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In the know

 by Stephanie Berger
 published on Thursday, August 31, 2006


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If you're drunk, you shouldn't drive.

This concept is simple. It's a tenant everyone knows about, and most people attempt to follow - in theory, anyway.

But unfortunately, it's at the very moment when a person's cognitive abilities are most impaired that they make the fateful decision to drive after drinking.

Alcohol blurs the line between fantasy and reality. It makes you feel good, good enough to think you're immune to laws and consequences.

Sadly, I thought I'd gotten to the point where I'd heard too many stories of friends slapped with MIPs and friends-of-friends who have gotten DUIs for the stories to affect me anymore.

I mean, obviously these drunken revelers were too dumb to know what was for their own good - not smart and well-informed like me, right?

But then I read Stephen Cauley's story (Page 8-9).

Cauley isn't dumb. He isn't an alcoholic. He's an average guy who drank with friends on an average night, made an uncharacteristically unintelligent decision to drive after drinking - and killed someone.

The scary thing is that any of us could find ourselves in the same situation. Cauley thought he had a ride home, and when he realized he didn't, his drunken reasoning led him to believe that he could transport himself.

And if you don't think that under the same circumstances you could make the same terrible decision, you've probably never been drunk enough to realize how impaired your judgment can become under the influence.

So what can you do to prevent yourself from becoming one of the three out of every 10 Americans who are involved in an alcohol-related crash sometime in their lifetime?

For starters, you can know your own limit and not drink enough to get out of control in the first place. You can leave your car at home and refuse to drive with anyone who's had even a sip of alcohol. You can suck it up and call a taxi.

The possibilities are extensive - in fact, you could even say the possible ways to avoid tragedy are as numerous as the types of drinks you can order at the bar.



Stephanie Berger

Editor in chief

stephanie.m.berger@asu.edu



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