Op-Ed: 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.
Editor's Note: Mike Schoemer is Patch's associate regional editor for the northeast Twin Cities region. But his comments in this editorial are as relevant in Inver Grove Heights and Dakota County as they are in Wright or Hennepin counties.
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.
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 Deckert family. 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."