The Law Offices Of Sean M. Cleary 2018 Scholarship
Our 2017 Scholarship Winner - Jamie P., University of Miami - Read Essay »
Sean Cleary Essay Why You Shouldn't Drink and Drive
Driving after drinking is not only illegal but also dangerous and irresponsible. Most people think that if they sip their favorite liquor or drink only a couple of glasses, they are not completely wasted and that makes it okay to drive, but they don't realize the dreadful consequences that drunk driving may have over their lives and the lives of others.
Even if they are consumed in small quantities, alcoholic beverages have many negative effects on the human body. Drinking may make you dizzy and nauseous, affecting your capacity to concentrate and quickly react to sensors. This could make driving and avoiding obstacles on the road a little harder than usual and could significantly increase the risks of having an accident.
From my experience, most of the drinking and driving cases occur in teenagers and young people. When I was in the senior year in high-school, I lost one of my literature class colleagues because of drunk driving. She was a quiet girl that I didn't know too well. Our class counselor told us that she and her cousin were killed by a drunk driver as they were crossing the street to get to a rock concert in New York during spring break.
Accidents caused by drunk driving may have a serious impact on the drunk person behind the wheel, but they can also affect other, innocent people that happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. These people can lose their health, properties, body parts and even their lives as a result of someone's ''good time'' drinking and irresponsible driving. Both drinking and driving are a matter of decision, so drink and drive responsively. Respect the life and health of yourself and others. Don't drink excessively and don't drive when you're drunk!
Jamie P., University of Miami
We also are considering these applicants automatically in our 2018 scholarship due to their unique ideas in their essays:
To drink and drive is equivalent to taking a loaded gun and blindly firing in random directions. We as a main stream society know the dangers of drinking and driving but yet we tend to test fate with it every day. You should not drink and drive because why should one person decide, by driving drunk, to cut someones life short? To take away a family member(s)? By sitting behind the wheel after drinking you gamble with fate and death, and those are two forces who do not like to be cheated. Driving drunk can ruin life faster than the opening of a bottle.
Bright white lights surround you and all you can do is crack your eyes open and stare into the lights on the ceiling no idea as to how or why you are where you are. Now you're awake again and your family and some other people you can't quite recognize are crying next to you as you lay silent on your hospital bed while cops question your parents about what happened and as you listen in you hear them mention responsible for the death of Joshua who you remember is your closest friend and was with you last night after you left the club drunk together but is nowhere to be found now and you begin to panic. You muster up the energy despite the pain all of your body to ask where he is just for everyone to look at you ashamed through the pained tears. Your heart drops into your stomach and you feel sick to your core as you remember crashing head on into another car and realize those strangers are his parents and the family of the people in the other car. You are then informed of your friends passing and the passing of the people you hit. Don't let this be you. Driving drunk kills. It kills you on the inside while it takes the lives of those around you. Drinking and partying can be fun but do it responsibly, never get behind a wheel of a vehicle where you then become responsible for all the lives yoU're going to impact. All of that could have been prevented by a single phone call. The difference between life and death is one phone call away, be safe and just don't do it.
Many people, teenagers especially, believe that the number one reason they should not drink and drive is because it is illegal. In fact the number one reason anyone should not drink and drive is because they can hurt themselves or someone else. I am likely older than most applicants for this scholarship, but here are my personal experience and thoughts about drinking and driving. About 16 years ago, I got off of my school bus at my high school. My best friend and I commented on how odd it was that there were so many administrators standing out front. The counselor and vice principal immediately intercepted us and pulled us into a corner. Across the way we could see a counselor for the junior class talking to some girls and those girls broke out in tears. Our counselor then told us that four students from our school had been killed over the weekend by a drunk driver. The driver of another vehicle crossed the line and hit their vehicle, four teenage lives lost. One of the teenagers killed was a friend of ours. A friend that my best friend was particularly close to. We took the news hard and the school was in turmoil for weeks. Fast forward to almost 20 years later, and I now have a 15 year old son. He will be driving next year, and all I can hope is that he makes the right decisions. Even if my son makes the right decisions, his life behind the wheel depends on others making the right decisions. When someone chooses to drink and drive they are putting their life at the greatest risk, but they are also risking the lives of those around them. The response time while under the influence of alcohol is greatly reduced. Combining that with the inexperienced driving skills of a teenager is dreadful. I will continue to reinforce to my son, many times, the importance of calling for a ride if he finds himself in a situation where he nor his friends are in the state of mind to drive. The legal connotations of drinking and driving should honestly be a reason at the bottom of the list. The number one reason any individual should not drink and drive is out of respect for not only their own lives, but the lives of those on the road along side them.
