Friday, May 17, 2013

Tell it to the occifer

The Observer recently ran this photo of a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission officer taken by Observer photographer Todd Sumlin during a press conference where officers from state and local agencies announced a DWI/BWI (Boating While Impaired) initiative on N.C. waterways and roads beginning Memorial Day Weekend. 

The third annual "On the Road, On the Water, Don't Drink and Drive" campaign, as it's called, is a chance to remind everyone that drinking and driving is a bad idea. 

Of course, when you add too much alcohol to a situation, bad ideas can suddenly seem like good ideas, so please know yourself, know how to drink like an adult and plan ahead. 

If I know I'm going to go somewhere and probably have more than two drinks (which is my personal limit - everyone has to figure out that number for themselves) and I don't have a designated driver, I have zero problem taking a taxi. I have heard some people say it would go against their image to show up to an event in a cab. Tell that to the occifer (which may be the way you pronounce officer when he or she pulls you over). If you want something more chic, use a car service - Charlotte has many great ones.

Drinking, cutting loose and having fun is part of our culture. No one, especially me, is trying to take that away from you. I have way too much German and Irish blood in my veins to tell anyone over the age of 21 they shouldn't drink. Just please don't get behind the wheel of anything - from your lawn mower to your boat to your tricked out Mercedes - if you've had too much.

I could tell you horror story after horror story about those who have gambled that they could make it home and lost. I'm not even going into the tragedy of what would happen if you had a wreck and injured or killed someone. That's a whole other level of horror.

I'm just talking about the nightmare that awaits when you're pulled over, arrested and taken to jail. In case you didn't know this, the mug shots of those arrested in Mecklenburg County are one of our most popular features online by far, and almost every media outlet carries them. So, looking uncool in a cab or having people you know and do business with seeing your mug shot? Is there really a choice? And that doesn't even begin to cover the lawyers fees, court appearances, fines and having your license temporarily taken away. 

You may think those are vain and shallow reasons, but we all know not to drink too much and drive and it still happens so if vain and shallow works, I'm fine with that. 

If you disagree, tell it to the occifer.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson