On Drunk Driving


Josh Brent made an awful decision to drive drunk with his friend Jerry Brown in his passenger seat. This was made worse by his decision to speed while he was drunk and his friend was in his passenger seat. The accident is his fault. His friend and teammate is dead because of him (regardless of his lack of malicious intent). He’s understandably distraught and soon will probably be a felon due to his actions. It’s one of those things that ruins your life and forces you to rebuild or give up in many ways.

Drunk driving is more common than it needs to be. Most of it is people making the bad decision to drive drunk. Some of it is due to how we design or neglect transportation to and from areas packed with establishments where young, single people and business persons like to drink, eat, party and socialize. A lot of us spend 4 or more years in college getting drunk within walking distance of our home. Then we go out into a professional world built to encourage driving. Eased nighttime to early morning parking rules, ample taxi stands, pedal taxis, rickshaws, Uber type car services, targeted shuttle services and mass transit scheduled for nightlife are all things that can help reduce drunk driving by making the “not drunk drive” choice a cheaper prospect.

Last week, I was in Tokyo, Japan and didn’t see many drunk drivers not because people weren’t hammered (i saw more than 5 businessmen literally fall on their faces on Subway platforms due to after work benders) it’s because they had a well networked train and taxi system available as transportation throughout the city and cars (as well as gas) costs more for the average Japanese consumer. It’s the same in New York City. But these places have largely rejected car culture.

We can help stop stupid car culture (drunk driving, speeding, etc.) by allowing mass and shared transit to become more than a way to get to work.

And for idiots who are saying: we don’t take away cars because of this incident need to understand that their is a higher burden of licensure, compliance and accepted liability to be a car operator or owner than there is to be a gun operator or owner. We already prevent many people from driving for a variety of reasons. One of them includes being caught drunk driving.