Drinking and Driving
- Pages: 12
- Word count: 2849
- Category: Alcohol
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If you love your life, you would never drink and drive. It is very interesting how human beings ignore the simple rules that end up costing their lives or their money. Every injury and death caused by drunk driving is completely preventable. This phenomenon of alcohol-impaired driving has remained to be an international problem that affects many people each year. Drinking alcohol has resulted to an increase in the number of orphans and single parents. Youths are the most affected by this issue of driving while drunk. Drivers with high blood alcohol concentration or content (BAC) are at a greater risk of highway injuries, vehicular deaths, and car accidents. According to some facts, the average blood alcohol concentration among the seriously injured drinking drivers is .16. The high BAC drivers are mostly the males who are between the ages of 25-35. Drinking while driving is an issue that should be addressed internationally because it is one of the main contributors of deaths among many victims.
One personal story I have on being intoxicated and high behind the wheel is one of my friends I just recently met was killed in a car accident. He was 18 years old just started college and had a whole life ahead of him. His name was Darian Ramnarine. His friend Joseph Beer age of 17 was behind the wheel possibly under the influence 3:00 driving around Long Island where he reached exit 17 going at the speed of 110 mph where he hit a curb coming up from a hill form the southern state parkway crossing three lanes of traffic and skidding into trees, one of which tore the car in half. The car ejected the 4 other friends including the friend I knew and splitting 2 of the victims in half and the other 2 were thrown out so hard they’re bodies were damaged and at the viewing the caskets were closed. Christopher Khan, Neal Rajaba, Darian Ramnarine, Peter Kanhai were all the victims killed in this incident.
The driver Joseph Beer survived without a scratch but he is facing 25 years of jail time for being intoxicated/high and only having a learners permit driving in the night at 3am. Now because of his mistakes 4 families have to pay for it. They’ve all lost a son and they’re no going back on this incident. This could have all been avoided if the driver had made the right decisions. He too is suffering 25 years in jail by the time he comes out he will be 42 years old no career no kids and no more future for him, his life is basically done. The worst part is he has to live with what he has done which is killed 4 of his close friends. He also has everyone’s hatred towards him. To understand how drinking alcohol would affect the human body, it is important to review how it affects the body, and especially the brain. The human brain is the center of control for all the body functions. It is so unfortunate that alcohol affects this most crucial part of the body. From the health analysts, alcohol is a depressant and it slows the brain functions so that an individual cannot respond to situations, react quickly, or make decisions.
The brain communication pathways are interfered with, which has the effects of changing behavior and mood. Extreme levels of drinking, which range above 30 units per day, cause psychosis. This is a very critical mental illness where a person develops effects of delusions and hallucinations. There are various facts about alcohol drinking and driving. It is estimated that 32 percent of the fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated pedestrian or a driver and this is true as I said above from a personal experience. Every year, almost 13,000 people die in alcohol related accidents, and thousands more injured. These crashes cost the American taxpayers more than $100 billion (NCADD). Regardless of all this, one should remember that it still could be controlled. Drinking and driving cannot go together. The human brain coordinates many things, and processes countless data. As the level of the blood alcohol concentration increases, so does a person is more likely to cause more accidents.
When an individual reaches the level of .02 of the blood alcohol level, the start losing their judgment, have altered mood, and feels relaxed. All this makes the driver reduce the visual functions, and ability to perform two different tasks at the same time. These make the driver unable to follow the road rules and regulations. If the alcohol concentration in the blood reaches 0.05, there is what is referred to as psychomotor performance impairment. The driver has slower eye movement, and visual perception. Time for reaction is reduced and the processing of information is adversely affected, which results to reduced coordination and ability to track moving objects. Response to emergency driving situations is reduced and the driver finds it hard to control the steering wheel (NSW).
