Three ways to avoid drinking and driving
By Alexa Low
Students at Quincy University have taken it upon themselves to help put an end to drinking and driving.
This past semester, students from Alpha Omicron Pi participated in alcohol awareness week. The sorority members say they feel they can continue to improve upon making students aware that drinking and driving is not okay.
A “brick wall” of defense against unsafe alcohol actions is outside the cafeteria. Organizers ask students to pick a brick and write how alcohol has negatively impacted their life and add it to the wall.
Brittany Bentley, Alpha Omicron Pi member, has had multiple encounters with drunk drivers. Both Bentley and her mother were hit by a drunk driver. So was her best friend and her family.
“It’s hard to prevent drinking and driving once an intoxicated person has made that decision. Reasoning with the intoxicated person does not help, but I think QU does have opportunities to prevent drinking and driving,” Bentley said.
When going out with friends, there are multiple alternatives to drinking and driving such as finding a designated driver (DD), staying overnight, and using public transportation.
Designating a driver or the “DD” may be the most popular way that people get to and from bars during a night out.
“It’s college. People are going to drink; however, we need to know how we as teammates and friends can help keep them safe,” Bentley said.
According to the Washington Post, an estimated 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol.
“People go through those phases where they think they don’t drink a lot and then they hop in a car and really they are still under the influence. That is when bad things happen not only to them but they could put other people at risk,” Taylor Hickey said.
DD’s are vital to staying safe when drinking. An individual who has had too much alcohol should not be left alone and should certainly not be driving.
When living on a college campus, it can be easy to find a party or bar within walking distance so there is no need to drive.
Needing a ride home becomes an issue for commuters or those who wish to visit a bar out of walking distance.
Arrange a place to stay prior to going out for the night. Many college students have an extra couch or futon for a friend who needs a place to stay. Do not be afraid to ask.
“When my sister was a freshman in college, she and all her friends went to Iowa City to go out. One of her best friends drank too much and took a taxi to his car. Once he got in his car and started driving, he hit a tree and killed himself,” Hickey said.
Finding a place to stay becomes even more important when traveling to bigger cities for night life. The plans should be arranged ahead of time and should be followed through, making sure everyone gets home safely.
Lyft was recently approved in Quincy, Illinois and has been known for getting those who choose to drink home safely.
“I used Lyft when leaving a bar and coming back to campus. It was really good, the guy was very polite and he was familiar with QU,” Hickey said.
The regular sized Lyft that fits around four people starts at $4 while the Lyft XL starts at $5. Rides can be scheduled up to 24 hour in advance.