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My Place

By , Camarillo, CA
A simple swig. Snatching of keys. Skidding. Screams. Sirens. Silence.

It is terrifying to imagine a friend, a sibling, a parent or relative dying in a horrific accident. And yet a certain part of the teenage population is under the impression that something like that will never happen to them. That drinking and driving is all in good fun and their youth grants them a level of invincibility that most adults simply cannot comprehend.

I wish to point out how very wrong they are.

It is not my place to tell someone not to drink. I can provide them with the information regarding drinking, how it changes brain chemistry, affecting the plasticity. I can tell them that the endoplasmic reticulum in the liver build up in order to deal with the poison coursing through their system. I can tell them that they utterly ridiculous stumbling around, laughing too loud and pretending to be cool in the illegality of their actions. However, it is not my place to tell them not to take that sip. What they are doing affects their body, not mine. I am not the one that will suffer from liver issues later in life. They will. My brain plasticity will be dependent on the books I read, not alcohol I refuse to consume

But.

As soon as they slip those keys into the ignition of a car and release the parking brake, their decisions cease to affect only themselves. As they hurtle along in 4,000 pounds of metal and machinery, they have become a danger to my well being as well as the well being of others. Their choices now may not only end their life but steal the lives of others who happen to be on the road. I am perfectly in my right to tell someone not to drink and drive. I would rather not end my night being zipped up in a body bag as emergency respondents clean up the mess some irresponsible person made.

Oh my, I forgot. Things like that only happen to other people, right? It would never happen to me in a million years.

The statement above is a simple display of the naivety that plagues many teens. That is what everyone believes until it does happen. Then the too harsh reality of the situation comes crashing down. It is no longer fun. It is no longer a game. It is all too real.

I challenge those drinkers to say that it would never happen when speaking to a man who has taken the life of a child. To the mother who lost her daughter. To the grandparent who had to take in their orphaned grandchild. To the paraplegic boy who had a football scholarship.

To look at the less extreme, not an accident that ended in death but a swerve that ended in a ticket, think of the monetary cost. Driving while drunk or under the influence of any substance is expensive. DUI’s are not cheap. Insurance shoots up following one.

I could spout more hypotheticals but for some, that would be pointless. Some people will just refuse to listen until it happens. Until they see the mangled body of a friend. Until they feel the blood drip down their face. Until they try to walk toe to toe in a straight line and breathe into a breathalyzer. Then it is too late.

I hope that is not the case for you, reader. You who have a whole life ahead of you. Don’t waste it thinking you are invincible.





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ShattererofWorlds said...
Apr. 25, 2011 at 8:47 am
I agree. that is all
 
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