4,300 teens are killed yearly because of alcohol related crashes. Teens who start drinking young are 7 times more likely to be in alcohol related accidents. 40% of 10th graders drink alcohol. Teenage drinking ruins your life and educational opportunities, (NIDA, 1998). These are a few of the many reasons and rationales why we should not drink and drive. Some other reasons include: Lost of Driving privileges, Loss income/job, Stiff penalties, Arrest, Deaths and lifetime injuries, Addictions, ruined lives, Psychological turmoil and guilt, Other serious consequences. Alcohol impairs judgment, decreases inhibitions, causes risky behaviors, affects one’s ability to identify dangerous situations, and causes one to make bad choices. One, tragic incident occurred with a teen who attended my Church sometimes. She was known for being a partier, and fast driver when under the influence, however no one told her mother about her behavior. On one fatal night, she was in her Lexus with friends (4) and was travelling down Beeline Highway at a speed higher than 100 mph, when she crashed and everyone was killed on impact, except one male. He could impart what happened to cause the tragic accident. There were many sad parents, family members, friends, and many funerals because of one individual’s poor judgment. All she had to do was call a cab, if she was going to drink, leave the car behind, or not drink at all, being she was the designated driver. She was only 18 years old, as well as the other friends, who died, due to her negligence. We must instill in our loved ones to call if they need a ride home. This incident is proof positive why we should not drink and drive.
Our $1,000 scholarship is intended to support one student who will help raise awareness on the deadly effects of teen DUI. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to students in their pursuit of higher education. If you or someone you care about has had their life impacted by DUI, we want to hear your story.
In 2015, for every 100,000 Americans, 3.2 people were killed in DUI accidents. For every 100,000 Americans under the age of 21, 1.2 teens died in DUI crashes. The numbers are higher for Florida. The number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100k population was 3.9. For every 100,000 Americans under the age of 21, 1.5 teens died in DUI accidents. (responsibility.org)
If a teen survives his or her first DUI and is arrested, the financial cost is staggering:
The cost of the annual auto insurance increases over the following years.
Those who have been detained are required to attend a DUI Program that also adds to the expenses.
Towing and storage fees can amount to more than $100/day.
He or she will have to pay fines, attorney fees, and DMV reinstatement fees.
A high school or college student charged with DUI will lose the driving license for a period, be on probation, and serve mandatory jail time. He or she may also face a disciplinary hearing at his/her high school or college.
We encourage you to apply to our scholarship program. Inspired by a personal story, tell us Why You Shouldn't Drink & Drive.
What happens and what are the consequences when you drive while under the influence?
Have you seen up close the consequences of a DUI offense?
What are some good ways to tell if you or someone else is too drunk to drive?
How can you stop a friend from driving while under the influence?
What are the ways you can get home safely after a party?
Is it safe to drive with a hangover?
Who do you think influences the alcohol use and misuse of young adults?
How does driving while under the influence affect the driver's family?
Does your high school have an alcohol prevention program in place?
Submit your story in essay form (100–300 words) and also share it on our Facebook page. We look forward to reading the essays and bestowing this scholarship.
Deadline to apply: August 31, 2018.
Who May Apply?
High School Seniors and College Students
Required Documentation for the Scholarship Winner
One copy of Official High School Transcripts
A head-shot picture of the applicant in high-resolution (Your image will be used in the announcement made on the site if selected as the scholarship winner.)
The applicant's personal information is required to check the essay submission and provide the Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary with the means to contact the winner. This information is used only for our internal records and will not be shared with any third parties.