In-Depth: Drunk Driving Part 1

According to an article published in the Annual Review of Public Health, more than 3 million students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol in the United States and 1,825 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.

Drinking, both legally and underage, affects all college campuses, college communities, and college students, whether they choose to drink or not. Mathematics and Spanish in Secondary Education sophomore Katy Harris has strong opinions about those who choose to drink and drive.

“I think that people are absolutely beyond stupid to even consider drunk driving.” Harris said. “I think that drunk driving is so dangerous and I would never consider it.”

A majority of the students at Central Michigan University agree with Harris, over 85 percent of students would never drink and drive.

The popular campaign against drunk driving, “friends don’t let friends drive drunk”, is one of many drinking and driving campaigns aimed at college students.

“I think it’s asking for trouble.” Harris said. “I would ask them for their keys in the beginning of the night, before they even start drinking. If I thought that they were drunk and had any intention to drive, I would drive them.”

Entrepreneurship management and accounting senior Matt Conner also believes that drunk driving is a problem, and that it’s dangerous not only to the driver, but also to every single other person on the road.

“I say basically whatever needs to be said to stop someone from driving drunk.” Conner said. “Even if they don’t listen, I make sure that they know they need to be safe, and that people care about them and that its in their best interest to not drive.”

The most significant problem with drinking and driving is what each individual considers to be drunk driving. More than 38 percent of students at Central consider drunk driving to be a person that is buzzed getting behind the wheel. Following closely behind at 28.3 percent is driving after one drink, and 25 percent of students consider drunk driving the legal limit of .08.

“If you have had more than one and you are under the age of 21, you are drunk driving in my eyes.” Harris said. “If you are over 21, I don’t think that you should drive if you have had more than 2.”

Conner has a different view of drunk driving.

“I consider drunk driving, driving when you are unable to fully comprehend what’s happening. When you can’t see straight, or start to lose feeling, you definitely are not able to control a car.” He said.

Students against Drunk Driving (SADD) president Samantha Brzozowski is very blunt about not allowing friends to drink and drive.

“I don’t want to have that story to tell about the person I lost because of this.” She said. “I have a zero tolerance for drinking and driving.”

Brzozowski founded SADD last year after she discovered that Central no longer had any affiliation with the organization. The national SADD organization changed its’ slogan from Students against Drunk Driving to Students against Destructive Decisions, and know requires that its members take an oath of sobriety.

“We aren’t nationally recognized but we are helping in a way that was better than not helping at all.” Brzozowski said.             “We’re not judgmental; we just want to make sure you’re smart about the end of the night.”

Central’s SADD group is small but has been pushing forward to raise awareness at Central as well as throughout Mount Pleasant community. SADD assisted the co-ed honors fraternity phi sigma phi with their Sober in October events and SADD is planning to raise money in April, Drunk Driving Awareness Month, for a Central Student who was hit by a drunk driver last year.

“There are a majority of students that don’t think drinking and driving is a big deal.” Brzozowski said. “We want a group that knows it is not acceptable and to start something to make students think about what they are doing.”

Anyone interested in joining the SADD program at Central can e-mail Samantha Brzozowski at



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    Also… Our group will soon be changing it’s name because apparently our views do not completely coincide with SADD national, and even though we’ve tried to become a national affiliate, we aren’t and will no longer be using the same initials as Students Against Destructive Decisions. Look forward to a new name/same group in the spring : )

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