*This article was written in collaboration with Kunhadi.org
You know it, I know it, and most of all, our moms know it. Every year around this time, with all the festive parties going on, we notice an increase in car crashes caused due to driving under the influence – or simply drunk driving. To combat this prominent issue – and help keep our moms sane – I’m teaming up with Kunhadi for this year under their #IfYouDrinkDontDrive campaign.
From now until New Year’s Eve, I’ll be posting 4 articles I wrote according to Kunhadi’s data about Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Each of these articles will visit a specific topic around DUI: a lesson in friendship, a lesson in the law, a lesson in science, and a lesson in safety.
Today’s blog post is a lesson in friendship – more specifically, a lesson in how drunk driving can kill friendships.
Chapter 1: A Lesson in Friendship with Kunhadi
In 1983, the American Ad Council released its now-classic ad, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk”. While typical anti-drink driving campaigns targeted potential drunk drivers, this campaign started a successful trend of targeting non-drivers. And I’m getting on that bandwagon.
Let me ask you something: How many of you have knowingly accepted rides from friends even when you knew they had drunk too much to be 100% safe? I think it’s safe to assume that more than half of you have because you had ‘no other way home’. I’ve actually asked a few people about their reasons for not stopping their friends from getting behind the wheel when drunk. The answers ranged from “It’s not my place (‘ma khassne’)” to “They seemed OK (‘mish sekran, bas mzahzah’)” to “They can make their own decisions (‘manno walad’)”. Now, I honestly find that very curious. In a culture where we’re more than ready to interfere in each other’s business, gossip about people on a daily basis, and take it upon ourselves to assess a stranger’s lifestyle, we still find it difficult to stop people from driving while drunk.
Chapter 1: Key Takeaways
- Tlob taxi. Call a cab for both of you. That’ll get you home and safe!
- Mbala, khassak, because friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
- There’s no such thing as ‘bas mzahzah’. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.
- Age is not a factor when it comes to driving when drunk.
Today, I want you to take a step back and look around you at your family and friends. Will they all still be here in 2018? Instead of cursing the government for justice after the accident, do your part now.
Start by turning down rides from your friends who have been drinking. Really, make this a point with them. And if you’re already in the car while you’re reading this, have them pull over, get out, and call a safe ride for both of you. And tell them why you did it. Don’t back down or change your mind. Don’t forget about it after they apologize. Make the point and stick to it. I’ve actually done it.
Unfortunately, some people won’t be convinced, especially when they’ve driven while drunk many times before and made it safely. On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest… or worse. Don’t let them risk your life, too.
So this coming holiday season, when you’ve been partying with friends and have had one drink too many, make sure your friends get home safely. You could be saving a life. Maybe theirs. Maybe yours. Or maybe a stranger’s. But stopping your friend from getting behind that wheel will make you a hero.