Ramya, a 10-year-old girl was returning home with her family, after her first day in a new school. Her uncle was driving her home. Another car, coming from the opposite side, at a very fast speed hit the divider, went high up in the air and smashed into Ramya’s car. Her uncle perished on the spot. Ramya, her mother and her grandfather were admitted to a hospital. After nine days, Ramya succumbed to her injuries as well. Her grandfather also passed away after that.
The car which rammed into Ramya’s car was being driven by a 20-year-old student who did not have a driving licence. There were six passengers in the car. All of them were drunk. This incident didn’t happen in any rural area or a small town. It happened in the capital city of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. There is a CCTV footage of the passengers having consumed alcohol in a pub before the accident.
After I got to know about this, there were some questions which came to my mind. How did the parents give a car to their son, despite knowing that he didn’t have a driving licence? How did someone serve alcohol if there is a law which says that serving alcohol to people below 21 years is prohibited? Is it the students’ mistake? Or is it the mistake of their parents? Or the person who served them alcohol? What did that innocent girl do? What was her mistake? She was just 20-years-old. What had she experienced in life?
People who drive without licence and people who drive after consuming alcohol are like suicide bombers. Not 10% or 20%, as per an estimate in 2011 by Community Against Drunken Driving, 70% of accidents in India happen due to drunken driving.
Let me imagine a hypothetical scenario here. What if the person who had driven the car was made aware of the future, the moment before he started his car. What if he was told, “If you drive the car now, you will kill three people.” Would he still have driven the car? Definitely not. “Alcohol acts as a depressant to your central nervous system, which means when you drink it, your brain cells communicate at a slower rate than normal. The limbic system of your brain, which controls emotions such as anxiety and fear, is also affected. As the function of your limbic system decreases, your inhibitions may disappear and you may become more outgoing and social.” This is written in mercola.com. It plainly means that when you drink and drive, you may kill people because you are driving without being fully conscious.
Activities in college like bunking classes to watch your favorite movie, partying with friends, asking money for a project and buying gifts for your crush. These are completely fine sometimes. Not every time though. In fact, I pity people who wanted to, but missed out on doing these things. But there are some things, which one has to avoid doing or think twice before doing. Sometimes, even if he does without being fully conscious, it is not a mistake but a crime.
Today, a teen’s recklessness killed an innocent child, an engineer who got married recently and an old man. When we are drunk, nobody puts a gun to our head and asks us to drive. Everything is in our hands. We choose whether we want to drive or not. Let’s act responsibly. Let’s not drink and drive.