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Dec

16

In 1980, our family's life was changed by a drunk driver. My mother barely survived the act of this horribly irresponsible man….but out lives were changed forever because of his actions.

I have no tolerance for anyone who drives under the influence. This video (I believe from Australia…it's not the one from Britain that was making the rounds a few months ago) is a must watch for anyone (and especially your kids) who is thinking of drinking and driving. Your actions don't just effect your life, but the lives of many innocent bystanders.

Even though we've raised our children to not drink, I will show them this video so they can clearly understand that choices have consequences.
This video is graphic and heart wrenching. But it is worth a watch.

Peter Vinicius writes:

Oddly enough, the above reminds me of a fond memory. It has nothing to do with the important topic of drunk driving above. It's about my father.

No, he never injured anyone while driving and being addled by age, though in his latter years he was no stranger to wreaking havoc on the aplomb of strangers.

You see, he was what they call a live wire. Didn't get married till he was 39, though that hardly deterred he and my (younger) mother from having 11 kids. There's something to be said for any guy who still dutifully picked up the tab for college tuition when they're 80.

So once upon a time when he was in his mid-80s it was time for him to renew his driver's license, though mercifully he hadn't driven in years. So my mother takes him to the DMV, where he gets on line until the clerk behind the counter tells him to approach the window. Once there she asks him to read the eye chart, which of course he can't. Actually she probably had to ask him 4 or 5 times because he couldn't hear anymore either.

Those limitations all extraneous to the task at hand though as far as he was concerned, because there's no way in the world a guy like this was walking out of there without a driver's license. At least what he thought was a driver's license.

So once he had cleared the communication hurdle with the clerk, he called over the next guy on line, a total stranger, and right in front of the clerk nonchalantly asked the dumbfounded guy, "Son, what does that bottom line on the eye chart say?" I later found out that "Son" was about 60, but when you're pushing 90 everybody's a kid.

My cagey mother meanwhile is watching this deal unfold from afar because she knew full-well that immediate proximity would have run the risk of putting her apple cart in harm's way. Ever the stoic, probably figured this was a job for New York State, not her equilibrium.

So the young clerk figured out how to best handle the situation and politely instructed my father to proceed to window such-and-such for his new photo. Whereupon he was presented with a state-issued ID card that surely looked like a license, which was the government's idea all along.

It would have been an affront to his dignity to deny somebody like that something he's had for close to 70 years, yet there had to be some sort of mechanism in place to ensure that drivers were still capable of the responsibility of driving. I thought that they struck a nice and sensitive balance there by coming up with the ID card solution.
 


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