Make the right choice: Don’t drink and drive

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2016

Friday, the Item reported on the case of a Poplarville juvenile, who was officially charged with DUI causing death and DUI causing serious bodily injury.
On March 5, 17-year-old Brett Knight was driving a Ford-F150 on Progress Road, where he drove into a mailbox, parked car and a house. His passenger, 16-year-old Devin Desoto was died as a result of the accident.
In one night the lives of two young men were changed forever. One will never get the opportunity to explore life’s possibilities and the other, if convicted, may spend many years behind bars.
The age requirement to consume alcohol is 21 so Knight should not have even been drinking.
While no one but Knight and Desoto know exactly what happened that evening, the fact remains that Knight should have not been drinking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s website, teen drivers are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than experienced drivers. Drinking alcohol greatly increases this risk, especially for teens.
The CDC’s website has the following tips to prevent teens from drinking and driving.
• Enforcement of the minimum legal drinking age laws.
• Establishment or enforcement of zero tolerance laws in every state to make it illegal for those under 21 to drive after drinking alcohol.
• Enacting a graduated driver licensing program to help new drivers get more experience under less risky conditions.
• Parental involvement, including monitoring and restricting what new drivers are allowed to do. Parents should consider a parent-teen driving agreement. According to research, when parents establish and enforce rules, new drivers report lower rates of risky driving, traffic violations and crashes.
Our thoughts and prayers are with both of these families.
This is a tragedy and we hope that all of our residents will use this an example of why they should never drink and drive.

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