The death toll for people who were killed from drunk drivers is daunting. It is estimated that someone dies every 40 minutes by a drunk driver. Think about that the next you take a drink or two and then get behind the wheel. Getting the word out, making tough laws and all the ‘stop drinking and driving campaigns’ have reduced the amount of fatalities, but not significantly. In 1983 there were over 26,000 deaths caused by drunk drivers. In 2008, the latest records compiled, over 13,000 per were killed by drunk drivers. Yes, it is a reduction, but those over 13,000 were someone’s son, daughter, wife, mother, husband, father, sister or brother. 13,000 is still too much, plus that figure doesn’t include survivors of a drunk driving accident, victims who are now having to deal with being permanently incapacitated, recover from third-degree burns, pay medical bills that are creating financial burdens and a quality of life that will never be back to normal again.
The reduction in fatalities through the years does show that all the efforts to make the public aware of the hazards drunk driving, or getting behind the wheel after a couple of drinks, is not an acceptable behavior, and has made an impact. All the ad campaigns, like ‘Friends don’t let Friends Drive Drunk’, or the new ‘Buzzed driving is Drunk Driving’ and the tougher laws, like the one in Arizona, which has the toughest in the United States, have had an effect with keeping drunk drivers off the road. But, having one person every 40 seconds killed by a drunk driver is still unacceptable.
Since public ad campaigns and stiffer laws have only reduced the amount of fatalities due to drunk drivers, it seems obvious that it’s now time to take drastic actions and it’s up to every individual to take a stance and do something about it. For example: bartenders really need to stop serving an individual after two drinks. Most bars, pubs and restaurants make there money by serving alcohol; stronger laws aimed at bartenders, bars and restaurants need to be created or in most incidences just enforced. Same goes with establishments selling alcohol, underage drinking is on the rise and so are the under age drunk drivers. Even stricter laws need to be enacted that will make it impossible for a first time drunk driver to ever get behind the wheel to drive. Individuals who don’t drink and drive, need to make it clear to their friends to also not drink and drive. These are extreme measures, but having one more person die unnecessarily, is one person to many.
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