One of the scariest differences between city life and country life (besides animal life, the dark and losing cell service) is drinking and driving.

After the recent death of Jackass’s Ryan Dunn, I have been even more sensitive that usual about drinking and getting behind the wheel. On any given night my friends and I are out in Kingston, or the surrounding area, you can watch someone drinking a number of drinks, leave the bar or restaurant, go into the parking lot, get into their car or truck, start the car and drive away. It puts a pit in my stomach every time.

My group of friends is fairly responsible, usually designating a driver. The DD usually stays sober or has a drink or two over a number of hours. This brings up an entirely different issue of how many drinks can you have and still be “fine” to drive, but at least someone is conscious of having to get everyone home safe.

One of my friends has been known to get behind the wheel and drive home. Often sighting, “I’m fine” or “It’s just a short way” or “Nothing is going to happen.” All the traditional ignorant responses to “Why did you drive home?” I am not sure if it’s belligerence, stupidity, fearlessness, a deceptive case of invincibility or a little of all of these factors, but I do know is it makes me incredibly sad. I wish this friend and anyone else in my immediate circle would just call me or get a cab or go to sleep in their car or walk or think clearly for one second – the very second that it takes to realize getting behind the wheel IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

DWIs seems to be rampant in our area. I hear about them through my friends  in law enforcement, a friend of a friend of someone who got arrested or even first hand from a few of my acquaintances. I guess this means law enforcement is doing a good job. I think it could be better. I don’t blame the law enforcement all together though. I think it is all of our jobs to encourage others to not drink and drive. It is your job, just as much as mine, to take keys away from a friend, make up excuses to stall them in their tracks or not drink ourselves so we can safely drive when going out. I plan on having this very conversation with each one of my friends in the country. This is when the city wins. Public transportation.

Watching Jackass star Bam Margera grieve over his dear friend brought tears to my eyes. I never ever want to be in his shoes. Ever.

Recklessness is a species of crime and should be so regarded on our streets and highways.  ~ Marlen E. Pew

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