Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Drunk Driving = Danger

Did you know that every fifteen minutes a teen dies from drunk driving? What is even more eye opening is that most of the time the person who is drunk driving doesn’t suffer major injuries. The consequences are paid, either by the passengers or the people from the car that has been hit. Imagine living with the terrible memory of knowing that you have taken the life of someone else. Or yet, you never know if someone on the road is drunk driving and your life is at risk.

Casey Goodwin, a twenty year old college student at Cuesta Vista in San Luis Obispo, was an active teen who participated in programs such as, Friday Night Live and the California Youth Council. She was recognized as an advocate for the prevention of underage drinking all over the state of California. Not only was she committed to the prevention of alcohol but she had dreams of one day becoming a high school teacher. On March 13, 2003 Casey’s dreams and life were taken away by an eighteen year old drunk driver who hit her on the road. The eighteen year old was driving to work after he had some beers when the incident occurred. Casey was on her way to celebrate her mother’s birthday-she never made it. When her mother Lynne Goodwin arrived to the hospital that Casey was taken to she vividly remembers when the doctor stated that Casey’s bones were broken and they would need to perform surgery. Not only that but they also found that every vital organ in her body, except her heart had sustained irreplaceable damage. Casey’s brain had also, been damaged on both sides leaving her with no brain waves. That is when Goodwin realized that the doctors could not do anything for Casey and she had to accept the painful reality that Casey was gone. Casey’s funeral was attended by over 2,000 people including family members, friends, politicians, police officers, and colleagues.

The eighteen year old drunk driver did not suffer any injuries but he was sentenced to ten years in prison for vehicular manslaughter. He was driving 100 miles per hour when he took Casey’s life away. Casey’s mother wrote on the Casey’s Pledge website, “I have spent much of my professional life working for and with young people to prevent them from harm that can result from risky behavior. These young people have also included my own children. Ironically, while my children did know the harm that can result from drinking and driving they were not safe from it. It was the kid that didn’t know, that took my child’s life.” That is why it is important to be an educated teen to prevent incidents like this one.

Casey’s mother works for the Friday Night Live Chapter and she spends a great amount of time educating parents and teens about drunk driving and how she has had to live with her daughter’s death. While attending the Youth Convergence Conference in Miami, Florida in 2008, I had the honor to listen to Goodwin give a presentation about Casey. Goodwin starts these presentations by introducing Casey’s life story and slowly she advances to how her daughter passed away. But not until the very end of her presentation does she mention that she is in fact Casey’s mother. The facial expressions on everyone are unbelievable. Not only does this ending impact everyone in the room but we feel grief towards Casey’s mother and anger towards that eighteen year old for drunk driving. Tragedy’s like this one affect the family directly and everyone around them. I truly believe that stories like Casey’s should be told because it will give the listeners an urge to educate teens on drunk driving.

In honor of Casey Goodwin, Casey’s Pledge has been developed. This is a pledge where teens pledge not to drink and drive or get in a car with a drunk driver. I encourage all teens to take the pledge and to make this healthy choice. Remember, not only is your life in danger but also the life of others as well.

Here are few ways you can support Casey’s Pledge:

-If you run into a situation where you are getting into a car and the driver has been drinking call a parent, a friend, or a trusted adult to pick you up.
-Hang out with people who have a positive impact in your life.
-Don’t drink and drive.
-Take the pledge to your school and raise awareness.
-Be the person that does the right thing!
-Be safe! Stay alive!


  1. What a shoking story! I definitely will not be a drunk driver. Nor should talk on the phone while driving.

  2. This is very good information.i think it's useful advice. really nice blog. keep it up!!!

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