The Dangers of Drinking and Driving. Personal Experience

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “an alcohol-related motor vehicle crash kills someone every 31 minutes and injures someone every two minutes.” I was one of those statistics. Yet for someone else they might be just numbers, but to me it’s a certainty, the entire experience, feelings, and reality of it all is. People involved in alcohol related car crashes are never the same because of the stress, shock and overall emotional and physical toll on the body. I can still hear the huge loud crash as clearly as the day I heard it, almost 6 months ago. As if someone has carved this scene into your brain and no matter how hard you try, it will never go away. Anger, frustration, hurt, guilt, and sadness, were a few emotions I felt during that awful moment. The crushing attack of these emotions takes a toll on your body and mind all at once.

On mourning my two best friends Jenny and Valerie and I were getting ready for this huge mansion party that everyone was talking about. It was all over the Facebook, Twitter and even on TV. It was my rich friend’s birthday that everyone knew back in high school and he wanted the whole Miami to come to his birthday party. So Jenny, Valerie, and I bought 4 18- packs of beer so we can drink it all at the party. The invitation on Facebook said that the party was going to start around 8:00 pm on Saturday August 31. Before the party, we went to my friend Luis’s house so we can pre-party and meet up with everyone that I knew that was going to that party.

At Luis’s house, there were about 25 people there because he promised there was going to be free alcohol there. We drank a couple beers and head off to the huge mansion event. Everyone went in their own cars, every car bumper to bumper following each other. We got there around 9:00pm there were around 300 people inside the party already, there were kegs everywhere, the entire place smelled like weed, everyone dancing around the pool something like the movie Project X. Around 12:00am the cops arrived, so everyone started running, there was broken windows, some guy broke the main door of the mansion, so people got inside the mansion started stealing stuff TVs, radios, etc.

Police were throwing flash bangs to scare us and there were 2 helicopters in the air. My friends and I ran to our cars and sped off away from the chaos. I was by myself knowing that was too drunk to be driving but I didn’t want to leave my car there with all the cops and crazy people. I was following this car in front of me thinking it was my friend but on a red light noticed it wasn’t him. So I started driving home, after 20 minutes of reckless driving I realized I was almost home. I was drunk and driving and in my own little world, blowing a stop sign and dipping hard into a right turn, sped my car around a corner, clipping the curb and popping my front right tire.

The impact and eruption of air propelled the car left into some park on 127 avenue. My car jumped a boulder, ripping most of the cars undercarriage, before coming to a stop just short of the kid’s playground. My head had shattered the window, which knock me out immediately. A neighborhood resident must have heard the loud crash and rushed to my aid. Once I was somewhat conscious, the man took me back to his house. He offered me a place to stay and make some phone calls. I called my mother immediately and explained everything that has just happened.

The cops and my parents arrived on scene at the same time. My parents watched me fail my sobriety tests. They gave me a breathalyzer and I blew a 0.2, which is double over the legal limit. They arrested me on the spot and spent 26 hours in a holding cell. The court decided to put me on a five-step series of classes, designed to teach underage drunk drivers the effects of alcohol on the brain and judgment as well as society. It took me nine months to complete the program, the length of which is dependent on the severity of the DUI. I had to pay a $2,200 ticket for the DUI, $500 for the five classes and $1,000 every six months for car insurance. The insurance increase will last 10 years even with the cheapest coverage and vehicle level.

I never thought it would happen to me…..After having a few drinks I got into my car and ruined my life. Not eating combined with lack of sleep really grinds your body down after such an awful event accident. During that period of time I dropped 15 pounds and couldn’t stop thinking about that night.

Sleepless nights with images of it took over me for weeks. People like me go out and party without a thought and thought or care and then with their liquid courage, they decide to drive putting everyone at risk, they have slower reaction and impaired judgment. It’s my fault I got a DUI, no one else and it’s not about the amount you drink, any amount can impair your judgment. The DUI class taught me how to be more aware of the effects drinking can harm your life and my surroundings and how to take responsibility for my actions. This is a valuable lesson that I’m never going to forget for the rest of my life. Also I learned how to take responsibility for my actions.

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