On Nov. 30, I had the lead in a play called "Ask Shawna."
It was a play about an actual event that happened in Show Low about 12 years ago. It was about a 17-year-old girl who went to a party with her boyfriend, who got drunk and didn't make it home. It's sad, but this stuff happens every day.
The whole student body had to come to the play as an alcohol awareness assembly. I'm not too sure, however, that the students understand the seriousness of it. As a community, we must understand that today's teens do drink. Not all, of course, but more than most think. I'm not saying it's acceptable, but if teens are going to drink, we must push the fact that they must not drive.
I've talked to several parents and all of them, without exception, would rather their child call them for a ride home safely and admit they've been drinking than try to hide it and risk their life by getting behind the wheel under the influence. I really think parents need to stress the fact that their children can call at any hour if need be for a ride home.
There is a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) contract online that parents and their children can go over and sign, stating that the parent does not want their child drinking, but if they do, the parent won't get mad if they call home for a ride instead of trying to drive home drunk.
Drunk drivers kill someone every 31 minutes, and injure someone every two minutes. In the year 2004 alone, there were 16,694 deaths due to drunk drivers; on average, according to statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 99 percent of all transportation-related injuries were related to alcohol.
It's the holiday season and many people, teens and adults, will celebrate with alcohol.
Please, everyone, call a taxi, a parent or a friend for a ride home. Don't take the risk of killing yourself or others this holiday season.
Don't drink and drive.