Isn’t it strange that when most party-goers talk about not drinking and driving, appoint a designated driver, or spend the night at the party place, it’s all about not being caught driving while under the influence. How can that be everyone’s focus when the real issue at hand has to do not with fines and imprisonment but with death and destruction? Law enforcement has worked hard and long to keep drunks off the road. The goal has not been to make fewer arrests but to save more lives. Despite their unflagging efforts to accomplish this, death still travels our highways in the form of impaired people operating vehicles capable of mass destruction.
A Drunk Driving Nightmare in Angleton
I’ve experienced first-hand the nightmare of driving drunk. At 16 years of age my son Eric loved to party with his friends.
Leaving a gathering one dark night, he was literally “blind drunk.” Cresting a small hill in his pickup, he failed to notice a police car blocking the roadway ahead at the scene of an accident.
His truck hit the police car broadside, narrowly missing the policeman standing by his car. The truck rolled into the ditch and stopped on its semi-crushed roof.
Emergency workers at the scene found my son hanging from the seatbelt he must have fastened from force of habit. He was unresponsive. They left him for dead while they sorted out the rest of the accident.
Investigating the Auto Accident
Sometime later, someone noticed movement in the truck and investigated, only to find that he was, in fact, alive. Removing him from the vehicle required the jaws of life as his leg was wedged in the wreck. He was taken by helicopter to the hospital and I received a phone call in the middle of the night. He was not seriously injured and was released from the hospital the next morning. The years that followed were almost worse than that accident.
People Could Have Died Due to DWI
There was the shocking realization that he had come within inches of killing another human being. There were law suits and hearings, incarceration and probation. In-patient treatment for addiction ensued. He lost his driver’s license and at age 30 has still not been able to gather the necessary funds to allow him to wipe out the fines which now stand in the way of his being reinstated. His inability to drive has hampered his efforts to establish himself in a career and he goes from job to unemployment, to family help and back again. The 90 days he spent in jail years ago are not a great addition to his resume.
The Deadly D’s of DWI
His life is very different from the hopes and dreams he cherished at 16. There were hopes of a career in professional baseball, graduating from college, taking over the family business. Opportunities seemed endless.
Then the Deadly D’s struck and it all went up in smoke. He was Dumb and Drove Drunk, causing Destruction and nearly Death. Those D’s diverted and destroyed his life plan and almost destroyed our family.
The costs, both financial and emotional, not to mention paying a Brazoria law firm, have been tremendous and he has not suffered alone. The upshot of it all is a lesson learned the very hard way. Don’t drive drunk, not even what you think is “a tiny bit drunk.” The destruction you can cause may be irreparable and death is not reversible.