You’ve probably seen the ads. Recently the Transportation department has been playing an $ 11 million dollar campaign on TV and the internet in an effort to curb drunk driving. The campaign “Drunk driving. Over the limit. Under arrest” show cops pulling over guys in cars filled with beer wine and liquor. Not bottles. Cars filled to the windows with booze.
It’s pretty startling to see and it makes the point pretty clear. The tag line is “Make no mistake: You will get caught you will be arrested.” Nationwide deaths from drunk driving make this seem like a mini holocaust. In 2005 nearly seventeen thousand lost their lives at the hands of some drunk fool behind the wheel of a car. That’s roughly the amount of people that would attend two sold out shows at the Wachoiva arena.
By the way, in terms on national ranking Pennsylvania tips the bar at number four with 636 deaths in 2005, actually up from 616 in 2004. The only states with more booze induced fatalities are California, Texas and Florida so obviously we are doing something wrong. Even New York State which you would figure to have a high number throws away about one hundred fewer lives each year.
How could we lower the number of gravestones planted in honor of over consumption? I think we could take a page from the old mining towns. If you ask an old timer what life was like when coal was king here you’ll get a lot of answers. One that always foams to the top is the fact that every block had a church, a corpse house and two or tree beer gardens. You would never drive to any of the watering holes back then. You would cut the dust and then some and then stagger home under your own power. I don’t have any way of gathering statistics of deaths from drunk walking back then but common sense tells us it was probably negligible.
So I am not advocating more drinking But I am in favor of a bar near every house. Better yet door to door deliveries.