The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Toughening Up Laws for DUI

Marion Charatan

Posted on February 12, 2022 13:57

2 users

Deaths from DUIs are higher than ever during the pandemic. Utah is the first state with a law that lowers the legal definition of DUI, lessening injuries and deaths caused by drunk drivers.

Some events in life are so jolting that you never forget them; such is the case of the end of my friend Donna's life. It's a memory that has haunted me for decades. 

My lovely parents dropped me off at a restaurant in Syosset, Long Island, which one of my best friends had booked for her Sweet 16 birthday party. On a sunny summer afternoon in July, I remember walking into the quaint eatery in the shape of a windmill. That was sort of fascinating to me at the time, although I suppose it was a gimmicky way to get people to come in. 

I remember exactly what I was wearing--a form-fitting cotton dress in a green and orange geometric pattern with a matching green headband, pushing my hair away from my forehead into the long pageboy style I was sporting. I felt almost grown up in the outfit. We had a great time, and the food was delicious. It was an afternoon lunch, and there was quite a spread. I remember eating baked chicken with mashed potatoes. About 15 girls were invited.

A table was set up for presents. Because it was starting to get late, and we lingered over birthday cake-- Donna decided to open her gifts at home. Besides, we had been there for quite a few hours. Mom and Dad came to pick me up, and we drove home. It had been a fun afternoon. I told my parents how much I liked the birthday. We got back to Convent Road around 5 pm. I remember being pretty stuffed from the food and not too hungry for dinner, but I still sat down with my family. Later on, I watched some TV with my little brother and sisters. I went to bed that night feeling happy, for the security of my family, the fact that I was off from school for the summer, and that I'd just gone to a grownup party with my high school sophomore friends--soon to be a high school junior.

The next morning seemed to be routine. But it turned out to be anything but that. I got a call from a friend that Donna was dead. I was in total shock. What happened? I learned a drunk driver hit her family's car during the drive home. Donna was killed instantly-- on her 16th birthday. 

The impact on her family was the worst. Donna's mother was never the same, and her father died from a heart attack a few months later, undoubtedly brought on by stress.

There is no excuse for drinking under the influence. There are options--designated drivers, buses, cabs, Lyfts, Ubers, walking, or not going if there's no ride. A person should never drink or be high if he or she gets behind the wheel--no exceptions. Utah has a new law that should be on the books everywhere. Donna should still be here. She was the sweetest girl I knew.

Marion Charatan

Posted on February 12, 2022 13:57

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: WUSA
2

Rain tapers off to showers Saturday but still a Yellow Weather Alert.                

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest