Is driving while intoxicated worth the results?

By Sophia Gerner
December 8, 2020

Your safety and the safety of others in a car come first, Cabrini’s director of counseling and psychological services said on December’s drunk driving awareness month.

Drunk Driving / Texting While Driving Simulator“Drunk Driving / Texting While Driving Simulator” by Writing On The Mall is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“Don’t worry about the driver getting upset or giving you a hard time about not wanting to go in their car. When someone is drunk or otherwise impaired, they’re not able to think clearly,” Alissa Brown, Cabrini’s director, said. “You and the drunk person can talk it out later when they’re sober, but the immediate concern is to keep yourself, the driver and others on the road safe.”

Brown said with today’s use of technology, there are many easier alternatives to drunk driving. Instead of driving impaired, people can call an Uber, Lyft or text a friend for a ride.

A counselor would help someone who has been involved in a drunk driving situation and who could have caused harm or death to another person but Brown said, “This process can take time.”

She said counseling helps people have a better understanding of what led to a circumstance and develop strategies to meet their “physical, social, and emotional needs in a way that is healthy and doesn’t endanger themselves and others.”

Brown said that in cases like these where someone was injured or killed, counseling helps with learning how to cope with the grief and shame a person might feel.

On Nov. 22, The American Music Awards, AMAs, took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

The Weeknd, famous singer and winner of the soul/R&B category, accepted his award with white bandages wrapped around his face.

Although, the singer was not injured at all, he instead used the spotlight to highlight the short films he made and to send a warning to people about drunk driving.

In light of December being drunk driving awareness month, The Weeknd used this moment to show the types of injuries a person can obtain and to focus on his film, “Blinding Lights.”

“Blinding Lights” is about the moment you are driving and on your way to see someone, but are blinded by the streetlights due to the drinks you have consumed.

The Weeknd receiving his award in the 2020 VMAs.

The Weeknd believed that a great way to shine light on the seriousness of drinking and driving was through this message.

According to The Zebra, 29 people die each day in automobile accidents that involve a drunk driver and more than a quarter of all traffic-related deaths are the direct result of alcohol impairment.

Nick Ferraro, New Jersey state police trooper, described the consequences of this choice.

Ferraro said consequences could vary from fines and penalties to jail time, depending on the severity of the offense.

In the state of New Jersey, a breath test result of 0.08 or higher is considered driving while intoxicated, or a DWI. Not only can the consequences be very high, but the injuries sustained from a DWI accident can lead to fatal injuries as well.

Ferraro said he has pulled over a driver he suspected of drinking and driving and there were later charged with a DWI.

The procedure of pulling over a suspected drunk driver is to first detect the odor of an alcoholic beverage on the breath of a driver during a motor vehicle stop. The officer can then ask the driver to step out of the vehicle for a field sobriety test.

If the driver fails the field sobriety testing, the driver is then arrested and taken back to the station. If the driver passes the field sobriety testing, the driver is placed back in their vehicle, Ferraro said.

Once at the station, the driver will be charged with a DWI if they have failed the breathalyzer test.

Ferraro said to never get into a vehicle with someone you suspect of driving while intoxicated because it is not worth it. “There is always a way out of the situation, especially with ride apps like Uber.”

When it comes to the choice of drinking and driving, it is time to put the keys down and call for help.

Drunk Driving Among US College Students Still at an Alarming Rate“Drunk Driving Among US College Students Still at an Alarming Rate” by jpalinsad360 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sophia Gerner

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