My name is Paul and I am an alcoholic.
The July 1 article “A story full of losers” is particularly poignant because as an alcoholic I know that, but for the grace of God, it could be my story. I discussed the story at an AA meeting, and here are some observations from the people there.
Alcoholics who have been caught driving while intoxicated (DWI) explained that, for the most part, they drove under the influence dozens and even hundreds of times before they were caught. And quite often they were able to talk or bribe their way out of an arrest. And a person with two DWIs would probably have lost his driver’s license anyway.
The pain and suffering caused by a drunk driver involved in an accident is incalculable. The ruined lives on both sides can never be repaired, and being sorry cannot bring back the dead or heal the injured. While it often takes a tragedy like this to open our eyes, the damage cannot be undone and someone must pay the price.
The problem is compounded by trying to avoid punishment and running away – only to be caught after involving a new set of victims to this tragedy. The perpetrator is sorry, but society demands justice and so his new family will suffer as well.
The lesson is simply this: do not drink and drive.
Editor’s note: This letter-writer’s name and town are being withheld in keeping with the AA tradition of anonymity.