Monday, May 26, 2008

One Mother Against Drunk Driving

We took a detour on our way home from Minocqua today. We thought it was just to avoid the deadlock on the main highway and enjoy some scenery, but I think there was a higher purpose.

As we were meandering along, a car pulled out down the road in front of us. At the first couple swerves over the center line, we slowed and held our breath. Maybe they were just buckling up or tuning the radio. A minute later, they drifted over the center line again. We turned off our audio tape and kept vigil. When it happened again, I grabbed the cell phone.

It only took about 10 minutes for a deputy to find us on the road and pull over the car in front of us. I hope we didn't make a mistake, acting rashly and tattling on people who were just momentarily distracted. We'll probably never know, but right after the police car passed us and did a quick U-turn, the car ahead pulled off onto a dirt road. Rather suspicious, don't you think?

We called just in case... What if? What if the rural highway had been teeming with traffic? What if the car in front had swerved over one last time in front of us and hit an oncoming car? What if they slammed into someone passing them? If someone had gotten hurt, and we had already noticed the drifting. Nope. Couldn't live with that.

It was a beautiful holiday afternoon. Families all over the area were celebrating and observing Memorial Day. Some of them were knocking back a few, I'm sure. That's fine. But taking the boozy celebration on the road? Hell no.

I feel a little bad that someone may have gotten their first DUI today. I know what it's like to make a mistake. Maybe they'll be so remorseful, they'll never do it again. Maybe it'll be a wake-up call to get some help with a drinking problem. But I'm not sorry for calling. Avoiding a possible tragedy is way more important than inconveniencing a drunk driver on his way home from a party.

What would you have done? Would you have just tried to pass them? Would you have followed them carefully, hoping they turned off? Would you have made the call?