life. The first drunk driver was my step-father. He would drink every weekend from quitting time until late Sunday. Many weekends he would pack Mom and us kids in the car and we would go "visiting". We would go all over town (Detroit) and visit all of Step-dad's drinking friends. He would get drunker and drunker as we went along but he would not allow my mother to drive. Those rides were terrifying as he wove from lane to lane, driving too fast. My brother, sister and I would often times get home with silent tears running down our faces. We were afraid to cry out loud.

One weekend, my step-father went out "visiting" by himself. He didn't come home that night. The next day we found out why. He had been in an accident. My step-father had hit a motorcycle carrying a young couple (he drove a NewYorker at that time) and killed them both. It was found out later that the young woman was pregnant. Three lives snuffed out. My step-father spent time in the hospital for fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. His "legal" punishment was to have his license revoked for six months. He also went into the psyche hospital around that time. I don't know if it was ordered by the court, but I do know that it was related to the accident.

The second experience involved my 27-year-old brother-in-law. David was a sweet guy. He was seven years younger than my husband, his brother. The previous couple of years had been eventful for Dave. His ex-girlfriend had a baby girl by him who he adored and he had just gotten married the previous summer. He was looking forward to a long happy life.

On June 1, 1991, Dave and his best friend went out in the early morning hours to get something to eat at the all-night fast food joint. On their way home as they were stopped at a traffic light, a pick-up truck driven by a drunk driver t-boned their Chevette. They both died before help arrived, probably instantly. The truck was going about 80 mph and never slowed down. The driver walked away from the scene of the accident. Two young lives wasted.

The drunk driver who killed my brother-in-law received a sentence of 40 years. The tragic part is the fact that he only received such a stiff sentence because he was a multiple repeat offender and other circumstances were involved.

It seems that we don't really get radical about things like this until our lives are personally touched by tragedy. Does someone really have to die before YOU decide to designate a non-drinking driver?

Please save a life.
Don't Drink and Drive!

~A Doll & A White Rose~
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site last update January 2010