The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Students need to understand consequences of drunk driving

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

City college students need to be aware of the risks of drinking and driving.

A typical Friday for most college kids is a night of walking up and down Del Playa in Isla Vista drinking with friends. After bouncing from house to house, drinking even more as the night progresses, most students want to take the easy route and drive home.

They pile into a car with loud music as they reek of alcohol. The driver swerves, loses control and ends up hitting another car. Anyone without a seatbelt on flies through the windshield, and only the driver survives.

Students need to find a safe way to get home from a night in Isla Vista, which is notorious for partying, over crowded streets and underage drinking. Streets filled with intoxicated teenagers trying to go home can lead to students drinking and driving.

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This is an example of a mock accident that could happen to anyone who gets into a car with someone who has been drinking, or decides to get behind the wheel intoxicated.

Having so many drunk drivers on the road is incredibly dangerous and it happens often. Recently, a driver was charged with a DUI after crashing into a Santa Barbara home, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Situations like these should be taken as a lesson for those not directly affected. Driving under the influence puts more than one person at risk; it is risking the lives of everyone on the road.

An underage DUI charge in California means losing your license for a year. Having more than a 0.01 percent blood-alcohol level will result in a DUI if the person is underage. This is the equivalent of having less than one drink.

Accidents happen everywhere, and when alcohol is involved, the stakes become more deadly.

Having a few drinks can seem harmless, but according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, teen alcohol use kills about 360 people each month in the United States.

Santa Barbara is implementing programs like the Multiple Offender Drinking Driver Program, an 18 month educational program for second DUI offenders, in order to provide an outpatient treatment program along with additional self-help meetings.

Awareness about drinking and driving in the community of Santa Barbara could prevent future accidents in the community and protect more lives.

Some argue that a few drinks wouldn’t alter their motor skills and that they are capable of driving, but that’s not true. Now services like Uber and Lyft are giving drivers an alternative choice. It is now quick and easy to download one of the apps and within minutes a driver has arrived to take you home safely.

The consequences of drinking and driving are worse than spending the night at a friend’s house or paying a few bucks for a ride home.

The choice to drink and drive is a selfish one. According to the CDC one death in the United States every 51 minutes is due to an alcohol-impaired driver.

Is drinking and driving worth the chance of accidentally killing someone?

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