Drinking & Driving – “I can handle it”
This is truly a very contentious issue. Majority of us who have been out for a party or out clubbing, would have at some point driven or travelled with someone who was intoxicated and driving. Yes. Admit it. You may have not been sure, whoever may have ‘seemed fine’ but we know they were intoxicated. And they drove. And we all went with them coz somewhere we know that we can get away with it.
All of us will know some ‘Uncle’, some connection in the copshed, military, political ally or a way out of getting caught, paying a fine or going to jail. Bar Association ID cards, Media ID cards, Doctor’s car stickers are all escape routes from the clutches of the law which can ‘ruin’ your night out. Bribery is normal too. But now they are more ‘strict’.
Have you ever lost a loved one to a sudden death? A family member who was snatched from you because of life and its misery? Do you know that pain? It’s a fucking avalanche of grief which is not at all easy to get over. It ruins lives. And that’s what a drunk driver can do.
It’s not about you. Or your driving ability. It’s not about how good you are and how “in control” you are. It’s about another person’s life. You cannot predict what happens on the road. An animal can jump across while you are driving, your brakes can fail (yes even those of you who worship your vehicles), someone can run across the road (even if they are idiots they don’t deserve to die – that’s not your choice to make) and so many factors that you have no control over what can happen. And this is why you need to be in your ‘senses’ and not intoxicated. A lot of people do not realise how ‘high’ they are coz that’s the nature of intoxicants. A lot of people speed while driving coz intoxicants boost your endorphins and make you feel on top of the world. There is a speed limit for a reason. So that in the event that some monkey does jump across and even if you do hit them, the impact won’t kill them. Again, it’s not about you. It’s about respect for another.
Your father, brother, mother, lover did it for X amount of years is immaterial. A generation of wrong doing does not make it right. The notion that you are a ‘pussy’ because you don’t drink and drive is bull rhetoric from the mouths of idiots with their brains stuck up their asses. Is your worth measured by how intoxicated you are and your ability to drive under that influence? You need serious therapy if that’s the case.
If you are on a mission to be a daredevil by all means, buy your own driving track, get on the damn thing and drive to your heart’s content drunk or otherwise. Just make sure you are the only victim. That’s your choice. Roads are public property. You do not own the roads. People’s lives are not yours to be annihilating at will.
The most sensible option is to use cabs. This country is overrun by cabs and three wheelers – plenty to go around. If you did not plan on drinking and drove instead, call ‘Drink – Drive’ – I have been with them with a few friends and they are professional. Use them. Or park your vehicle somewhere for the night. Worst case, sleep in your vehicle passed out. Don’t let your ego rule the night. Don’t let your ego and arrogance and overconfidence be the cause of someone else’s death. That guilt – you will take to your grave. And the day it happens to one of your own – you will realise.
Those of us who are passengers and wayside observers to drink driving – we need to open our damn mouths and voice our opposition. Yes – even if it’s your spouse, lover, best friend. If you refuse to ride with someone who is intoxicated – you are taking a stand against something that can save someone’s life. Use whatever charm to convince them out of it or sternness to scare them out of it. It’s worth it. Someone out there will thank you for it.
So no matter what you think you can ‘handle’. For fuck’s sake – just obey the rules in this regard. A life once gone can never be brought back – regardless of your money, social status, caste, religion, whatever. It’s gone. Imagine it’s your most treasured person on the road who will die if you drive while intoxicated. Be sensible. Save a life.