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The Price of Recklessness

In: English and Literature

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The Price of Recklessness

Michele DiBartolo

Briarcliffe College-Patchogue Campus

The Price of Recklessness

An American author once said, “Recklessness is a species of crime and should be so regarded on our streets and highways” (Plenty Quotes , 2013). This statement continues to hold truth in our nation’s daily life. History has proven that operating a vehicle is a responsibility and a privilege that should never be taken lightly. Choosing to drive while under the influence is a reckless choice and is evidence that you are careless of consequences. Despite the increased awareness and stricter laws governing the roads, thousands of people absentmindedly continue to drink and drive. One must fully comprehend the severity of their choice when they get behind the wheel impaired. Besides risking your own life, as well as others, legal and social problems arise if you are caught above the legal limit behind the wheel.
As years pass, accidents caused from drinking and driving have continuously raised awareness and the need for new laws and regulations. On September 10, 1897 George Smith became the first man to get arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence. Due to his alcohol intake, George Smith crashed his taxi into the side of a building in London. His penalty for this crime was 20 shillings (A&E Television , 2013). Since this point in history many laws were created, changed, and reformed. New devices were invented, paving the way for modern instruments used today. During the year 1938, Indiana University professor Rolla Harger introduced the “drunk-o-meter”. This device was used to test alcohol amounts found in someone’s breath through the use of a balloon and chemical testing. Due to the complex process that the “drunk-o-meter” required for results, Robert Borkenstein invented the Breathalyzer (A&E Television , 2013). The Breathalyzer is still used today to measure someone’s BAC (blood alcohol content). Awareness regarding the damaging effects of drinking and driving also grew as time passed. In the 1980s, MADD (mothers against drinking and driving) was founded. This non-profit organization still works hard to educate people on the dangers and reality of driving while under the influence.

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