Drinking and driving a deadly mix

Sophia Valente's car after an accident in Jupiter Farms

Sophia Valente

Sophia Valente's car after an accident in Jupiter Farms

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In the United States, drinking and driving is a leading cause of fatalities on the road. In Palm Beach County, with events like music festivals and prom, drivers need to be cautious, and passengers need to make smart choices before getting into a car with someone who has been drinking.

Consuming alcohol prior to driving greatly increases the risk of car accidents, highway injuries and vehicular deaths. The greater the amount of alcohol consumed, the more likely a person is to be involved in an accident. Impaired vision, reduced reaction times, reduced concentration and feeling more relaxed and drowsy all may cause a driver to fall asleep at the wheel. 2016 was one of the worst years for drunk-driving deaths. On average, 28 people a day were killed in DUI accidents.

Senior Sophia Valente, while driving on a road close to her home in Jupiter Farms, was involved in her first car accident. The driver of the other vehicle was allegedly intoxicated.

“Seeing the headlights coming at me, all I had time to do was scream before I was hit. Knowing I could have come out dead…made me realize in one second your life could end all because of one bad choice,” said Valente.

Seniors Josh Evans and Nicole Russo were also involved in a drinking-and-driving accident. Neither the couple nor the driver who hit them were injured, though it was a wake-up call for Evan and Russo.

“Looking back on it, it is scarier than when it happened because everyone came out alright,” said Evans.

Sunfest is a hugely popular music festival that will be held in West Palm Beach May 3-7. Rolling Loud is a somewhat smaller music festival in Miami May 5-7. Alcohol will be served at both events. Alternatives to getting behind the wheel after drinking at events like these, or at any time, are Uber, Lyft and designated drivers.

Uber and Lyft are competing apps that provide a taxi service available for download on mobile devices. Whenever you need a car ride you simply open up the one of the apps on your phone, ensure the pick-up location is where you are now, and select the car service you desire. The app is connected to a credit card or PayPal account.