In the midst of all my birthday cheer, I’d like to pause and send out a really important message that I am BEGGING my peers to listen to. Please don’t drink and drive. It’s not worth it to sacrifice the rest of your life over a few beers.
This week, the youth of Miami saw two beautiful lives end far too quickly. Both were tragedies, but of different kinds. The first was a beautiful young girl whose life ended unexpectedly, and in a manner that no one could have prevented. Last night, another loss struck our generation, but this time was a situation that could have been avoided. This was a life that could have been spared. A strong young man was killed by drunk driving; he and a handful of his friends chose to enter a car after drinking and it resulted in a terrible crash in Gainesville that left his car half-destroyed in a fiery blaze. While this is no time to blame anyone or taint anyone’s memory with negativity, it is a time for everyone to learn from the lesson that he tragically taught us all.
We all preach the message, “Don’t drink and drive!” We all claim that we would never engage in such activity. Yet somehow, I could rattle off at least a dozen occasions within the past month alone where I witnessed friends admitting or planning to drive while intoxicated. Listen to the words you preach. Countless friends have wrecked their cars and gotten DUIs, but they are still convinced that their youth renders them invincible. We are fragile creatures, and your life could be taken from you in an instant. Why tango with recklessness?
Seriously, if you are in Tallahassee and find yourself debating whether or not you should drive yourself home – call me. Hail a taxi, phone your roommate, call dibs on the nearest futon – I’m begging you to think before you decide to drink and drive. Furthermore, you’re just as reckless to enter a vehicle if you know the driver has been drinking. May this young man rest in eternal peace, and may we never face another loss of a loved one due to drunk driving. Please send prayers and good vibes to the six individuals in the hospital recovering from this horrifying accident.