DUI or Driving Under the Influence

This week is typically the start of the Spring Break for many colleges and schools. And as much as we’d like to think that our kids would never drink and drive… And maybe they aren’t the ones driving! Today, it’s not just alcohol. The drug situation is terrible, but there’s also one more thing, SLEEPINESS! Especially young people tend to function on very little sleep. They think they are invincible! They think they can drive four hours or more when they’ve only had three or four hours of sleep in the last 24-36 hours. Driving tired is just as dangerous!

The number of DUIs is staggering to the non-drinker or occasional drinker who wouldn’t dream of driving under the influence. But ask any first responder and they will tell you just how prevalent it is. And DUI’s happen even with over-the-counter medications or prescription medications. Read those bottles carefully!

Want to know how bad it is? Ask my daughter who spent about 13 years as a   file0001628648623 paramedic. Then she’d come home and tell me. Let’s just say I’m not a blood and guts person. Body fluids make me want to puke! Yet I’d do anything to support those men and women who are often volunteers. The EMTs have a basic to intermediate level of training. Paramedics undergo much more,   and are often the doctors hands in the field!

But when they pull up on an accident and the brains are exposed… Okay, that’s it for me! I don’t want to think about it! Yes, I can tell you all those gory stories that she told me, and I can also tell you about the families that were driving home and hit by a drunk driver. No, I won’t say more because it makes the goriest, scary movies seem like nothing. Why? Because this is real life!

We started a policy with our girls when they were young. Don’t drink and drive. (You may substitute drug for drink.) Don’t get into the car if the driver has been drinking. CALL HOME!  I’d rather climb out of bed and pick someone up, than to cope with them being  scooped into a body bag.  I extended that invitation to their friends.

Oh, there were more than a few times I was called.  Amazingly not by my daughters, but by their friends. I’d hand those kids a pillow and and a blanket. No questions asked. Were they wrong for drinking? Yes. I can’t remember one time that anyone was of age. But I figured they were smart enough to call me and not to get into the car. No lectures. I just picked them up. They knew they screwed up.  The girls went to my daughters’ rooms and the boys had the living room.

Many a time my husband groaned for he had to go to work the next morning. But clock-1he always went with me to bring a car home. Those kids are grown. Not a single one  has ever been in trouble. They’ve become good adults.

Tell your children a million times before they start to venture into the real world. Then stay quiet. They will know they’ve screwed up, but they also need to know that home is a safe haven. Just go get them and bring them home.

Did I have repeat offenders? Not really. Want to know who was the worst? The kids who had been raised in very strict households. The ones whose parents never dreamed their darling child would do anything wrong. On the other hand, those raised in households that didn’t seem to care or had parents that drank and drove had children who followed in the parental footsteps. A few of those teens were scraped off the road, and in the instances that I knew, it was usually drugs or drugs combined with alcohol.

emily-and-cheryl-517As a parent, we walk a fine line. It’s hard to give a teenager freedom to make decisions. Communication is so important, but you can’t wait until they are sixteen or more to talk to them. Talk to them when they are little  and keep talking to them. Don’t just tell them no, tell them why! And don’t make it too abstract.

You think you can drink and drive? You think you can handle the alcohol? Well, so do a lot of people, and you know what, some do get lucky. The rest get scraped up off the road, lose their license, lose their car, lose their shot at a good job because of a poor driving record, or worse they live with the fact that they’ve killed someone. Why? Because they lost control of their car. That’s a 4000 pound weapon in the hands of someone who has been drinking!

Our girls knew we had a zero tolerance level for some things. I’m not saying they didn’t drink, I know of several instances when they attended parties with alcohol, because they told me after the fact. But knowing they could call home, I think helped. They also knew our stance on drinking, drugs, and driving.

We had good kids who for the most part had good friends. My youngest had a few friends who weren’t quite as good. And I wasn’t always called because someone was drinking.  I know several times I picked up my girls’ friends because they were in a quarrel  with a boyfriend and wanted to leave wherever they were. I just picked them up.

Fortunately I never had to cope with a child who abused alcohol or who used drugs. That’s a more serious problem than a teen or young adult who needs a safe ride home.  But I’ve had friends who have lost children because of abuse or use. If that is the problem, seek professional help!

I’m only talking about that occasional misstep. The young people who think they file0001082955047can do it, but they can’t. Or they did without thinking.  They didn’t realize the punch was spiked. They didn’t really know you could get drunk on the hard root beer or lemonade. It’s only a small amount of alcohol. They didn’t feel the first one or the second one. Then it hit them!

It happens. It’s a lesson learned. But don’t make them pay with their lives, the lives of their friends, or the lives of the family down the road. Let’s keep our family members safe! Let’s keep our roads safe. No lectures. Just go get them!

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13 Responses to DUI or Driving Under the Influence

  1. jmichelemaurer says:

    First responders are amazing! Bless them all.

    Liked by 4 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      And what they cope with in the field is anything but pretty! But the most difficult things for them to work are the incidents that could have/should have been avoided and quite a few times alcohol or drugs are involved.So sad.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. leighmorgan1 says:

    I enjoy alcohol. I have a special love for single malt scotch—–it’s history, how it’s made, how it changes over time. There’s story there and it’s a full, rich and dynamic one. It keeps a way of life alive.

    I also love driving and riding. More so than anything I consume, with the sole exception of truly well brewed & iced tea. I drink a gallon or so of the stuff a day. No alcohol, but I do have to plan rest-stop breaks.

    I have one rule for myself and for my children—-never, ever, mix the two. One drink of alcohol and I don’t drive. Pretty bright line rule. I stick to it. I’ve also told my children that I’ll come and get them, no matter where they are or what time it is. Anytime then need a ride, I’m there. No questions asked. They have chosen to adopt my rule. It’s a good rule. It also has the benefit of simplicity.

    Now, with so many driving apps available, there is no excuse for driving impaired—not that there ever was an excuse. Too many people drive exhausted as well. Just don’t do it. Use Uber.

    That doesn’t save anyone from others on the road, but it does promote a mentality of safety.

    Liked by 3 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      So glad to know that you have the same policy with your children who are young adults. And I’m with you on scotch. But like everything in life, there’s a time and place for it. Alcohol and driving do not mix. It’s a recipe for disaster!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jill James says:

    I come from an alcoholic background so I know that I can not have even one drink and drive. I have a fun time and leave the driving to someone else. I always told my kids they could call, no questions asked.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. ginaarditoauthor says:

    My kids know the rules. They call or text. They don’t get into a car with someone who’s been drinking. When my kids (over 21) have parties at my house, keys are confiscated and no one leaves without a designated driver or an Uber. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come out of my room the morning after to bodies strewn all over my living room. I make them coffee, feed them breakfast, and when they’re clear, they happily go on their way.
    Thanks for the reminder, E!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Carol says:

    Definitely in agreement with you, E. Too many things can go wrong. Why take the chance?

    Liked by 1 person

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