Saturday, July 26, 2003

Printed in Portland Mercury - unedited version:

I find your lighthearted article on drunk driving to be rather disturbing, especially in light of the recent drunk driving deaths in the area. Drunk driving is a serious issue - according to the MADD website, 18,000 are killed every year in the USA, in alcohol related crashes. Anyone who would drive after drinking is seriously lacking in intelligence, education, or both. For Ms. Skinner and her friends, and those like them, I suspect it is the former. I am of the same age and assumed education level (through public high school at least), and though I have already outgrown the idiotic "drunk is fun" mentality, I had plenty of opportunities to drive drunk in the past. Opportunities that were never taken because not only did I realize at an early age that vehicles can easily become killing machines, but the subject of the dangers of drunk driving was also covered numerous times at school, and public schools no less! Ms. Skinner portrays herself as being more concerned with keeping her status of cool with her friends than actually educating her friends and helping prevent further drunk driving deaths. When will people realize that the decisions made often not only affect yourself but also the innocent passersby, who's family and friends then will have to live with the choice that you have forced on them by taking away their loved one. Come on people, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure the equation of drunk driver + 1300lb of steel, metal, and glass = STUPID! Everyone seems to think "it won't happen to me, it only happens to other people." YOU are those "other people," and you ARE NOT invincible! So please, before getting behind the wheel after throwing back a few, consider the possible consequences of your action - an innocent life taken, the effects of such on their family and friends, and the effect on yourself of having to complete your life knowing that your selfish actions had irrevocably stolen anothers. Think of your mother, sister, brother, father, your best friend, your lover, your husband or wife, and how it would affect you if they were killed by a drunk driver, or how they would be affected were you killed by a drunk driver. Think of others for once, instead of just thinking of yourself and your selfish impulses. And remember, it could just as easily be YOU mowed down by that drunk driver!

Rachael Albright