difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory, blackouts, mental confusion, decreased coordination, liver disease, unintentional injuries, impaired judgment, alcohol poisoning, mental confusion, vomiting, risk of addiction, dehydration, lowering of inhibitions, heart disease, cancer, hangover, feelings of guilt and shame, increased tolerance, serious social and financial problems, behavior alterations, kidney failure, immune system problems, organ malfunctions, diabetes, destruction of brain cells, ulcers, acquire physical injuries, suffer academically, increased risk of heart attack or stroke, impaired learning ability, coma, infections, gastritis, cirrhosis of the liver, DEATH Sources: www.abovetheinfluence.com and http://www.about-alcohol-info.com/Effects_of_Alcohol.html A Reality Check
I surveyed my peers and asked them why teens drink alcohol. Here are the Top 10 most frequent answers: 10. Easy stress relief. 9. Their parents drink. 8. There is nothing else to do. 3. To be able to tell funny stories. 5. They think drinking is less harmful than drugs. 6. Curiosity. 2. Everyone else does it. 7. There is a thrill associated with doing something illegal. 4. It doesn’t hurt anything. 1. They think its cool. Survey results are supported by http://www.duiprocess.com/blog/dui-info/top-10-reasons-teenagers-drink-alcohol-2/ Underage drinking is NOT ok.
Teens that drink do not realize the consequences associated with alcohol consumption. Alcohol impairs people’s judgment, increasing the risk of teens drinking and driving. They think “It’s ok. I only live 5 miles away” or “I’m not drunk, just a little buzzed. I can still drive.” And then this happens: On May 27 th, 2009 at 1:15 in the morning my good family friend Shawn English was killed in a side-on collision by a driver who ran a red light. The driver who killed Shawn was drunk.
The driver who killed Shawn had a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.18. He had previous convictions of driving under the influence of alcohol. Shawn was 19. Shawn’s death could have been prevented. News Source: http://www.southjerseylocalnews.com/articles/2010/02/25/medford_central_record/news/doc4b7c344f69ac1749772764.txt
Don’t Drink and Drive. It can be prevented. Spend the night at a friend’s house. Sign a parent contract to call for a ride at anywhere and anytime, no immediate questions asked. Have a designated driver. If you must drive, then stay SOBER. Even if you are in a bad situation:
Sources: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810801.PDF and http://www.sadd.org/stats.htm and www.centurycouncil.org In 2006, more than 19% of drivers ages 16 to 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking alcohol. Alcohol impaired driving fatalities account for 32% of all driving fatalities. 33,808 people died in traffic crashes in 2009 in the United States. An estimated 10,839 of those were killed in accidents involving alcohol. Teenage drunk driving kills eight teens every day.
So, those 10 reasons why teens approve of drinking… 10. Easy stress relief. 9. Their parents drink. 8. There is nothing else to do. 6. Curiosity. 7. There is a thrill associated with doing something illegal. There are better ways to relieve stress. That doesn’t mean drinking and driving is ok. So… if you’re getting drunk with friends, why can’t you hang out sober with friends? Is there a thrill when you get in a wreck because you’re drunk? “Curiosity killed the cat.”
3. To be able to tell funny stories. 5. They think drinking is less harmful than drugs. 2. Everyone else does it. 4. It doesn’t hurt anything. 1. They think its cool. Yes, because drinking and driving sure sounds safe. WRONG. At the very least it hurts your reputation. The families of people who were killed in alcohol related incidents would not laugh. Actually, statistics say that most people do not think alcohol is worth the consequences. No, its not. Underage drinking is NOT ok.
Yet, 72% of teens will have consumed alcohol by the end of high school. 37% will have done so by eighth grade. Sources: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810801.PDF and http://www.sadd.org/stats.htm and www.centurycouncil.org 90% of teens do not think drinking is worth the consequences it can cause.
Most teens do not realize the consequences associated with drunk driving. Drunk driving can result in: A suspended driver’s license Juvenile detention Prison Attorney fees and court costs Probation DWI or DUI Loss of academic eligibility, college acceptance, and scholarship awards Loss of respect. Loss of a life. Your life or another’s.
Harsher consequences for DUI and DWIs would limit the number of multiple offenders. Licenses could be automatically revoked for anyone driving over the legal BAC limit. This could have prevented Shawn English’s death. Increased focus on the effects of alcohol during Driver’s Education. Creation of a video simulation that allows teen drivers to experience the effects of driving while intoxicated. For example, applying a delay in the simulation to show the dangerous delay in reaction times.
People who choose to drive drunk affect many other people’s lives. This background is a picture of a page from my life journal (a visual art journal). Awareness of the effects of alcohol and staggering statistics about car accidents involving alcohol inspired me to make the choice to abstain from drinking. Drinking and driving is a choice. I completed this art page as a one year commemoration of Shawn’s death.
Picture source: http://www.centurycouncil.org/learn-the-facts/drunk-driving-research This is a great downward trend; let’s hope these rates keep dropping! However, the battle against drunk driving continuously achieves more and more success.