Ms. Cox English Composition/Collaborative Essay
Betsy Bowman, Tiana Lavender, Alissa Cameron, Luke Zak
A Breathalyzer for Every Car
Driving is a mundane most U.S. citizens perform every day without fully being aware of it. As a result we often daydream and visualize ourselves in some other scenario. We forget that a vehicle is in fact a multi-ton battering ram on wheels. That it can injure, maim, kill or destroy entire families in a split second. It takes only one small lapse in attention while driving to create the millisecond necessary for wonton destruction via car. Most of these lapses can be avoided by simple mindfulness of our thoughts and actions. However, when alcohol is thrown into the mix even the concentration of a fighter pilot or transcended monk cannot be focused. It is a well-known fact that alcohol impairs judgment, hand eye coordination, and concentration. Does this really need to be backed with a statistic? Try having a few drinks and playing some ping pong, darts or foosball, see what I mean? This is why driving and alcohol should never mix. Is there a way to prevent alcohol impaired drivers? This group answers that question with a resounding YES! If we put breathalyzers in every vehicle we can keep our roads significantly safer.
This may sound like an absurd solution to a problem that may not directly affect every person. I think when considering this solution we need to remember times we have truly grieved in our lives. We all know that pain deep in our hearts that can only be caused by another human being. What if that loss was caused by reckless drunk drivers? What if that loss was completely preventable? Every day in America 27 people are killed in auto accidents involving alcohol (madd.org). Statistics can lie, maybe not every driver using alcohol in the previous statistic was overly intoxicated; without question some were. Why couldn’t they use better judgment? That’s the whole problem with alcohol, it impairs judgment. A statistic highlighting this is that the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest (madd.org). Does that make them bad people? No, in fact I imagine some of these people are highly successful and perform jobs like neurosurgeon, teacher, law enforcement, lawyer and so on and so forth. Alcohol obviously affects everyone’s judgment regardless of their career choice. The only way to prevent this is by breathalyzers that are required to start the engine of a car and continue its operation by driving.
Judgment, it’s that intangible thing that makes or breaks us. We can be a millionaire overnight judging the appropriate risk. It is something we need intact at all times so we can make effective choices. Alcohol obviously impairs this function of the conscious mind. In fact, in 2011, 1.2 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (madd.org). One third of drivers arrested for drunk driving were repeat offenders (madd.org). I know these two groups of people incorporate various walks of life and they cannot all be idiots. What is the common factor here? Poor judgment in getting behind the wheel secondary to consumption of alcohol. That is concrete and cannot be refuted. What could have stopped them? The facts are out there, we know it is illegal to drive while drinking alcohol. I am sure in a lot of cases people even told them to not drive, like “Why don’t you crash here tonight Jim, you have had a lot to drink.’’ Somehow all of these known facts and concerned input from friends were ignored. Not everyone in these statistics hurt or killed another motorist. However I would confidently wager one hundred percent of these people regret their decision to drive impaired that night. A vehicle that requires a breathalyzer to operate it would have prevented these poor decisions.
Obviously drinking and driving has some serious consequences like death, maiming, injury and...
Cited: www.madd.org/statistics: Mothers Against Drunk Driving 2013. Web.
www.duiattorney.com: DUI Laws and Penalties 2013. Web.
www.duifoundation.org: Xavier, Anelli. NYS DWI Defense Firm 2013. Web.
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