Drunk driving: What does it take?

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Steve Stanley
  • Headquarters Air Combat Command Public Affairs
What will it take? What sort of cost? A monetary or personal property loss? Personal harm to yourself or someone you love? Will it take a loss of life?

We've heard it over and over again, "have a plan" before drinking alcohol. The messages are given repeatedly at commander's calls, mandatory training sessions and in one-on-one discussions with supervisors. However, despite all of the warnings and education, drunk driving continues to happen.

Holly McBride was hit and killed by a drunk driver on Jan. 31,1998 while driving with her son in the vehicle shown. (Courtesy photo). Far too many people still don't understand that alcohol and driving don't mix. Maybe, they think that they are better at it than others, or none of the science applies to them. Everyone is susceptible to the effects of alcohol and the consequences it can bring.

Understand this - drunk driving is no accident and it is not a victimless crime.

In 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That equates to one person every 51 minutes. That's 28 lives lost, accompanied with 28 grieving families, every single day.

The smashed remnants of the car 1st Lt. Laura Jones, 85th Flying Training Squadron T-6 Texan II instructor pilot, was driving the night of the crash. Jones car was hit at 75 mph east of Uvalde, Texas, Jan. 2, 2014. (Courtesy Photo. The tragedies that occur as a result of impaired driving could easily be prevented if just a few simple precautions are taken.

For example, be responsible and have a plan that includes a designated driver. Another would be to take alcohol, yourself, or a vehicle out of any given situation and, low and behold, the possibility of a DUI (or worse) is no longer present.

Most drunk driving happens after nights spent with family and friends. That means there may be someone you trust nearby to help with an alternative method of getting you home safely.

Another key thing to remember here is that time is the only thing that can sober you up. Not hydrating, drinking coffee, eating, or working out.

According to the National Directory of Designated Driver Services there are more than 600 designated driver services available to get you (and sometimes your vehicle) home safe. In addition to those options, you have your fellow wingmen, friends, family, taxi services or the choice to stay put.

To put it simply, there is no reason to make this horrendous mistake.