Muscle coordination becomes poor when an individual exceeds 0.08 levels. The driver will not be able to detect any danger. His or her reasoning and self-control are greatly reduced, which results to short-term memory, failure to concentrate, and reduced capability to process information. In this particular condition, the driver will not be able to judge the speed of the vehicle, and he or she will not observe the road signs. Exceeding the alcohol levels in the blood also gives the driver a false sense of confidence. One may take greater risks like over speeding even where it is not necessary. The sense of balance is lost, and this mostly affects the motorists. An individual may also be found sleeping while driving because alcohol will stimulate sleep. Night vision is affected by alcohol. A driver will not be able to adapt from darkness to light. Therefore, when there is an approaching vehicle with headlights on, the drunk driver will be more dazzled than a sober one (NSW, n.d).
Some of the people engage in drinking alcohol due to peer influence unaware of its effects. It is normally stated that a habit is a disease, and it is very easy to start a habit, but harder to stop it. I had a nail biting habit and had to train myself to stop. It was extremely hard, and then I got into my later teen years and said no guy would like a girl nail biter with all the germs I am biting into my mouth that would want to kiss me? I later on stopped but shame still bite once in a blue mood. Apart from road accidents, driving under the influence of alcohol brings other adverse effects to the victim. The effects are distributed to family members, relatives, and the whole country at large. In an explanation by Wright Mills about sociological imaginations, he explains the insight offered by the discipline of sociology. Different people will have different imaginations about the human nature and history (Mills, n.d).
Through imagination, an individual is able to identify him or herself and be able to relate with other people. Sociological imaginations help come to understand about the human social activities. As people live together, there rises trouble due to this kind of interactions. Alcohol use will also affect how people relate with one another. While at one point is a form of expressing friendship when sharing the drink, its effects brings results that are not accepted in the society. Therefore, according to Mills, there are values that are cherished in the society, while others are not. A sober person would not want to be driven by an alcoholic having in mind they will definitely die. This calls for people in the society to rise against drivers who drink and drive. Emile Durkheim explains the social fact as making people different from one another. Human ways of doing things are mostly influenced by some external factors. Theses factors affect an individual’s ways of thinking, acting, and feeling.
What I obtain from this in relation to alcohol and driving is that, there can be some measures, which are supposed to be put that, reduce the rate of alcohol use in driving. When the government formulates some policies against alcohol use, they will affect the coming generation on their perception about alcohol. This would be a long-term effect. Some strict regulations should be defined that restrict drivers from using alcohol. These regulations will affect those people who are starting to drive and accidents related to alcoholism will gradually reduce. This explanation can also be used to explain how people indulge to alcohol use. Durkheim puts it that even when we freely accept established ways of acting and thinking, some external forces will still influence us (Lateral Communication Inc., 2010). What he tries to explain is that it would all depend with an individual. People can make informed decision about alcohol use and driving.
The government can take the initiative of educating people about the effects of alcohol use in the body. Some people use alcohol put of ignorance. They do not really know how much it costs them and the society. People know it is wrong but still continue doing it. Therefore, some external force against the use of alcohol should be enforced to people. Most people use alcohol according to the personal perception they have towards it. There are three modes of psyche that every individual has and they influences how the individual performs different tasks. Freud explains this in his theory of the anatomy of the mental personality. These modes of psyche are Id, Ego, and Super-ego. The id is the part of the human brain that does not care about reality and is unconscious. This part is only concerned with the individual’s needs, fears, desires, and hopes. Ego on the other hand accomplishes the instinctual needs of id. Ego is weak against id. The third psyche is the super-ego, which is our moral conscience. It encourages ethical judgments and demands.
Ego is the conscious part of the psyche and it aims at balancing the super-ego and the ego. The three are what make the personality of an individual, as learned in my psychology class that I am taking this semester. Taking sociology and psychology the same semester helps a lot because it’s all connected. If someone is sober, the three modes of psyche will function properly. When someone indulges into alcohol use, it interrupts the relationship between the three modes. It is said that one cannot serve two masters at a go. Alcohol affects mostly the brain, which is the center of coordination. Some parts of the psyche also influence’s an individual in doing some things. For example, id is the unconscious part of the brain that does not care about reality. Therefore, this part is most affected by alcohol and leads to the victim into doing things that are unethical to the society, this is what will lead to failure of observing traffic rule and lead to accidents on our roads (NCADD, n.d).
