Monday, June 30, 2008

Drunk Driving Has Consequences

My younger brother Matt got stopped for his 3rd drunk driving offense the other day. I’m not sure what your response was to that previous sentence, it depends on where you stand on the issue of drunk driving. Personally I don’t condone it, but it happens. Since he’s my brother and I love him I’m hoping it works out for him. In Michigan when you reach you’re third drunk driving it’s a felony.

I bring it up because the 4th of July is coming up, it falls on a weekend and there are probably going to be quite a few people driving around with one too many under their belts. I won’t be one of them. I don’t like getting behind the wheel even if I’ve only had one drink.

I told a friend about my brother being stopped and they asked if he has a drinking problem. I said no he was with a friend he doesn’t have much opportunity to get together with often and they had a few beers. He was stopped for speeding on his way home.

I’m not really the one to say whether my brother has a drinking problem. There is a history of it in the family, but Matt doesn’t drink that much that often. His first drunk driving offense was 18 years ago. His second 8 years ago. But for those two previous mistakes he may pay the price. I hope not, but know sometimes it’s the only way you can learn.

I joked this past year about reading a news item about a Bob Nelson who had been stopped four or five times for drunk driving with the latest being one in Dodge County. Of course it wasn’t me. I’ve never been stopped for drunk driving, but that being said I wondered sometimes if two or three beers I enjoyed while watching a football game or at a family dinner might have put me close to the line.

I’ve reported on enough drunk driving accidents and been in enough courtrooms to see the impact of drunk driving on families. Often when a drunk driver kills a person there are two sets of victims. There’s the family of the person killed and the family of the person who is facing possible jail time for it. Fortunately my brother wasn’t involved in any kind of accident when he was stopped. That’s the only real break he may get this time. However he’s got family to see him through the consequences.

No comments: