It Could Happen to You!

  • Published
  • Air Force Safety Center
It was like a dream. I peered again at my rearview mirror to see if what I was seeing was real. The fog seemed to illuminate the rotating police lights which were summoning my vehicle to stop. 

No! Not me, I thought, as my mind raced for answers. What did I do? Was I going too fast? Didn't I stop for that stop sign? 

I pulled over and stopped my vehicle on the right side of the road. Now what's taking so long? Where's the Security Forces member? 

A sudden thump and a big, bright light from a metallic flashlight startled my thoughts. The officer identified himself and said, "Your vehicle was left of center, Sir. May I see your identification and driver's license?" 

I fumbled through my wallet, attempting to locate the items. I thought about the party I had just attended. Joe was a good host; he wanted me to stay the night, but I was the tough guy. Besides, all I had was a couple of drinks. 

"Please step out of the vehicle," broke my thought pattern. 

Can he smell the alcohol on my breath? Does he know? I asked to light a cigarette to mask the odor. Maybe I could hide it. 

As I stepped out of the vehicle, I held my composure, or so I thought. Next came the sobriety test to determine my ability to drive. Impaired? I've driven many times before, maybe in worse shape than this. As I completed the tests, even I knew I shouldn't have driven. My reflection became reality as the officer applied the handcuffs and placed me in the rear of his car. 

I began to contemplate my actions. What about my career, my family and my future? The pending results greatly outweighed the small reason I had to drive. The impending punishment would undoubtedly cost well into the thousands of dollars, as well as my family's respect. Was it worth it? 

This is a fictional account; the statistics of drinking and driving are not. You could be among those statistics -- dead or alive. The next time you want to drive when you drink alcohol -- don't. Take along a designated driver, call a taxi or call a friend. Don't drink and drive!