I’m sure many people have experienced being in an uncomfortable position with someone under the influence who is adamant about driving. Why is it that we let these individuals drive intoxicated? Why is it so hard to not let someone drink and drive?
For college students, the excuse may be, “Well, she was the designated driver; she knows what she can and cannot handle in order to be able to drive.” For adults, the excuse may be, “Well, his liver has built up a tolerance for alcohol over the years,” or, “Well, I didn’t want to be the one to take his keys. He is really mean when he decides to drink.” Whatever the reasoning may be, letting someone drive home overly intoxicated is never a good one.
As you grow older you tend to experience the immaturity that comes with alcohol less and less, but while you are in college, it is all that surrounds you. One story I will never forget is one my older sister told me about her first college party, and how the whole night was so much fun until they had to go home. My sister and her friends had no ride back to their dorm because their designated un-intoxicated driver had decided to have a few shots and beers while they were out. So instead of getting a ride home, they all had to walk about 20 blocks in Downtown Denver at 3 a.m. with no protection other than one another.
Can you remember a time when you felt your life was in danger because of another’s drinking choices? Did it feel good knowing they were intoxicated and threatening your life and everyone else’s on the road? I’m sure there must be an unexplainable thrill the driver experiences to be doing something so reckless. I hope I will never try to experience this thrill because of the dangers it creates.
I have been in the passenger seat too many times, and have had unpleasant experiences with many people because of their individual choice to drink while claiming they are the designated driver of the night. To me, this is a huge sign of disrespect because that individual only cares about themselves having a good time while out partying rather than being responsible and taking a night off so others can have a good time without being put in any danger.
Now it is true that alcohol, if consumed responsibly, can lead to a great time. I am also aware that a lot of people in this world consume alcohol responsibly, and most of the time when people go out drinking they have a plan to get home, such as calling a taxi, getting a ride from a buddy, taking the bus or using some car service to arrange a ride for when they are done.
So how do we stop drinking and driving for good? There is no one answer, for many solutions are being tested and put in place. There are still those few individuals who do not seem to truly understand why drinking and driving is so dangerous.
I am not here saying that alcohol is absolutely terrible; I am just saying when it is being consumed, a person should not be allowed to drive no matter the circumstance. So ask your friends what their opinion is on the subject matter. Do you all think the designated driver of your party should be allowed to drink at all while driving you around for the night?
Aubrey Adley is a sophomore at Fort Lewis College studying business. A Littleton native, she loves dogs, the outdoors, snowboarding, music, singing, dancing, and interacting with new people.