Picture this scenario.
A group of friends are walking down the road. Some genius comes up with a brilliant idea to jump out in front of a car going 60 mph.
Sounds incredibly stupid when put like this, but many people put themselves in situations similar to this one all the time.
Cars are 3,000-pound murder weapons.
It's scary enough to see a car jam-packed with teen-agers. Add alcohol, and it's an accident waiting to happen.
Even if you're not the driver, getting into a car when someone has been drinking may be the last decision you ever make.
Peer pressure: Teen-agers deal with peer pressure every day. The all too familiar "What will my friends think?" comes up in almost all situations. From what clothes to wear, what to say, whom to date, and whether or not to drink.
What most teens don't realize is that their friends think it's stupid to drink and drive. They're just afraid of the same exact thing you are: "What will my friends think?"
It takes one person to stand up and do the right thing. It's surprising how many people will follow.
Putting your friends aside, what about your family? How will they feel when they get a call at 2 a.m. letting them know that their child is in a coma, hanging on to his or her life with nothing but plastic tubes.
The first question that comes to mind will be "Why?" How will they feel when the answer is: "Drinking and driving?"
"Just one drink" never turns out to be just one drink. It becomes two, then three, until you're keying your own car trying to find the lock on your door.
It's not worth risking your life, and the lives of those around you, for a good time.
It's not just people you know who are hurt by the decisions you make. Innocent bystanders are killed every day by drunken drivers. Families are torn apart because they were doing nothing wrong except being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Parents say that their child knows better than to drink and drive, or get in the car with someone who has been drinking. But many of the parents who think that are hypocrites.
Children see the people they look up to, their mom and dad, and think that everything they do is OK. They mimic every move, every action. So when they see mom and dad get into the car after a night out, they soon see themselves getting into a car after a night out with their friends.
Monkey see, monkey do; it applies to humans, too.
It's time that we begin to look ahead at the consequences. If you see someone who has been drinking and trying to drive, stop them.
Losing a friend may mean saving their life and other innocent people's lives, too.
XStephanie, 16, is a junior at Springfield Local High School, where she is a cheerleader and a member of Academic Challenge and Youth Leadership.