Drunk Driving and Two People Who Just Don’t Get It

Some people who are arrested for DUI figure things out immediately. Shocked by their own recklessness, they straighten up and resolve not to do it again. Those around them get the idea as well: they offer support to the offender, but don’t makes excuses for him or her.

Football-and-dui-comboThen there are those who don’t get it. In Iowa City, 20-year-old Gilbert Phelps was pulled over for speeding. It turned out he was stoned on marijuana. While being tested by a drug expert, Phelps took a smiling selfie to send via Snapchat to publicize his accomplishment.

No comment.

In other news, Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Tyler Boyd and defensive end Rori Blair will both be suspended for the season opener against Youngstown State in September, thanks to their DUIs. Both players have admitted making a mistake.

Head coach Pat Narduzzi appears to disapprove of the punishment. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Narduzzi said that “what really hurts is game time. You only get 12 opportunities, and every one of them is precious.”

No, coach, what really hurts are injuries. What’s precious are lives. And drunk driving is one way that people, including fine college athletes, can end those lives.  A missed game should be the least of your worries. In the US a person dies every 51 minutes in an alcohol-related collision. Almost 300,000 people are injured ever year because of drunk driving.

Those players didn’t cause any deaths, but had they not been disciplined, they might have eventually. The only task, then, is to get through to drunk drivers before they kill or injure someone. If that takes a missed game, then so be it.

For many, football seems like a matter of life and death. But let’s not forget that some things, including impaired driving, really are.