The festive season is fast approaching and there will be numerous parties where you’ll be having a great deal of fun. When there are parties, there are always alcoholic drink and many reasons for one to drink more. Before you take another shot, think again, “Am I going to drive later?” If you are, most probably you want to be more discipline. If you are not, drink all you want and make sure you have someone to see you home safely.
During this time, you’ll see a lot of commercials, banners and posters to remind individual to drink responsibly. I believe that most people are responsible … at least all my friends drink responsibly. When they are drunk, they always make sure that someone else who is sober will be at the wheel. Probably next time, if you know that your friends are drunk or have been drinking a lot, you may also want to exercise a little social responsibility to stop him/her from driving.
Drunk driving is an offence in most countries around the world. Anyone who is convicted of injuring or killing someone while under the influence of alcohol can be heavily fined, in addition to being given a lengthy prison sentence. In Singapore, repeated offence of drunk driving can cause you to be fined up to $30,000 SGD and three years’ imprisonment. For an offender causing death or serious injuries can also be caned up to 6 strokes.
In a report from CNN, a man in LA was charged with three counts of murder when he ran a red light and struck a car, killing a Major League Baseball pitcher and two others while under the influence of alcohol. Just for that split seconds he had caused lost and miseries to three families.
According to the Office for National Statistics of UK, “There were 8,724 alcohol-related deaths in 2007, lower than 2006, but more than double the 4,144 recorded in 1991. The alcohol-related death rate was 13.3 per 100,000 population in 2007, compared with 6.9 per 100,000 population in 1991.”
In the US, in 2006, an estimated 17,602 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes—an average of one every 30 minutes. These deaths constitute 41 percent of the 42,642 total traffic fatalities (from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
In Singapore, there was a significant rise in drink-driving arrests recording a 7% rise from 3,733 cases in 2006, to 4,009 cases in 2007. From a speech by Dr. Teo Ho Pin, dated 13 December 2006; he cited an accident which happened earlier in March that year. Two colleagues were on their way home together on a motorcycle and they crashed into the centre divider along Bukit Timah Expressway and their bodies were found lying along the road. It was found later that both men had a high concentration of alcohol in their blood. In that tragedy, two families lost not only their sole breadwinners but also their husbands and fathers. Indeed as what he mentioned, “The penalties of drink-driving are very high – with the ultimate penalty being death.”
Often time, you may think that you are still sober enough to drive after drinking but there are too many cases where drunk drivers caused death of their loved ones and innocent parties.
Prevention is always better than cure. If you are going out on a group, there can be a designated driver to send the rest home. And in the case when even the designated driver had a few drinks, there is always public transport or a cab instead. Never leave things to chance. Please do not ruin your night of fun and enjoyment and be sentenced to a lifetime of guilt and regret.
Photo by engindeniz