Sunday, July 08, 2007

Collateral Damage of Drunk Drivers

I grew up in an rural community in the 70s. There wasn't much to do. Unfortunately, house parties were a common form of entertainment. The punch was spiked or beer managed to find its way onto the scene. For most parents, drinking somehow was better than getting high.

When you are underage both are illegal. Having lost five of my classmates before graduation, ten before the five year reunion because they or someone else drank decided to drive.

The pain of these losses no doubt of have left wounds that have not healed two decades later. The regularity of "the calls" had an almost numbing effect.

Driving is serious stuff. I really don't think we as society take it very seriously. As a right of passage, we turn over this machine to kids. Believe me I drove my daughter crazy as she was learning how to drive. Eventually, I outsourced the lessons.

I showed her my yearbook with the obituary section. Then pointed out my classmates who are no longer with us because of alcohol.

Folks are either crippled or killed because someone decided to drive after getting impaired. K.K. White is a such a victim.

He is in a wheel-chair, because Royal Gatewood slid behind the wheel of a car when he was impaired. I doubt he managed to get in that condition alone. Drinking or getting high does have a social component to it.

Gatewood may serve some time behind bars which will be meaningless if he failed to learn anything from the situation.

White has a life sentence.

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