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We'Ve Heart It Already, But That Doesn't Matter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "I don't think that it's such a good idea for you to drive to Mike's party."

"What are you talking about?"

"Well, you did have a few beers and a shot or two. Maybe you can get a ride with Jill."

"I'm not drunk. I didn't drink any more than you did. Are you drunk?"

"I'm not drunk, but I wouldn't drive my car. Come with me in Jill's car. She said she would be the designated driver."

"No. I promised Bob I would drive him to Mike's, and I'm going to. I don't want him to think I'm some bimbo who can't handle her liquor. I'm fine. Look, I can walk a straight line."

"I may have been drinking, but that line doesn't look too straight to me."

"Well, you can sit here and contemplate straight lines, but Bob and I are going to Mike's house. See ya."

Crash. Death.

As children and now, near-adults, we have heard it close to a million times: don't drink and drive and don't get in a car with someone who has been drinking. We know what can happen. We have heard all the consequences, including the severest of all - death, and we're sick of it.

So why do we continue to ignore the warnings and cautions? Why do we take our lives and gamble them on a chance that has so many risks and no possible benefits? At least, if you gamble in a game of roulette, you have a chance to win something. With drinking and driving, there is no winning ... only losing.

Some of us think it's okay because we have done it once and not been caught. "Nothing happened the first time, so what's going to happen if I do it again?" That is the worst logic ever. Just because nothing happened the first time doesn't mean we can't get killed or kill someone else the second time.

Some of us say, "It will never happen to me." Those who believe this are also wrong. Feelings of invulnerability can lead only to hurting you or others. If you aren't Superman, you aren't invincible.

How many average teenagers could survive an accident that throws their bodies some hundred feet from the car or a crash that wraps their car around a tree like a piece of rubber? There aren't many.

How many people do you know whose life wouldn't change if they killed another human being. We have to remember that everybody is the son of someone or the mother of an infant, a grandparent, a sister, even a husband or wife. Just because the victim may be a stranger to the driver, he/she is not a stranger to others.

What if you get behind the wheel, intoxicated, and kill your best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, little brother or sister? How would you deal with the guilt that your ignorance caused the death of someone you loved? It's ironic that even though you love someone, you can destroy all of their hopes and dreams in an instant.

There isn't much else that can be done to stop teenagers from drinking and driving. There are only so many times we can hear the same speech. When will we learn? A person already dies just about every half-hour because of a drinking-related accident.

So, the next time that made-for- TV movie comes on about the affects of drunk driving, or our teachers remind us about the dangers, let's not roll our eyes and make jokes with our friends. Instead, let's pay attention and do something about it. We have heard it before, but have we ever really listened?

"You know what? I'm taking your keys. I am not going to let you drive."

"All right, I give up. Let's go with Jill."

Life. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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