Saturday, September 10, 2011

It makes no difference

I told him to stop. I pleaded and begged and in general made a fool of myself.

Because he was about to fucking kill people.

Yet he drove away, without a trace of sobriety.

I feel like I saw a murder. Probably, he will not kill anyone tonight. But eventually, someone will die, because people like me are unwilling to lie down in front of tires. Because people like me are willing to kill.


  1. It's true. My dad was killed by a 20 year old drunk driver who, pissed off at his girlfriend, drove his pickup through a stop sign, killing my dad and himself, but sparing his two passengers, who not only let him drive but sat alongside him.

    I was almost been hit while riding my bike by a drunk driver who missed me by inches, crossed a crest, and then steered off the road and drove his van into a tree a hundred yards past me.

    I have also, I'm sure, driven when, if I had been pulled over, would have tested above the limit.

    People let their parents drive when they know they should pull the keys, and take away their dignity, and make the streets safer for a stranger they will never meet.

    It's all a difficult, sometimes terrible, situation. We are all careless, in the same way we are all biased (probably much more so). Of course, the fact that you are fraught with any regret puts you miles ahead of many. And your coming to terms with what you witnessed and did is a the heart of what it means to be human, and it's why we love the 3 act form in drama.

    The question is, of course, what will you do next time?

  2. Unless he clearly cannot escape, I will not pause to convince: I will drag him out of the car, or if I can't pull him out, I will climb in.

    I have a rule when going out and drinking: I drive only if (a) I feel genuinely sober while (b) my `net drink value' is (definitely) less than three. `Net drink value' roughly means I take my total number of drinks and subtract the number of hours since I started drinking, assuming my rate of consumption was close to constant. The formula is more complicated for non-constant consumption. If I have had more than three drinks and cannot remember the time I finished each drink I've had within the minute - or I am too gone to confidently calculate the value - I do not drive. I also do not drink on an empty stomach, and to keep things simple I generally set time limits on my next drink order.

    The legal limit where I live is 0.08. My limit is somewhat lower, by virtue of my requiring error bounds. I rarely go to bars to get too drunk - too expensive - so I will rarely have more than 2 or three drinks. Unless I am walking to bed or have a reliable DD and someone else is buying me drinks :D.