This I Believe

Austin - Missoula, Montana
Entered on September 24, 2007

There were 16,885 alcohol-related fatalities in 2005. It was 39 percent of the total traffic fatalities for the year. It is apparent that drinking and driving is a serious problem in today’s society. I believe people should not let their friends drink and drive. Letting people drink and drive can put people in terrible situations, cause chaos to not only themselves but others as well, and terminate friendships. I believe this because of a personal event that occurred

It all started on a hot summer afternoon. One of my friends named Sam called me on the phone and said that he wanted to swim in a river with me while he drank beer. I agreed and met him at the river to swim and watch over him. When we both jumped in the incredibly refreshing water, my friend opened his first beer and consumed it in a few seconds. By the time he drank his sixth beer, I thought my friend was going to drown. I put him in a terrible situation so I swam him out of the river. I received a phone call from my mother telling me that I had to drive home right away or else I would receive punishment. I told my friend and he said to me that he could drive back home and that he would be ok. Letting him drive was a colossal mistake.

Later that night, I received a phone call from Sam. He told me that when he was driving, he hit a car that was turning. The people in the car turned out to be ok, but it would have been fatal if the accident was a few seconds later. He also told me that he had received a D.U.I and I was to blame because I let him drink and drive. The event changed my belief about letting friends drink and drive because I realized that not only did I endanger the life of my friend, I also endangered the life of everyone around him. I also lost a good friend that day. Sam and I have never talked since that dreadful day. It cuts deep into my soul when he walks by and gives me the coldest look imaginable. No matter what I tell him or how many times I apologize, he will not forgive me for what I let him do. It will be the last time I will ever let anyone drink and drive.

Because of this event, I have never let anyone drive drunk and have assumed the role of a designated driver. It made me realize what could possibly happen to not only the people i let drive but the innocent people that I could entangle. Letting people drink and drive can put people in terrible situations, cause chaos to the driver and others as well and can cause termination of friendships. It obviously changed my belief in how I view people letting their friends drink and drive. I hope that one day I can help influence people to realize how important it is to keep their friends from drinking and driving and make the world a safer place to live in by decreasing car accident fatalities that had alcohol involved.