Why do people drive drunk, knowing the risks involved. People drive drunk because alcohol takes away our depression and our anxiety. Under the influence of alcohol – we don’t have a care in the world. Both alcohol and high powered cars are intoxicating to our emotions – creating an illusion of freedom, that we can do anything.
People who have problem drinking habits, who are alcohol dependant, soon come to find that feeling normal means having a drink or two. Habitual alcohol drinkers can drink quite a lot, and be well over driving limits, before they start to feel any effect at all from their intake of alcohol.
However, regardless of how we feel, alcohol still has its effects – slows down reactivity, dulls our sensory perceptions. No one actually drinks to feel good – only to make things less boring, appear more fun than they actually are. People drink alcohol to fill up a void in their life – alcohol puts a barrier between us and difficult emotional feelings. When we drive drunk we are not in touch with our feelings, or in command of our minds.
Driving a car is extremely simple with the technology of today. Touch of a button power, cushioned padded interiors insulate us from the reality that the average car is around one and a half ton of heavy metal that needs some care to handle properly on the road. When people drive drunk they don’t see much except what’s immediately in front of them. Hazards emerge like a bolt from the blue, straight lines look all wavy, and traffic lights look double. Many drunk drivers owe their lives to the ability of other drivers to recognize a problem – and keep firmly out of their way. Others are not so fortunate.
The problem of why do people drive drunk is a community issue. Drunk driving will continue to happen for as long as we maintain a culture that does not recognize alcohol drinking as drug use, and continue to see our vehicle as a symbol of status and power, not merely a means of transport. An immense amount of money is spent on making sure that alcohol drinking maintains an acceptable face, and that we choose our vehicles for reasons of social power and prestige.
A fundamental lack of respect for the value of human life underlies a culture that turns a blind eye to the consequences of drunk driving, in favor of the high revenues returned by making alcohol an indispensible social lubricant. It is a reflection of our profound dependency upon alcohol use that authorities are not empowered to simply legislate for zero blood alcohol content when we are driving on the road.
The family structure remains the basis of our communities, although in modern times, its power has been greatly eroded. Decisions about alcohol drinking and driving will always be made in accordance with the values that we have learned from our family upbringing, and our experience in the community. Families that try to uphold family unity and good values find increasing pressure is on them.
Families today need to be strong and united and have clear policy statements. Children need strong ideals and principles and to have parental role models that are secure in making a stand against all manner of destructive values, no matter what their commercial guise. The question is not so much why do people drive drunk – but what are the personal and social pressures that stop them from getting help.