Jackass star Ryan Dunn was killed in a horrific car crash this weekend. Dunn, 34, was behind the wheel of his 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 when it crashed and exploded into flames, killing both him and his passenger. Speeding was immediately determined to be a factor. Dunn was observed drinking no less than three beers and three shots of liquor prior to taking the wheel, but toxocology tests that would prove him guilty of DUI are still pending.
R&B singer Nivea was rumored to have recieved a DUI herself on Saturday after leaving the wedding of fellow-Lil’ Wayne-baby mama Toya and producer Memphitz. She quickly took to her Twitter page to denounce these claims, stating that she did crash her car, but that it wasn’t due to being intoxicated. However, TMZ has confirmed that she was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and reckless driving. Neither she, nor her child who was in tow, were injured and she has not formally been charged with DUI.
Regardless of how the accusations in either of these cases are settled (tragically for Dunn and his passenger, being vindicated of DUI will mean very little), they do give us yet another opportunity to discuss drunk driving.
Most of us are particularly disgusted when a high-profile person is busted for driving while intoxicated, simply because we know they have the means to pay for a safe ride home and to deal with the ramifications of leaving their vehicle behind later. Unlike Joe Schmoe, a $400 towing fee should not break them. However, there’s no excuse for us “regular people” either. A $400 towing fee doesn’t seem like much when you compare it to the legal fees involved in a drunk driving arrest…or incarceration for having killed an innocent person …or to your own possible demise.
If we agree to let she who has never driven drunk cast the first stone, then my voice shall be heard second. I drove after drinking too much a number of times in college. While I don’t ever recall being “totally wasted” behind the wheel, if I wasn’t sober then I should not have been driving. I thank God that I never hurt a passenger, pedestrian or myself and I vowed years ago not to drive drunk (or “tipsy” or “nice”) again. I have also learned not to get in the car with intoxicated drivers, finding myself on a number of occasions having to fight car keys away from friends and acquaintances.
How many times have you heard friends say “I sober up as soon as I get in the car” or “I’m a better driver drunk than I am sober!” Utter bullsh*t. These people are confusing sheer luck with skill and are tempting their own fate and the lives of others.
When we hear of someone getting arrested for a DUI that has resulted in a death or serious injury to an innocent person, we tend to denounce them as some sort of monster. However, most of us know deep down that these people aren’t always so different than us. They have simply made a terrible, irresponsible choice…one that thousands of people make on a daily basis and have simply been lucky enough to to maim or kill others or themselves. Protect yourself and those around you. Don’t even think about driving after drinking if you haven’t had time to sober up. And don’t let other people do it, either. Imagine how many people may have seen Dunn getting ripped in that bar and then watched him walk into the parking lot towards a most horrifying fate. It didn’t have to end that way for him and it doesn’t have to end that way for anyone else.