With the holiday season near — hark! the herald angels are singing already! — it is time to turn our attention to mistletoe. Menorahs. And men and women who drive drunk.
A recent story in Inklings — the Staples High School newspaper — is worth noting.
The paper often covers important topics, like teen drinking. But — as editor-in-chief Katie Cion points out — nearly every Staples student today knows the perils of drinking and driving. Years of health education — and work by organizations like Safe Rides and the Teen Awareness Group — have hammered home the dangers of combining the two.
Adults — well, not so much.
“Personally, I have never stopped a teenage drunk driver,” a Westport police officer told Cion. “It is much more common for the operator to be an adult.”
Cion’s story opens with a student describing a trip home from a family wedding.
Her father had had too much to drink. Her mother offered to drive, after “only” a couple of glasses of Champagne.
“The car was swerving, and we were going way too fast,” the student recalls. “She was straddling the line in the middle of two lanes. It really freaked me out because I didn’t know what to say because she’s my mom, but I was terrified the entire time.”
Both Safe Rides member Will Haskell — a Staples senior — and adult director Julie Mombello say that students can be smarter, and less embarrassed, than their parents about admitting they are too drunk to drive.
So, as we get set for a few weeks of spirited joy and parties and peace-wishing, let’s give each other, and all Westporters — especially our impressionable kids — one special gift.
The gift of not killing each other on the road.