A Costly Decision: Don’t Drink and Drive

Time after time teenagers are losing their lives to drinking and driving; these deaths are preventable.


Photo by KTIV.com

Four teens in the Omaha area were recently involved in a drinking and driving accident.

By Morgan Brickell, Reporter

Many teens do not think before they make decisions because of their undeveloped brains. These decisions could mean life or death. One in particular is drinking and driving. The decision to drink and drive has one right answer, and that is to not do so. Though it may sound simple to avoid, many teens are in the position to make this decision at one point or another. 

“Young drivers (ages 16-20) are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking,” according to the CDC.

Though teenagers are less likely to drink and drive than adults, they are at greater crash risk when they do, states TeenDriversSource.org. 

Teens are not experienced drivers to begin with, and the addition of alcohol makes driving even more dangerous. 

Safe schools help students report incidents such as drinking and driving to prevent them in the future. (Photo by Morgan Brickell)

Bradan Leahy, a Senior at Elkhorn North High School, has been personally affected by teen drunk driving. Because he has lost those around him, he believes heavily in preventing drinking and driving at all cost. 

“Some people I know have passed due to drinking and driving or a drunk driver,” Leahy said. 

Along with teens, adults are affected when students make this decision as well. Elkhorn North High School Counselor Martha Dowd has been afflicted by teen drinking and driving, through students and family members. 

Dowd has two teenagers, one is in high school; because of this, she understands that teenagers don’t want to get in trouble with their parents from drinking. This helps her see more into why teenagers decide to drink and drive. In reality, no grounding or a phone being taken away is worth anything close to losing a child. 

Both Leahy and Dowd agree that there can be more done to prevent teen drinking and driving at all cost. 

“I feel that it is something that should be avoided at all costs, but if it comes down to that point you can always call someone, someone that you can trust,” Leahy said. “So that something like this doesn’t happen.” 

As a school, we do not talk about teen drinking and driving enough. Throughout my four years in high school, I have only discussed teen drinking and driving one to two times a year in class. One of these years it was talked about more than others because students in the area were personally affected by others who decided to drink and drive. Still, kids continued to make the decision after people close to them lost their lives. 

“I think that education on drinking and driving would need to be something that is discussed district wide,” Dowd said. 

Dowd has had specific conversations with teenagers about drinking and driving, but there are no programs that are implemented to curriculums to teach about the dangers of drinking and driving.  

“Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink and drive. And to think, what is the absolute worst case scenario that could come from this, and then assume that would happen. And would you still do it? Probably not,” Dowd said. 

The moral of the story is don’t drink and drive. No life is worth the risk of losing because of an impulsive decision. Do not let decisions determine life or death. There are always better options before making the choice to drink and drive.