On Tuesday, Roundup reporter Alexis Bechman’s analysis of drunk driving arrests in Rim Country hit the front page.
Made us kind of twitchy.
Down right uncomfortable.
Feeling very lucky.
Here’s what the story reported: Just about everyone pulled to the curb and cited for drunk driving ends up spending a night in jail, paying about $3,000 in fines and fees and trying to explain to their passengers for the next year why they have to blow into this little tube before starting their car.
And those are the lucky ones.
The unlucky drunks are among the 16,000 people who die each year in drinking-related crashes. And the really, really unlucky ones are those who survive the crash – and live the rest of their lives knowing they killed someone else.
But obviously, those grim statistics don’t stop most people from having that one extra drink at happy hour, then climbing into the car – reasoning that it isn’t that far home and they feel fine.
This is what makes us so twitchy – seeing as how we have met the enemy and he is us – to more or less quote the immortal Pogo.
So perhaps the news that out of 169 people cited for drunk driving by Payson Police in a 12-month period, only one of them got off for a lack of evidence. Some cases fell through the cracks statistically. However, nearly every case for which Bechman could find an outcome resulted in jail, big fines – and an impaired driving record.
So next time you’re tempted - just don’t.
And if you happen to see a too-happy fellow patron grabbing for his keys – please, say something.
Just say: Pogo was right.