Taking on drunken driving

Feb 5 2010 - 8:01pm

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and the beer commercials are going to be buzzing during the pre-game, in-game, and post-game activities while encouraging sports fans to drink more than ever. Bud Light will be outdueling Miller Lite and Coors Lite for your intestinal attention.Sad is the reality that some bar and private party patrons will get plastered and then attempt to drive themselves home. If you are too drunk to drive, perhaps you could call your spouse. If your spouse is not available, and you have grown driving children, perhaps they will be willing to give mom or dad a ride home. I have a hard time comprehending why drunken driving has to occur in the first place.

Family members are aware of the weaknesses or propensity of other family members that behave in reckless manners. One of the ways they could help their loved ones who have a propensity to overindulge is to avail themselves to giving them a ride back home. In these days in which the government and nonprofit organizations are making a concerted effort to keep drunk drivers off the road, what major role should family members play in this defensive stance?

Nonprofit organizations like DavisHelps.org, local chapters of Students and Mothers against Drunk Driving, and even our campus organization, The Men of Weber, are very much concerned about the callous attitude of a person getting behind the wheel when they are inebriated.

Instead of harping on these emotional deficiencies, what can we do to show a person "positive self-regard" when they are dealing with their own baggage and issues? Family members are in the greatest position to show their potentially inebriated family member love, compassion, and positive self regard. In what ways can they do this? These days most have a cell phone with text messaging.

What about sending a text message to check up on your loved one when he or she is at the bar? If the potential drunk driver has adult children, what prevents these children from sitting in the parking lot waiting for their loved ones to come out? They would be in the greatest position to lovingly confront the potential drunk driving perpetrator to not get in that car. I have dubbed this method as "Family Patrol."

Most people need to be encouraged rather than belittled or berated when they are suffering from emotional deficiencies in their lives. One of the things that the Men of Weber are doing to show a person "positive self regard" is offering the Purple Patrol idea as a tool to keep people safe. In this way, bar patrons would have an alternative to drinking and driving. Some counties like Davis and Morgan may not have taxi cab service originating in their counties. Our proposed service would provide an alternative to drinking and driving.

Drunk driving affects people of all walks of live. It doesn't matter if they are public servants, professional athletes, or just your average blue collar workers, drinking and driving is a major public hazard, not only in Utah, but in the entire nation.

I'm sure you will agree that our world is filled with such negativity and bad news, and you may appreciate the Men of Weber thinking "outside the box" to bring positive solutions to others. Jesus Christ's Golden Rule, Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory, and Carl Rogers's theory of showing others positive self regard are in desperate need of implementation.

In other words, people with such emotional deficiencies usually respond when others show them the tender, loving care that is much needed at the time. Alcoholics are usually suffering from low self-esteem.

Finding ways to get them to open up their family members about their feelings could be a major victory toward their recovery. Please visit our Web site at www.menofweber.org for more detailed information.

Johnson resides at Weber State University in Ogden. Weber's campus organization needs the community's help to assist us in purchasing our Purple Patrol vans. Our address is: WSU Development Office Attn: Men of Weber 4016 University Circle Ogden, UT 84408.

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