I’m Mikelle Rittenhouse; id like everyone to take a moment to mentally prepare yourself for the effects of drinking and driving that you will see during this speech as it may be disturbing for some people. Now I would like to show you a video. I’m showing you all this today because what happened to Lenient Kildes mother is an accident that could have been prevented if people were more educated about the risk of drinking and driving.
Many people who have been intoxicated report feeling completely capable of getting behind the wheel, but you can’t always go by how you feel. According to MADD, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving low doses, alcohol causes impaired concentration, slower reflexes, impaired reaction time, and reduced coordination. In medium doses, it also causes slurred speech, drowsiness, altered emotions, depression or aggression. And in high doses, or binge drinking, it can also cause vomiting, difficulty breathing, alcohol poisoning, and comas. Do you really think someone would be able to drive safely from one place to another with all these side affects? I think not.
If that isn’t enough to convince you not to drink and drive then maybe knowing the consequences will change your mind. Driving under the influence or while intoxicated is a serious criminal offense. First does anyone know what the legal drinking limit is? Its .08 BAL. Alcohol consumption is measured in Blood alcohol level (how much alcohol is in the blood stream) and not by how many drinks you have had because the type of drink, and your, age gender, weight, and metabolism are all factors that determine your BAL. For example you could drink a certain amount on one day and be under the limit, but have the same amount the next day and be over .08.
According to Criminal.Lawyers.com Penalties for a DUI or driving under the influence include: temporary impounding of you vehicle, a fine up to several thousand dollars, probation, possible jail time, revocation of your driver’s license, community service, completion of substance abuse classes at your own expense, and the installation of an ignition lock. These penalties increase a lot if you are involved in an accident or you are a repeat offender. But not only are there legal consequences, if you are involved in an accident you now have to live with the guilt of injuring or even killing other people in the car you hit and or your passengers.
Now most of us in this room are under age, meaning we are not legally allowed to drink. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that people who drink before age 15 are seven times more likely to report having been in a traffic crash because of drinking both during adolescence and adulthood. Sadly, in todays society most teens drink to “fit in” and because it’s “cool”, but you have way too much to lose at such a young age to throw it all always for what? A good time?
So if you do end up in a situation where you or your friends are drunk its important to know what you can do to avoid getting behind the wheel. If a friend or someone you know is drunk DO NOT let them drive home. If you are sober offer them a ride. If you are intoxicated as well then you can call a cab, get a ride with someone else that is sober and you know, do not get a ride with a stranger, or call a parent or guardian to come pick you up. You may get in trouble but its better then risking your life and the life of others around you. Always remember Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
I hope I have persuaded you to see from my point of view of how drinking has effects on your body that make you incapable of driving safely, Drunk driving can cause fatal accidents that can lead to injuries and/or death. And you now know what to do if you are ever in a situation where you or a friend is intoxicated. We have the power to fight back against drunk driving all you have to do is educate people about the dangers. I now challenge you to make a difference and inform at least one person about driving while intoxicated. And remember to not drink and drive, and if you do drink be responsible.