There is always that point in a night filled with partying when you wonder how you will get home.

This decision-making process should come second nature to most people: If I’ve been drinking, I should not be driving. End of story.

Unfortunately, many people our age (both in college and recent graduates), don’t use this common sense. And with the holiday season in full swing, it’s a discussion that needs to be had.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, “Adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010 – that is almost 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving each day.”

Or take this statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to heart: “In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.”

Unfortunately, no matter how many statistics I throw your way, it still may not make a difference.

If you take a look at the faces of the people who have lost their lives from drunken driving, maybe that can change your mind. A recent story that’s thrust drunken driving into the spotlight yet again took place earlier this month when Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent made the fatal decision to get behind the wheel. That choice ended up killing his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown.

If this story isn’t enough to scare you straight, search for “fatal drunk driving accident” and see what turns up.

How many times will you have to hear about yet another drunken driving incident on the news before you decide to change your mind about your decisions? Or will it take losing a close friend or family member to make you see the light?

Let’s hope you never have to feel the hurt of losing someone you love or causing another family pain because your decision cut someone else’s life short.

Even if you don’t hurt someone else while you drive drunk, if you get caught, you will face the legal ramifications for YEARS to come. You could be put in jail, face serious charges, put yourself or your family into debt from legal fees and even be turned down from jobs because of your record (if you are convicted). You even stand the chance of losing your license for a period of time.

If this isn’t enough to change your mind, think about your future and the future of those around you. Do you want to spend your life behind bars? Do you want to keep you and others from harm? Then do the right thing and call a cab or a sober friend for help.

There is NEVER an excuse for drinking and driving. No matter what situation you are put in, there is always another choice than getting behind the wheel.

However, even if you make all of the right decisions when it comes to drinking and driving, you’ve also got to watch out for your friends who do not have the same common sense. If you are truly someone’s friend, you will not let them get behind the wheel. Offer to pay their cab fare, let them crash on your couch or call a sober friend to pick them up but do not let them drive home drunk.

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