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Seven Beers and a Cell Phone (sad rant)(11 posts)

Seven Beers and a Cell Phone (sad rant)terry b
Sep 4, 2002 10:07 AM
We lost a 14 year old cyclist here in ABQ this past Monday, hit by a driver in the middle of the afternoon while riding in a bike lane. That story in and of itself is pretty sad, but what made it outrageous was the details released in this morning's paper.

Seems the 26 year old driver had consumed 7 beers prior to getting behind the wheel, was drinking one while driving and was talking on his cell phone to boot (while speeding, of course.)

This story follows another fatality that happened about 2 weeks ago. In this case, a mother left a party after arguing with her boyfriend about being too drunk to drive. Taking her four year old along, and failing to buckle him into his seat, she proceeded to get into a drag race with another car. While passing on the right, in a very popular bike lane she lost control, flipped the car and killed her son. Amazingly, there were no cyclists using the lane at the time.

I read these things and I just wonder - what does it take to get through to these morons? We have a huge problem with DWI and DWI fatalities in New Mexico - each case being more gruesome and pathetic than the last. Yet, these jerks just keep drinking and driving.

Having read MB1's post below concerning MUTs, I'm glad we have a good set of them here - at least you have a good chance of not getting hit by a drunk while on it. However even MUTs cannot be taken for granted - the son of a prominent local family was killed a month ago driving his 4 wheeler down one of the connecting MUTs at 6:30 am. Hit a tree, left 100 feet of skid marks. Sheesh.
re: Seven Beers and a Cell Phone (sad rant)aliensporebomb
Sep 4, 2002 10:27 AM
It's stupidity plain and simple.

Society romanticizes alcohol, but this is just plain stupid
behavior caused by impaired judgement. I don't feel sorry
for the people that caused the accidents - they'll pay for
their crimes both societally as well as emotionally/mentally.

I feel terrible for the families of the victims.
re: Seven Beers and a Cell Phone (sad rant)theBreeze
Sep 4, 2002 12:32 PM
Yeah, I live in New Mexico too and nearly lost my breakfast reading about the young kid killed on his bike. My son is the same age, and if it was him I think I would just stop breathing.

Some friends of mine were riding on the west side of Albuquerque last weekend and were stopped by the side of the road fixing a flat (Coors Blvd, BTW). A Camero passed them and the guy threw a full beer bottle at them, soaking them with beer and leaving one with a significant cut on his ankle. On a Sunday morning. Hopeless.

Everyday (while driving) I see vehicles that I KNOW are driven by drunks. I watched a woman pitch the empty cardboard from a 12 pack out the passenger side window of a truck I was following one day, and the driver proceeded to weave erracticaly in and out of traffic for the next several miles. I tried to get a license number, but didn't feel safe following them at over 15 mph above the speed limit! We could hope that the stupid ones will just decimate their own numbers, but they always manage to take out a few innocent by-standers as well.
re: Seven Beers and a Cell Phone (sad rant)aliensporebomb
Sep 4, 2002 12:51 PM
One friday night I got hit in the chest by a can of beer
tossed out the window by a bunch of teenage kids who were
laughing their asses off as they sped off in the opposite
direction in a car.

It hurt like hell because the can was 3/4ths full and I
was going 20 miles an hour and they were going at least
40. I smelled like a brewery after that too. Hit me so
hard it nearly knocked me off the bike.

Riding at certain times is just dangerous no matter what.
Riding on Coors - very braveterry b
Sep 4, 2002 1:20 PM
I live on the west side and even though they've added a really nice bike lane on Coors, I've stayed away thus far. Too many cars, too much speed, too many opportunities to get whacked.
Yeh, I thought they were nuts too.theBreeze
Sep 4, 2002 7:40 PM
Even if it was early on a Sunday, not a place I'd liked to be. They were just in town for the weekend and that happened to be their return loop. Normally they are quite cautious riders. (Nice husband and wife I met this spring.) In addition to the beer bottle incident they had two more flats on the rest of the ride. A good argument for staying in bed occasionally! LOL!
50,000 deaths per yearcyclinseth
Sep 4, 2002 1:18 PM
in the US alone, and the number of drunk driving accidents increases every year.

With this kind of track record you'd think that these rolling death machines would be banned from our roads for ever. We've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the intrisic design of the automobile if far too dangerous to have any place in our society.

If the use of toaster-ovens or VCRs had 1/10th the death rate that automobile use has I wonder how long they would remain in production.

All this isn't even considering the 10s of thousands of deaths per year that result from the feeding of these machines. Wars waged in the Mid-east, and mass executions of indigenous peoples of Central and South America to secure oil rich lands for multi-national corporations.

Oh well, I'm not leaving any progeny to inherit this planet, so what do I care anyway?

Have a nice day
LOL. Why not ban alcohol?kenyee
Sep 4, 2002 7:50 PM
Might as well blame the objects used instead of the irresponsible people...

Around these parts, drunken drivers are repeat offenders and even drive w/ a suspended license...
re: Seven Beers and a Cell Phone (sad rant)Nigey
Sep 4, 2002 2:07 PM
The whole drinking and driving thing is just horrendous.

I'm from the UK and I definitely was brought up with more "education" about the consequences of drinking and driving (note: it's not "drunk" driving).

I'm not saying the UK is perfect, far from it, but the biggest problem here are attitudes.... it seems that most people at one time or another have driven whilst pretty intoxicated, but regard it as a bit of a laugh. I certainly don't believe that UK citizens are inherently more moral than their US counterparts, but alcohol related accidents are certainly less in the UK. What's the difference? You've got to look for that to mitigate this problem. I'm not saying people who drink and drive aren't responsible for their actions, but this society has to start looking at itself too.

On a personal note, I know someone (who I would certainly deem as pretty responsible and a good person) who regularly will get behind a wheel of a car after drinking 5-6 beers or more in one night. It's not that they are inherently any more thoughtless or evil than me, it's simply because it's just been viewed as not necessarily bad here and has been socially acceptable for them. I wish I could change things.

Boy do I feel bad for those parents.
re: Seven Beers and a Cell Phone (sad rant)clintb
Sep 4, 2002 4:07 PM
This is the sad state of affairs from the lax attitude in our legal system. One strike and you should be out. Driving drunk should be regarded in the same light as attempted murder. I see no difference between a lethal weapon and a car, except that anyone can wield the car. Our whole premise of driving to be a right, rather than a priviledge is probably where the wreckless disregard comes from. Do the crime, do the time.

A childhood friend of mine was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 16. It sucks knowing that you'll never get to see that person again.
re: Seven Beers and a Cell Phone (sad rant)DrD
Sep 5, 2002 3:19 AM
The DWI thing is certainly a bit out of hand around here - did you catch the article a few months back on NM as a whole - turns out Bernalillo is really bad compared to other counties in NM - thankfully I haven't had any run-ins with them! I try to be careful with route selection, but tend to be on Tramway alot (mostly the northern end between high desert and the casino)...

Another interesting stat - approximately 30% of the cars on the road here are uninsured.