Steel, speed and spirits do not mix | Editorial

The most chilling noise in a drunk driving collision comes after the crash. When you tell someone that terrible news, that their son or daughter is dead, they make a certain mourning sound.

It sounds like their heart is coming through their ribs.

An EMT said this to a gym full of students during a drunk driving assembly years ago. It has stayed with us all this time. We hope it made an impression on the kids as well.

While it is critical to bring that message home to young people, there is a segment of the population that needs education on the topic as well: grown-ups.

When intoxicated adults get behind the wheel of a car, they are driving a lethal weapon, too. If you’ve been drinking – or smoking pot – don’t drive. It’s that simple.

Adults are subject to the very same consequences to which our youth are vulnerable: the loss of driving privileges, jail time, lawsuits, and a lifetime of guilt.

In the spirit of safety, Orcas Island Taxi is offering free rides home on New Year’s Eve. Call 376-8294. Also, all tips from that night will go to the food bank.

Who do you think our kids learn from first? Us. When teens see their parents planning a night out responsibly, it sets a good example – for now and later. Adult drinking and driving is a real problem, even here. Take a look at the sheriff’s log on any given month with its myriad of DUI entries.

So where’s the adult education? We could all stand to be reminded of what too much liquor and two tons of steel can do.