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Don't Drink & Drive!

Its 1 a.m. and you have seem to grow an appetite.  You head out to a local 7-Eleven that is just around the corner.  You throw on a jacket, and slip on your chestnut UGG’s.  You unlock your car and proceed to get inside thinking about what goodies you may purchase for your late night snack.  You can see 7-Eleven up ahead, as you continue thinking about possible snack choices you see head lights coming at you, the car seems to be out of control and there’s nothing you can do.  Next thing you know you’re slammed by this car and left hopelessly waiting for an answer and someone to help.  Instead of getting the Hershey chocolate bar that you had been craving you’re airlifted and brought to the nearest hospital.  Your night or better yet your life is destroyed.  Destroyed by a drunk driver.  Destroyed by someone who could have prevented this accident if only they had made a smarter decision that night.  Drinking and driving is an everlasting problem that occurs way too much in today’s society. Although control and patrol of the roads are stricter today than they were 20 years ago, we are still hearing heartbreaking about lives ending because a selfish monster hits the street.  Americans need to decrease the statistics and stop drinking and driving.
This year, 10,839 people will die in drunk-driving crashes—that’s one every 50 minutes.  One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.  Every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash.  These statistics found by the non-profit organization, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) prove that drinking and driving is a serious matter that needs attention and change immediately.  Every single one of the mentioned injuries or deaths are totally preventable. 
Monmouth University is located in Monmouth County on the New Jersey Shore.  The beach bound university has an increasing number of young students who engage in drunk driving.  Take a ride to the McDonalds on Cedar Ave. on a Friday night and you will witness this disgusting act over and over again involving many of the Monmouth University students.  Samantha Lillo a student athlete at Monmouth University spoke about the problem of drunk driving that occurs at MU.  “The night life and houses that surround campus are too far for walking distance, this inconvenience has led many students to make careless decisions and operate a vehicle after they have had something to drink.  This is no excuse because there are many designated drivers or cabs that could be used, but I believe this significant number of fatalities would decrease if there were closer night life options”.
Drunk driving can be stopped.  Law enforcement and various non-profit organizations have created many initiatives to help solve the problem.  There are many steps that a community and community officials can do to raise awareness and create transportation programs for individuals involved in drinking.  Communities can decrease alcohol-related fatal crashes by providing better access to substance abuse treatment while reducing the availability of alcohol in the community, according to a new study supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).  Another idea, would be to create a program that universities make a plan with local cab services.  At Monmouth University, a popular cab service that many students use is Shore Taxi.  Creating a program would the cab service would give students more of reason to call a cab.  Student discounts or coupons from the cab driver would give students incentive to call a cab for the late night weekends.
According to Potsdam University’s website, designated drivers was their best advice to avoid the mistake to drink and drive.  The website discussed that designated drivers have saved nearly 50,000 lives and spared many more thousands of people from suffering injury from drunk driving. Over nine out of 10 Americans who attend social events where alcohol is served would like to see designated drivers used. And the proportion of people using or being a designated driver has increased dramatically over time. Each year over 73,000,000 Americans either serve as a designated driver or are driven home by one.  The designated driver approach prevents driving under any level of impairment because that person consumes no alcohol. It doesn’t require a driver or passenger to determine if a person is too impaired to drive.  The server or host can offer a positive alternative to drunk driving by encouraging groups to designate a driver.  The designated driver concept is easy to understand, simple to implement, costs nothing, and is effective.   Tips for designated drivers:  Plan ahead whenever you are going to socialize with alcohol beverages.  Decide ahead of time who will not drink any alcohol before or during the party or event.  Consider taking turns being the designated driver. Look after your friends and family and they can look after you. Larger groups should have more than one designated driver.
While the society continues to try to keep the roads safe and sober it is up to the American to help.  Don’t drink and drive and don’t let a friend or family member make the poor decision to drive while intoxicated either.  The statistics can decrease if we take action now.  It’s never too late, take the initiative to be a positive asset to society and help keep the roads safe.  Communities, events, universities and Americans can join together to make a stop to drunk driving.

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