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HuffPost Table Talk: Drinking And Driving

March Against Drunk Driving

On Fridays, The Huffington Post presents a compelling topic to spark discussion at your dinner table.

The CDC puts it pretty plainly: “Driving drunk is never OK.”

It’s a lesson Montana dad Leo McCarthy has tried hard to teach in the years since his daughter, Mariah, was killed by a drunk driver on October 28, 2007. McCarthy’s nonprofit, called Mariah’s Challenge, offers scholarship money to teenagers in the local community who pledge to stay alcohol-free until they are 21.

You might wonder why someone would offer money to people for simply obeying the law — but the bleak statistics speak for themselves. A third of car crash deaths involve a drunk driver. In 2010, drunk driving killed more than one person every hour, and the CDC estimates that Americans got behind the wheel while drunk 112 million times in the same year. With numbers like these, it’s not surprising McCarthy’s awareness campaign has drawn so much attention and praise.

While the number of drunk driving crashes has dropped overall in the past five years, campaigns like Mariah’s Challenge remind us that the problem hasn’t gone away — and won’t unless people continue to teach others about the importance of staying sober on the road.

Questions for discussion:

* What are the laws about drinking and driving?

* What can you do if you are ever in a situation where someone who’s had too much to drink wants to get behind the wheel?

* Would you participate in Mariah’s Challenge?


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