One thing that brings hope in this situation is that all the deaths caused by accidents due to alcohol use could be prevented. This means that there is a remedy for this situation. Like other social problems, drunk driving resists the simple solutions. Reducing the use alcohol use and driving is a common issue that involves the user, the society, and the government. It should be the responsibility of everyone to be against this act. Education has been the solution of many different problems in the society. Alcohol server training programs should be expanded. When people are educated, they get to know whatever they were unaware of. The government should formulate rules that are more harsh and strict to those who use alcohol and drive. The victims should be prosecuted and charged heavily to act as teaching lessons to those who might intend to do the same. Cases of accidents involving young people below the age of 18 or 21 are regularly reported.
The authority should ensure that license is issued to only those people who have attained the age of 18 and above. People should become more responsible and avoid drinking and driving. If an individual decides to drink, then there need to be an extra person who is sober to drive them. More advertisements and awareness campaigns should be conducted so that people are aware of the consequences. Drinking isn’t the only social factor that we have today. Tragedy as well plays a big roll in peoples lives. People drink to forget tragedy, although the people I have interviewed didn’t have a drinking problem, majority of people drink to forget. The class went on a field trip to Ground Zero where the World Trade Center once stood. There we stopped people in the area to ask them a few questions. I asked 2 people 3 questions; 1.Where were you on 9/11? 2.How did you react to the situation? 3. Do you feel safe right now? Interview number one with Catherine Perez works in the area she said, she’s on her way to work just grabbed a Starbucks coffee.
She was at her old job in Brooklyn working in her office and then her boss came and had announced what had happened and they didn’t have a television in her office so she turned on her radio to hear what was happening. She then called her husband and went to pick up the kids from school. She was terrified at the situation she said, “so many innocent lives were lost, all the families that had to deal with they’re loved ones lost, and no one should have to go through that”. The last question I asked her is if she felt safe she said “no because you never know what can happen at any given time or place, there has been many terrorist threats to New York and were definitely a huge target zone. The second person I interviewed was Mary Brown; she was an elderly woman who had come to visit the site because her son had died in the horrific accident. He had been working in the World Trade Center as a security guard on a high floor up. She doesn’t know what exactly happened to him but she assumed he tried to help everyone out because he was such a kind-hearted person.
She was devastated about this incident of course because he was her only child and did everything for her. I then asked the final question, do you feel safe right now? She said “The only place ill feel safe is heaven” and she left. Now my story on the World Trade Center incident is I was still in elementary school, the teachers all gathered us up and put us in the auditorium called our parents to pick us up. My grandmother came to pick up my little cousin and me because his parents were stuck somewhere else. We both went to my house it was a bright sunny day and we started cutting snowflakes. As young as he was he didn’t know much but he took the scissors that day and cut a whole chunk of his hair off, of course he got in trouble but it grew back. I was young I didn’t know what was going on at the time I say hey half a day yay. But as I got older I realized it was a horrible tragedy that happened and many lives were lost.
No I honestly don’t feel safe because anything can happen, you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and something can happen to you. I try to stay on the positive side of things though. All these interviews were how we the people feel about this situation. You don’t have to be under the influence to have stress on the body and mind because people go through stress everyday. Some people as statistics say drink to forget they’re a problem that causes stress on the body and mind. If someone must drink, then they need to plan and find an alternative transport. One could also stay in a friend’s home, or call someone to pick you up. These small aspects could save someone’s life. Drunk driving is such a fatal aspects and can cause a gradual reduction in population. The economy of the country continues to drop. It affects both the body and the mind whether one is driving or walking. It is very ironical that people do what they know is wrong. This therefore calls for a serious solution to drunk driving.
Lateral Communication Inc. (2010). Durkheim: What is a Social Fact. Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from https://www.cramberry.net/sets/22739-durkheim-what-is-a-social-fact Mills, W. C.(n.d) The Sociological Imagination. Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from http://legacy.lclark.edu/~goldman/socimagination.html NCADD. (n.d) Drinking and Driving. Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from http://www.ncadd.org/index.php/learn-about-alcohol/drinking-and-driving NSW. (n.d) The Effects of Alcohol on Driving. Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/alcoholdrugs/bac/drinkinfoabout0_05.html