Letter to the Editor: Drunk, Drugged or High, it’s All a DUI

As the police car lights flash across the ad it reflects the certainty of being pulled over for a DUI. Your brain goes wild, thinking, “Oh no, what was I thinking driving under the influence?” Then you think, “What if the officer doesn’t notice?” You hear a knock on the drivers window as you are asked to get out of the car. You stumble out. The officer asks if you are under the influence. Regrettably, you say, “No sir.” However you just left the bar.

This is what happens when you drive drunk, drugged or high. While most people do not drive under the influence, there are many that do because they are trying to to get home. Many people around the world die every day due to drunk driving. Law enforcement agencies across the state have created ads to reach people who may be drunk drivers. One ad in particular, now on billboards across Southwest Washington, will make people more aware of DUIs.

(Courtesy Photo/Vancouver Police Department)

The ad shows flashing police lights zooming by on a gloomy background. Stern words read, “Drunk, drugged or high, it’s all a DUI.” Some people may not like the ad or find it controversial. It is true that may people enjoy the use of drugs and alcohol, but in my opinion it is very dangerous. They can be fun and exciting but they can also get us in trouble. For example, when I used to get high, my guard would go down and I would get very flirty. I would start getting handsy with people I had crushes on.

Law enforcement in Southwest Washington want drug and alcohol users to think before driving under the influence. What are the consequences? Who could you hurt? Innocent people with families could get hurt, as well as children or teens. Because the ad is on billboards across the state, it should be visible to most drivers.

In an article for the New Internationalist, Jean Kilbourne writes about how ads affect us emotionally, making us want what the ad is advertising. Kilbourne states that “we are surrounded by hundreds, thousands of messages every day that link our deepest emotions.”

In my opinion this is true, in that there are many hidden messages linked to our emotions. Being under the influence can affect our emotions a lot: we could be happy one moment then all of a sudden be mad for no reason. Although a lot of people enjoy drinking alcohol and doing drugs, it can ruin your life in various ways.

The officer asks you to talk the sideline of the road. You think to yourself “I can do this, I can make it.” Then you begin to wobble along the line as the officer pulls out a breathalyzer. “Oh no,” you think. You breathe into the device, confirming the officer’s suspicions before you are placed in the back of the officer’s vehicle.

Aaron Mabey, culinary arts student

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