If you’re drinking, find alternate transportation

Ryan Young

The Drag is a straight shot from the Triangle all the way down to 29th Street, where it makes a sharp curve to the left. But on Nov. 6, police say one UT student kept driving straight — right into the Poké Bowl restaurant. She was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Keep that in mind as the winter break approaches, because when the holidays come, so does more drunk driving. Drinking and driving puts lives at risk — period. On average, alcohol-impaired driving kills 28 Americans every day, and traffic deaths caused by drunk drivers peak during the Christmas and New Year’s period.

And yet, drinking and driving is completely avoidable. If you took your car out for the night and then downed some alcohol, do the responsible thing and leave your car wherever it’s parked. I promise it’ll be there the next morning. Austin bends over backwards to give Longhorns other ways to get home safely. There’s no excuse.

For starters, we get free rides on Capital Metro with a valid UT photo ID, which runs late into the evening on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Capital Metro’s E-Bus routes shuttle students between 6th Street and the main campus, West Campus and Riverside neighborhoods until 3 a.m.

If you’re seeking fun away from downtown,MetroRapid now runs until 2:30 a.m. Routes 801 and 803 connect all of Austin’s nightlife along South Lamar, South Congress, North Lamar and Burnet directly to campus.

If public transportation isn’t your thing, use a taxi or ride-hailing service. A quick search on RideGuru for a trip between 6th Street and campus gives Lyft, Fasten, Uber, RideAustin, InstaRyde and all of the traditional cab companies as options.

The extra money spent on a ride home and the hassle of retrieving your car the next day pale in comparison to the consequences of driving while intoxicated. In Texas, even the first offense could result in thousands of dollars in fines, up to three months in jail and the suspension of your driving privileges for up to a year.

Even away from Austin, there’s always another way to get home. Use a designated driver, call a taxi or stay overnight.

Don’t be one of the 28 Americans every day whose quest for a good time ended in someone else’s death.

Don’t drive your car into the Poké Bowl.

Don’t be irresponsible. Don’t be stupid. Don’t drink and drive.

Young is a computer science senior from Bakersfield, California. He is a senior columnist.