Volume 90, Issue 99

Thursday, April 03, 1997

The Great One


Anti-drinking and driving

Re: Designated drivers

To the Editor:

The message "Drinking and driving don't mix" is hitting home with young people.

Almost 15 years ago, when I was studying nursing at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, a radiologist, who worked at the hospital and his wife were tragically killed by a drunk driver. The couple were returning home from an evening out, when a drunk driver drove over a meridian and flipped onto the roof of their car. They died instantly, leaving behind two small children.

Later, I was to care for many patients whose lives were shattered by drinking and driving. What I saw in the hospital had a huge impact on me. I was never to drink and drive, nor did I ever get into the car of a drunk driver. Yet, there were many people who did drink and drive, including student nurses.

A couple of weekends ago I went to a dinner party at a student's house in Dorchester. It was a welcome reprieve from the pressures of assignment deadlines and, of course, the wine flowed freely. However, there were a handful of designated drivers, all in their early '20s. They remained sober during the evening, despite their friends cutting loose. For me, those designated drivers showed the best attributes of character – strength, intelligence and caring.

Marina Rowbotham
Graduate School of Journalism

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997