A sad story of probable teenage drunk driving occurred just a few days ago in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Two teenage boys were killed in a car crash. The driver and two other boys in the car walked away with minor injuries, but the two fatalities were not so lucky.
One of the survivors told police that the driver had been traveling at 99 MPH and that they had all just left a party and had been consuming alcohol.
There has been no report yet regarding any of the boys’ blood alcohol levels or whether the driver will face drunk driving penalties or drunk driving charges. There has also been no word regarding charges related to the two boys in the crash who did not survive.
As tragic as this story is, I can’t help but wonder why people do such careless things. I can only imagine how the driver and the other boys who survived the crash are feeling. I am sure they are all devastated and wish they could take back some of their decisions. Whether the driver was intoxicated or not, he was certainly driving at outrageously fast speeds and he is now suffering the consequences. Drunk driving injuries are not unique, and unfortunately neither are drunk driving deaths.
My point here is not to make anyone feel badly. I am just trying to figure out why people continue to drink and drive despite all of the negative consequences of teenage drunk driving. Getting a DUI and having drunk driving charges on your record is bad enough, but it doesn’t get much worse than crashing and having two of your best friends die because of your actions.
When tragedies like these happen as a result of teenage drunk driving, I think it’s incredibly important to talk about them. Yes, it would be much more comfortable to try to ignore it and to not think about it. It would be easy to assume that all of these boys already feel incredibly guilty and upset about what happened, and try to leave it at that and not make anyone feel worse. That, however, does nothing to change the careless decisions people make.
I remember feeling invincible and thinking that nothing bad could ever happen to me. I also remember not caring if anything bad happened to me. I never thought I could ever get a DUI, I never thought I could ever overdose, I never thought I would get arrested, and I certainly never thought I would end up in rehab.
I think teenagers, especially ones who drink or use drugs (even socially), have this incredibly warped idea of reality. Life seems like it will last forever. Even at 22, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I am not immortal – bad things can and do happen, especially when I make careless decisions.
Teenage drunk drivers are very common, often facing drunk driving charges before they can even legally take a drink.I hope that people can take away something positive out of this story and see an opportunity for change instead of just a tragic ending for these two boys. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let your friends drink and drive. That also means not getting into a car where the driver has been drinking. Teenage drunk driving, drunk driving by anyone, can have devastating consequences.
This doesn’t just mean don’t drive if you are drunk; this means don’t drive if you are drinking at all. Impairment begins with the first drink – that is a fact and not just a white lie your parents or loved ones tell you so you don’t drink. Anytime you mix alcohol with driving, it is a recipe for absolute disaster and tragedy. Adding speeds close to 100 MPH just seals your fate.
I hope for nothing but the best for all of the remaining boys, their families, and the families of the boys who did not make it. Don’t make what has happened worse by continuing the cycle of drinking and driving. We all need to be very aware of the consequences of drunk driving, as well as the fact that choosing to do something like this is often followed with drunk driving charges and drunk driving accidents. This type of accident isn’t a rarity. It happens frequently and yes, it could be you.