DS View: Drinking

DRIVING Being intoxicated behind the wheel is one of the most dangerous things a person can do.

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Point blank: If you drive drunk, you’re an idiot.

You’re an idiot because everybody and their mom — ahem, Mothers Against Drunk Driving — is raising awareness about the dangers of getting behind the wheel with booze on your breath.

You’re an idiot because buzzed driving and drunk driving are equally awful.

You’re an idiot because people you don’t know could die because of your choice.

You’re an idiot because your friends could die because of your choice. You’re an idiot because you could die.

You’re an idiot because if you’re in college, you should be smart enough to not drive drunk.

Some people may not want to drunk drive, but instead are pushed to because of struggles with alcoholism. Yet, it is still their responsibility to address the drinking problem itself in order to keep themselves and others out of danger, including staying off the road while intoxicated.

The 2012 Security and Fire Safety report revealed a drastic jump in DUI arrests — from 54 in 2011 to 198 a year later. The reason for this increase is simple: more enforcement leading to more people getting caught.

When you drive intoxicated, you are turning your 4,000-pound vehicle into a 50 mph killing machine. You and your fellow students become targets because of your selfishness and stupidity for not arranging a sober ride home.

The 2012 report reflects a much more accurate count of people driving drunk. Grant money this past year allowed more police officers to focus more heavily on DUI enforcement, leading to the gut-churning rise in documented drunken stupidity.

We, the Dakota Student editorial board, believe 200 DUI’s within the area of a 15,000 campus are far too many people operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The scariest thing, though, is that the numbers were likely just as high last year and nobody knew, nobody could address the problem.

So yeah, it sucks that University Avenue has as many cops swarming up and down it as freshmen swarming to the Ucard office (note: the Dakota Student’s office is not the UCard office). It sucks that you can’t drive to work without that aching feeling of paranoia that can only accompany driving while flanked by the fuzz. It sucks that the actions of a few have to reflect on the many.

But it also sucks to lose someone to drunk driving — either because the accident was fatal or because they’ll be spending the foreseeable future behind bars.

Driving drunk carries extreme penalties and can result in the permanent revocation of your drivers license.

Do yourself and everybody else a favor and choose not to be an idiot. You may be saving your own life in addition to ours.

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