Thursday, 01 December 2022

Don't drink and drive

Earlier this year National Crime Victims Rights Week was marked both in Lake County and the City of Clearlake. How many of these victims were a result of a driving under the influence (DUI) tragedy? How many of these victims have struggled to rebuild their shattered lives all because someone made a selfish decision to drink and drive?


The family and friends of DUI victims struggle daily with the thought that the victim’s senseless tragedy or death was because someone made a conscious decision to drink and drive. The offender was aware of the risk, but he/she chose selfishness over responsibility. That decision is NO ACCIDENT. That decision instantly changes the lives of many forever. DUI fatalities and recklessness must never be labeled as accidents, but rather tragedies.


When a loved one is taken from their family suddenly without warning because of a selfish DUI driver, there is no way their lives will ever be whole again. The hole in their hearts can never be repaired.


Each day of their lives they are victimized, as every day is a reminder of what is not here. Each day a victim struggles to learn to live with the enormity of their loss and pain, trying to reconcile their permanent loss with the fact that the negligent DUI driver just has to do some time and then they are free to get their life back.


The victim will never be “free” again because the pain is deep and it cuts so sharply, consistently and, sometimes, at the most inopportune times. The negligent DUI driver has to live the rest of their life with what they have done, but they do not have the burden with the fact that the family of the deceased has on a daily basis with the loss of their loved one.


Summer festivities are under way. These can be happy times with fond memories or tragic times with fatal memories.


Remember with these festivities comes accountability. Accountability comes when you step into a motor vehicle. When you are the driver of a motor vehicle, you hold your passengers life in your hands along with the life of passengers in other vehicles.


No matter what one’s age is, please stop and think what the consequences of drinking and driving can do. Don’t be the one that is selfishly responsible for permanently damaging someone’s life or cutting another person’s life short. Don’t be the one responsible for robbing a victim and their family of all of the years that should have been theirs together.


If you are an adult and are partaking in a social festivity that offers alcohol, you can still enjoy yourself while still being responsible. Remind yourself before you participate, that you need to be responsible for your actions.


Don’t think you can risk driving home without being caught after consuming those few “extra drinks.” Will your selfish negligence be worth the risk of a lifetime of pain and guilt that you could infringe on yourself and an innocent family whose life will be forever victimized by injury or death of their loved one? A designated driver will help keep everyone safe as well as just saying “no” to those extra drinks.


If you are a parent, do your best to alert your child to the tragic consequences and legalities of under age drinking. To tragically lose a child is the most piercing pain imaginable.


Lake County is stepping up the “good fight” against drinking and driving. Various agencies, organizations and individuals are joining together to help stop the drinking and driving malignancy that has unfolded in our County. The more aware each of us are to the tragic consequences of drinking and driving, the less victims there will be and more lives will be saved.


Join the “good fight” against drinking and driving by being a responsible driver behind the wheel. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.


Judy Thein is the mayor of the City of Clearlake. Her daughter was killed as the result of a DUI tragedy.


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Upcoming Calendar

1Dec
12.01.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
1Dec
12.01.2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake City Council
3Dec
12.03.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
3Dec
12.03.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
6Dec
12.06.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
8Dec
12.08.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
8Dec
12.08.2022 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Adult Literacy Program in-person tutor training
9Dec
12.09.2022 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Hometown Christmas in Lower Lake
10Dec
12.10.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
10Dec
12.10.2022 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild

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