OPINION: The Dangers Of Alcohol-Impaired Driving

As the new year of 2023 begins, statistics about alcohol impaired driving during the year of 2022 show a need for critical improvement on the roads.


A lot of high school coming-of-age movies glorify underage drinking. They always show shots of teenagers passed out on someone’s couch or stumbling around incoherently at some party. They rarely show kids driving drunk, but when they do minor accidents happen. The main character walks away with some scratches and bruises, nothing more. 

Real drunk driving does not have a minor effect on people, it can mess with the course of someone’s life. One wrong decision can lead to your own death or the death of others and 62% of all car accident deaths are caused by an alcohol impaired driver.

The sustained physical injuries from these accidents are awful and deadly in some cases, however the mental effects of these crashes are arguably worse. Almost a year ago I experienced first hand what it was like to be hit by a car. 

I was seriously injured physically, having to have a second surgery on my hip and fracturing my back. The mental issues that came with this event stayed with me much longer, though. 

For almost seven months every time a loud noise occurred, I witnessed what could have been a crash or I saw a car accident, I had a panic attack. I remember sitting in physics and not being able to breathe when we were learning about Newton’s Second Law because my teacher played a video involving two cars crashing into each other. 

Today, I still experience the fear of being hit every time I drive and I probably will for the rest of my life.

While my accident was not caused by drunk driving, it very well could have been.  And I could have died if the car that hit us was going faster or was bigger. 

Drinking, even if it is just one drink, severely affects a person’s motor skills and how they make quick decisions. When driving, it is necessary for a person to make decisions on the fly. You cannot do that if you have been drinking and your judgment skills are weakened. 

Over 10,000 people died in 2022 due to a car accident because of the truly stupid decision to get behind the wheel after drinking and around 30% of all car accidents are caused by someone who had too much to drink. Every 45 minutes, a person is killed by an alcohol impaired driver. One class period, for me, is 52 minutes. That means that a person dies more often than I switch classes. That is insane.

Nebraska alone has contributed to the national death toll with over six hundred deaths, since 2009. On a national level, 1.7% of drivers have admitted to driving under the influence. Nebraska almost doubles this with 3%, hence the ever-rising deaths.

People need to stop and think before they drive. While movies may paint underage drinking as a rite of passage with no real consequences, it is nothing like that. Everyday someone dies from drunk driving, don’t be the next one and don’t be the next one to cause that death.