Can We Just Stop Drinking and Driving Everyone?
Blog Post Category: Current Event/Opinion
Issue: Societal, Drunk driving
This past Sunday, my community of Sun Prairie lost a dear friend because of a drunk driver. Mrs. Mengelt was out on a run, her favorite thing to do, when a Bruce Burnside hit her with his vehicle. An ambulance took her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Burnside had attempted to flee the scene, but police found him at a nearby gas station. The path she had ran was the same path she took every day to prepare for marathons. The path is the same path I used to ride my bike to Walgreens when I was a kid. The path was only a few blocks away from my house. It’s hard to know a common place is now so negatively associated with. It’s going to be even hard to never see Mrs. Mengelt out for a run on that path, or at a Sun Prairie Hockey game, or outside mowing her lawn. Her personality lit up a room. I’ll never forget her huge hugs, telling me to take care with school. Or when she and my dad would fake bicker at each other on the bleachers at a hockey game as proud hockey parents. She was truly an inspiring person, as she had a passion for the positive things in life. I don’t think you could ever have a conversation with her without feeling happy after.
She was sadly taken away from this earth by a drunk driver. One decision by one person changed the lives of many in a second. Frankly, I think it’s time for the government to take action with harsher punishments involving drunk driving. How can it be possible for someone to still be driving in this country after they’ve had four or five driving under the influence citations? There has to be better legislation put into place to fix this problem because it happens all too often.
In addition, I know we live in a drinking culture, especially here in Wisconsin. But, we have to act as a community to let others know we can be your designated driver. Have you and your friends do a system of trading off each week of who will be the designated driver. That way you can still have fun, but be safe at the same time. You’re not just endangering yourself if you drive drunk, you’re endangering others.
The local media attention from this story was astounding. I’m updating this blog post on May 6th, 2013 and there’s still articles and videos being posted about Maureen’s tragedy. Today, they are reporting about the upcoming Maureen Mengelt Memorial Fund 5k Run on Memorial Day. This truly shows how this story grasped so many people’s hearts. Hopefully, the media really grabbed the attention and opened up the eyes of many in the Madison community who choose to drive drunk. Once one heard about the accident, and how it affected so many in one small community, I hope they realized how terrible it is to drive drunk. Maureen wasn’t doing anything wrong, just taking an everyday run. The drunk driver was a bishop. I think these two elements that were focused on the report could really have shocked viewers. News outlets also reported emotional videos from Maureen’s family member, which hopefully affected those who were watching it. I truly believe the media impact from this story changed some Madison people’s decision’s on driving after they’ve had a few too many beers.
(This post stands as evidence of my brand. I’ve decided that the main idea throughout my posts (not all, but most) will be about issues in today’s society that I feel strongly about. These issues will be about ones that l feel that are pressing for that need to be fixed immediately.)