Don’t let DUI ruin your life

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This past weekend, I had the privilege of taking a quick trip up to Notre Dame, Ind., to see my beloved Fighting Irish take on the Midshipmen of Navy. It was also a chance to get to see my dad, who lives in Branson, Mo., but was able to join me for the game and a weekend together.

However, I consider myself lucky that I was able to take the trip in the first place.

On Friday morning, as I was traveling through downtown Atmore on the way to the Atlanta airport, my vehicle was struck from behind. I was stopped at the red light at the main intersection and sustained some minor damage to the bumper and exhaust frame, but thankfully the car was still drivable. Thanks to some great work by David’s Paint and Body Shop, my car was patched up enough that I still was safely able to travel to Atlanta.

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I later found out that the driver who hit me was charged with a DUI. Thankfully, it was downtown at night and rainy, so the vehicle’s speed wasn’t very fast. But I can only shudder at what might have happened if the crash had taken place a few miles further north on Highway 21, where the speed limit is 65 mph.

I realize that “don’t drink and drive” is a message that is hammered home all the time, probably to the point where the words just go in one ear and out the other. But I feel it’s also a message that cannot be repeated enough. Please, please, please don’t drink and drive.

I know that everyone probably feels like, “I haven’t had too much to drink,” or “I’m a good driver, I can make it home safely.” But please, it’s just not worth it. This is a small town. We all have friends or family who I’m sure would be happy to come pick you up and take you home. Or I’m sure you know someone who would be just as willing to let you sleep the night off at their place, until you’ve sobered up.

Don’t let a night of fun lead to a mistake that could change your life — or worse, cost you or someone else their life.

Thankfully, I was still able to make it to Notre Dame and had a very enjoyable weekend with my dad. Probably one of the highlights was getting the chance to see Pensacola’s own “Blue Angels” do a flyover at Notre Dame Stadium, during the conclusion of the national anthem. They also later passed by a second time while the band was playing the fight song during the pre-game activities. The planes also did a few aerial tricks in the air, thrilling the crowd.

I had never seen the Blue Angels’ show in Pensacola before, so it was a thrilling sight to witness. The fact that it took place just a few days before Veterans Day made it even more special.