If you’d been hanging around London on September 10, 1897, and if you’d been positioned so that you could see properly, you’d have witnessed George Smith, a 25 year-old taxi driver being arrested for drunk driving. He was the first person ever arrested for drunk driving. History is not proud. Neither is his mother.
If you missed the event in 1897, you can read about it here.
One could easily misinterpret today’s moral as “Don’t become a taxi driver in London” but one would be missing the point entirely.
Drunk driving aka DUI aka DWI aka Stupid is a big problem.
Every day, 27 people are killed by a drunk driver. Every day, 27 families are told of loved ones who did nothing wrong but are no longer coming home. Every day, hospitals are unable to save 27 victims of drunk driving accidents.
Every two minutes, someone, somewhere is injured in a drunk driving accident. Every two minutes. Every. Two. Minutes.
To me, it is inconceivable (and yes, I do know what that word means—extra points if you get the reference) that people continue to imbibe and get behind the wheel of a car.
We know better. We know better as drivers, we know better as friends, we know better as hosts.
And yet we continue to tolerate it.
We continue to allow friends to come over for dinner and drink wine and beer and other adult beverages and let them drive home. We continue to meet friends for drinks and drive home without a designated driver. We continue to go to parties and driver, rather than Uber, home.
Every. Two. Minutes.
We can discuss the merits of fine wine or a rich bourbon. We can talk about great craft beer and homemade rotgut. Whether or not you drink is a decision you, as a person of legal age, can make for yourself. Whether you drink to excess is also a decision you, as a person of legal age, can make for yourself although I doubt the hangover is worth it.
Whether you get in a car with a driver who has been drinking is not.
Do not drink and drive. Do not drink and even think of driving. Do not breathe and think of getting in a car with a driver who has been drinking anything stronger than apple juice.
Two out of three people will have their lives seriously impacted by a drunk driver.
Do. Not. Contribute. To. The. Statistics.