About: Cars & Cocktails Just Don’t Mix

Drunk driving will impact one in three of us.

The purpose of this blog is to address the true prevalence of drunk driving and how we can convince people to stop doing it.  The statistics may be high and unsettling for some, but even they don’t compare to the amount of drunk drivers really out there.  Harsh legal consequences don’t seem to phase people from getting into their cars after having one too many.

I would like to reach out to Larry Slagle, who serves as the President of Yellow Cab of the greater Orange County area.  A major accomplishment I would like to see play into effect from the influence of this particular blog would be to work with Yellow Cab to form some kind of “anti-drunk driving” agreement with the public that allows individuals to pay either a flat fee for a membership or card that will credit them either a free or discounted ride home within a 5 mile radius.  While getting law enforcement to crack down on drivers at night and educating classrooms on the dangers of driving under the influence are effective, for some reason driving after drinking is still a risk many people are willing to take.  Also, drinking is going to happen whether you like it or not; prevention may not necessarily be the only method to end driving under the influence.  We need to take action a step further and focus more towards damage control.  We need a safe-ride program that people will actually use.

I chose this topic first and foremost because it’s an issue everyone can relate to regardless of their age, gender, or personal lifestyle choices.  Drunk driving is more rampant than many like to admit.  In fact, it happens all the time all around us whether we realize it or not.  Someone very close to me (more specifically, my boyfriend, who will kill me if he finds out I’m writing about him) recently got his 2nd DUI, and I was stunned and disappointed.  We had many arguments about him driving after drinking (none that ended well) and exactly one week after a huge blowout, he called me at 3 in the morning from jail.  Go figure.  I still can’t believe such a bright, intelligent, and rational young man could make such a horrible and foolish decision (again).  The unfortunate reality of the matter is that there are thousands of young adults in this world who are seemingly careless enough to repeat the same mistake. I could kick myself for all the times I’ve gotten into the car with someone who has been drinking.  To date I don’t know one single person that has never driven drunk other than myself.

Two years ago in public speaking I shared a story with the class that my mother shared with me a long time ago.  When my mom was in her twenties, her close friend Ruth was coming home from dinner one night when a drunk driver T-boned the car she was in.  Ruth was decapitated from the impact.  Her husband was left without a wife, her newborn without a mother, and my mom without a best friend.  It frustrates me to think of all the people who have been lost in similar tragedies.  The individuals who I know have more common sense than to drive drunk but do it anyway anger me.  I am also angry at myself for biting my tongue and getting in the car just to avoid conflict often as I have.  People who do not stop drunk drivers are supporting their decision to drive, and that is just as wrong.  I believe I am a credible writer on this topic because I can do a lot of primary research: I know plenty of people who drive under the influence regularly as well as people who have been caught and charged with 1st and 2nd DUI offenses, some who have learned their lesson and others who haven’t.  I also understand how just one poor judgment call can shatter a number of lives from listening to various personal experiences.  As a college student, I think I am at the ideal age to get to the bottom of this problem and find out why it still exists in even the most sensible and well-educated communities for young adults.

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9 Responses to “About: Cars & Cocktails Just Don’t Mix”

  1. amandavo March 14, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    You’ve chosen a great topic, and one that is definitely relatable to many people–whether they know people who have driven drunk, or have done so themselves. This was a great introduction to what you have in store for us…also, that last picture in this post is very impactful. Good luck!

  2. jamleslie March 15, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Natalie,
    I think most people who will read this blog has in some way been affected by this very topic. I love that you are allowing your personal relationship with the topic help steer you and I think that with your experience with mainly your boyfriend that you will be able to help get transportation in a more timely manner to people who are engaging in alcohol consumption and in return saving lives. Great start to a wonderful topic.

  3. maddisonpaton March 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I think this is an excellent way to help tackle drunk driving. I know that most drunk driving incidents occur because people didn’t intend to drink that much and didn’t arrange another way home or don’t want to pay for a cab. I think this service is excellent because it is a pre-planned service that allows someone to have a plan for those “just-in-case” moments.

    Thank you for sharing that personal story of your mother’s friend. I think this blog needs graphic details like that one in order to make an immense impact. I look forward to reading more! –Maddison

    http://dearjohn0.wordpress.com/

  4. kaitlynhalamuda March 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Natalie,
    I know you have a lot of heart and passion in this topic and it shows. Every weekend we see drunk people leaving Chapman parties and driving. Everyone has done it and your proposal of stopping it is a great idea! I hate taking cabs because they are so expensive and I never have cash, but I would pay a flat fee and I know all my friends would as well! I can’t wait to read more.
    -Kaitlyn
    http://thefightagainstms.wordpress.com/

  5. ppl4peace March 28, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    As someone who has been in two drunk driving accidents in the past this topic really speaks to me. So many times I wonder what if I dint make it out of those cars? What if we has injured someone else. Again and again I try to rationalize, which I feel a lot of people do. People our age feel like we are invincible and we push and push until that one day we cannot push anymore. I am glad that you are trying to change post drinking habits. Rather than telling people what to do you can provide services for them that encourage safety. I think this is a great subject and I hope that you go far with your cause. Good Luck Natalie.

    Danielle D.
    http://iammuslimerican.wordpress.com/

  6. jocelynhelen March 29, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    I think this is a very great way to address the idea. Like several others have said, many people who do drive drunk, do not plan on it, yet just have no other means of transportation. Unfortunately, I have had a few friends die from this very cause. It is easily preventable and we as college students need to do something about it. I agree that legal laws do not really do anything for some. I have a friend who has 3 DUIs. He’s currently 26 and still somehow continues to drive home somewhat intoxicated. As much as family and friends constantly tell him not to, he simply ignores us. The law really doesn’t scare him away either. Because you are so connected to this topic, I think it’s refreshing to see an alternative rather than simply just promoting “don’t drive and drive.” I look forward to what you have to say!

    • jamleslie April 3, 2011 at 10:59 am #

      I think you have such a strong issue and I am so impressed you decided to take it on. I think if we had more people willing to do the same, we would get a lot more people off the streets when they are not supposed to be there.

  7. clcorbin March 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    This is a very relevant topic not only in society but to our age group who are around drinking a lot. You bring up some very valid points about the dangerous and how serious drunk driving is. It is sad that so many people drive drunk and if they get into an accident with another person the other person is likely to be more seriously injured. Drunk driving needs to stop. I have talked to you about some of my personal experiences with it and I hope that this blog and your passion about this topic moves us closer and closer to a safer road.

  8. Lauren Lindstrom March 31, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    As California’s representative for a teen safe driving campaign, I am so glad you tackled this subject. I thought your posts were varied and convincing. Your page design is splendid too. Very scary in a relevant way! Youve convinced this one to never drive drunk.

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