Drinking can be fun, relaxing and a good way to socialize with friends and loved ones, but when not done responsibly it can be dangerous.

The drinking culture in Rwanda has been on the rise for the past years (well, we havent seen breweries closing but rather more plants are opening) especially among the youth; whether it’s something they enjoy or just peer pressure.

We are seeing new night clubs opening and the night life has been poppin lately! Most people plan before going out; what you’ll wear, who you’ll be with, the money you’ll spend and how to move around.

If you have a car that’s a plus, it will be easier to move club to club, bar to bar and back home and this is where the drunk driving thing happens. Well, let’s put in some logic; you planned everything ahead of your night-out but didn’t think or care about what is likely to happen after you get drunk; things like; who will drive? Basically what this means is that you will drive at any state of drunkenness. Suicide mission!

Some people believe that they are good drivers whether sober or not. This isn’t true; it’s a death wish.

According to the World Health Organization, “the immediate effects of alcohol on the brain are either depressing or stimulating in nature, depending on the quantity consumed.”

It further says that alcohol consumption “results in impairment, which increases the likelihood of a crash since it produces poor judgement, increased reaction time, lower vigilance and decreased visual acuity.”

Even a small quantity of alcohol can have some effects like poor coordination and longer reaction time.

So, why do people still drink and drive? Basically, they don’t care.

Most people know that it’s dangerous but they’ve “did it” a couple of times and nothing bad happened, so they think it’s ok.

A rat was used to smoke in a grass-thatched kitchen, when the kitchen caught fire the rat thought it was the usual smoke.

Think twice! Life is precious. One accident is enough to take many lives. Last month, a drunk driver killed five pedestrians in Nyagatare District. At least 85 cases of accidents resulting from drunk driving were registered between January and August this year, almost all of them serious or fatal. About 10 people have been killed by drunk drivers in the past two months alone.

If you get into an accident because you were drunk driving it can kill you or you can be badly injured. Experts say that when you are drunk you can’t think properly and make rational decisions, so that’s why you should plan before.

If you are planning on going out and drinking find alternative ways to move around safely. When you hold the steering while drunk you are a danger to self, all those on board or on the same road you’re using.

Be safe; designate a sober driver, use public transport or grab a cab.

We should all take this seriously as it’s inappropriate and life-threatening behaviour; lives are being lost, people are getting badly injured, public infrastructure and property are being destroyed because some people decided to make bad choices.

Drunk-driving is a choice and injuries or fatalities caused by “bad choices” can’t be defined as an accident.

Gerayo Amahoro

The ongoing national road safety campaign dubbed ‘Gerayo Amahoro’ coupled with operations are meant to influence safer choices as a motorist, passenger and pedestrian.

Drunk-driving is therefore, one of those bad dangerous choices this campaign seeks to address. It involves sensitization and taking punitive actions.

This explains why more than 1200 people have been arrested since the beginning of this year after they were found driving while drunk.

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE. GERAYO AMAHORO

The Express News

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