Thursday, December 13, 2007

Maelstrom of Madness

When you are young, you think you will live forever. That is the prerogative of youth. It is that time in one's life where, without the 'bonds' of responsibility, one has to try anything and everything that life makes possible, including getting drunk and driving someone else's car. Singapore has seen a steady increase in the number of drink-drivers over the past year. Even when the penalty has risen steeply (custodial sentence + fine + ban from driving), drink-driving - a consequence of heavy drinking remains a high priority in the lives of some of our youth. The worst thing is that many so-called celebrities (heck they are only TV celebs on a tiny island, no big deal) are guilty of drink driving. Christopher Lee and Benedict Goh are recent examples. These people have a strong influence over many starry-eyed youths.

I cannot understand why the young drink so hard. If it is for pleasure, it must surely be convoluted pleasure. Is it because of the stress of living or the influence of buddies and society as a whole? Even worst, I cannot understand some youth's love of hard liquor. Isn't Tiger Beer ok? But then I am a teetotaller, so I am a bit dumb this side of drinking. But there is this crazy man who would rather risk life than throw away the bottle.

The young can do what they want. I will be the last to judge them. The youth can drink-drive and smash somebody else's car or fence or tree. I cannot care less. But when they pose a hazard on the roads, that's when I put my foot down. Drink-drivers are a menace to peaceful and law-abiding road users, which includes you and I. You can never trust the traffic lights anymore because drink-drivers cannot be trusted to obey any traffic rules. So walking on the streets and using the roads as a drink-free driver are becoming hazardous activities. Sure our streets are relatively safe in comparison to many similar cities, but there is always danger lurking from drink-drown irresponsible drivers who speed like the devil and think they can live forever. Yeah, forever in hell when they cause someone else's death. I don't care if these drivers want an early date with hell, but they should not seek innocent bystanders to accompany them on this final destination.

But for a moment of pleasure and bravado, a life of grief can result. The most grievous is not death, but total permanent disability, which one must live with for the rest of his life - and I am not talking about the drink-driver but the innocent bystander caught in the maelstrom of madness occasioned by the devils in the bottle.

If the statistics get any worse, drink-drivers should be locked up longer and thus prevented from being a threat to society. Therein they will see their youth pass away - trapped behind bars instead of the bottle. This is by far the preferred state, if that is what they want. Otherwise, stay away from the bottle - especially during this year end.

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