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The Dumbest Decision You Could Ever Make

Another senseless tragedy leads me to believe that there are few things dumber than getting drunk and deciding to drive.

I'm going to try not to lecture anyone today. 

I'm going to try, but I'm not promising anything. 

I'm not promising anything because, frankly, I'm sick to my stomach. And I'm sick of this happening. 

When I was 18 years old, which was 20 years ago, my parents came into my bedroom one summer morning and told me that a classmate–a friend–had passed away, tragically, after he left a party on his motorcycle and never made it to his destination. 

I had seen him the night before. I knew. 

Fast-forward 20 years later. I grabbed my phone just for a moment, checking Facebook. 

Amazing how receiving the same sort of news has changed. 

Three people, whom I knew, were senselessly killed on Interstate 94 west of my former town of West Fargo. The driver who caused the accident was headed the wrong way in the wrong lane.  

I had driven that stretch before. I knew. 

Folks, you can play with fireworks. You can not wear your lifejacket while boating. You can even decide to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. 

But the dumbest decision you could ever make is getting behind the wheel after "having a few." 

And the fact that it's 2012, and we know now so much more than we knew then, in 1992, and people STILL do it, is beyond my simple mind's level of comprehension.

Wright County is among the worst when it comes to instances of DUI. Hennepin County doesn't fare much better, according to state data. 

Yet, with cabs, buses, trains and cell phones, we decide to put our fate, and the fate of others, in our own hands. 

We've seen too much evidence. The worst things can happen. DUI related vehicular homicides are still responsible for one-third of all traffic fatalities in Minnesota.

Ask the. Ask the parents of the boy from Buffalo, killed by a man from St. Michael. Ask the Mickelsons and Deutschers, who lost their son, daughter and granddaughter, and another unborn grandchild in North Dakota Saturday night. 

It's senseless. And it's sick. 

To quote a classic movie: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore." 

Laura July 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM
So sad, and so senseless.... these accidents are so preventable. Making the decision to not drink and drive shouldn't be that difficult, but unfortunately, for some, it is. Thank you, Mike, for a heart-felt article. Like one of the commenters above, I, too, feel the pain when driving past these tragic spots in the road.
Kris Olson July 10, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Completely agree with you, Mike. The information about Wright County being one of the worst offenders is especially disturbing, especially since we have the Sober Cab program (http://www.your-duiq.com/sobercab.asp). If people don't have a designated driver available, they should consider frequenting one of these establishments so they have an option to get home safely and responsibly!
Mike Schoemer July 10, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Great point, Kris!
M.H. July 11, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Does Minnetonka or surrounding cities also have the Sober Cab Program?
SM July 18, 2012 at 10:39 PM
There's many sober cab programs like DWI ride home etc. They just need advance notice sometimes but they'll drive your car home. Cheaper than prison sentence or death.

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