The plan for today was to just hit publish on my pre-written "12 Facts From My Teenage Years" and be done for the day. It's my first day off in over a week, and I fully intended on just reading all day and not thinking about anything. But then, I woke up still mad about last night. Here it is an hour after I woke up, and you guessed it, still mad. Today's post isn't going to be funny, it's going to sound a lot like a lecture, but I don't care.
I do not care who you are, if you have been drinking and get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are essentially taking a loaded gun onto the street and open firing without aiming. A car is a weapon, if you're drunk or not, but when you're drunk, you have no control over that weapon.
Let me recap what happened last night. I babysat until 2 am, and the went to pick up my roommate at a party. When I got there he wasn't ready to come home yet and asked if I'd come hang out for a bit. I was tired but told him we could stay for an hour and then leave. About ten minutes before we're supposed to leave I decide to play a game of beer pong with the guys, having my teammate drink for me because, well, I'm driving. I realize that one of the drunk men is grabbing his truck keys and saying his goodbyes. I ask him to wait until the game is over and I'll take him home. I explain to him that my best friends ten year old brother was killed by a drunk driver, and I'd really appreciate it if he didn't drive away drunk. He tells me there aren't any ten year olds out, an he doesn't plan on killing anyone tonight. I told him the man that killed Ryan probably didn't get into his truck with the thought process of "Oh, I think I'll kill a kid tonight." He proceeds to make the excuses of "oh it's just down the street, I'll be okay, it's three am, no one is out." You know the excuses, we've all heard then before. I FINALLY convince him to let me take him and continue on with my beer pong game. The quick ten minute game turned into a 45 minute game because two of the men I was playing with decided to slap away the ball every time it was coming towards the cups. Drunk dude and roommate went out for a smoke, and roommate came back in and said drunk dude was standing outside on the phone. At this point I get a bad feeling about it and am pissed that they keep smacking balls away, so with one cup left each, I walk away from the game and say goodbye. Roommate was in the house all of a minute before we were back on the front porch, and drunk dude and his truck were gone. After PROMISING me to my face he wouldn't leave, he got into his truck the second he was alone and drove away.
I was livid. I went to bad angry, woke up angry, and as I'm writing this I'm getting even angrier. This man is no longer welcome at my house, and if my roommate goes over there I won't be going in to hang out anymore while they drink, I'll pick him up when he's ready to come home.
I understand that people are young and dumb sometimes, and there are people who make the mistake once, realize how stupid it was, and never ever do it again.
Although I won't EVER approve of drunk driving, I typically won't hold something you did as a youngin against you if you own up to it and recognize that it was a bad decision, and more importantly NEVER DO IT AGAIN. But this, this was different. I very rarely drink, it's even rarer that I drink at a house that isn't mine. This puts me in permanent DD mode. I've driven everyone from baby fuzzy privates to SGT's to where they need to go to stop them from driving drunk. Everyone in my roommates group of friends knows that I will take them home, and this dude just drove away drunk like it was no big deal.
Did you know:
A drunk driver is more likely to survive a crash than the person they hit?
That in 2010, 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes? And out of those 211 deaths, 131 (62 percent) were riding with the drunk driver?
That adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010? Or that that is almost 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving a day?
That if all 17 million people who admitted to driving drunk in 2010 had their own state, it would be the fifth largest in the U.S.?
That drunk driving cost the government $132 BILLION dollars a year?
Or that on average, one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime?
PLEASE don't be a dumb ass. When you get into the car drunk, you are playing god to every person on that road. Call a taxi, ask a friend, walk, drink at home. Be smart and designate a driver! Don't take that risk!
The next time you're thinking about going out drinking, please take a second to think about Ryan. This sweet face never got to grow up, to go to prom, have a girlfriend, or graduate high school. He'll never get married or have children. He will never meet his little brother or his nephews. He's forever ten years old because some asshole decided that he'd only had a few and was okay to drive. Don't be that asshole, don't take somebody's Ryan away from them.