From the editor: Obviously, we aren’t looking to make Little CAB Press, the company or the blog, a political spring board; but the following article isn’t about politics. It’s about potentially fatal behavior, tragic loss of life and holding our elected officials’ feet to the fire.
The following article by Marcy Perry, appeared in the Mesa section of the Arizona Republic on August 16, 2017.
34 years ago, Marcy’s 16-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver as their family rode in the family car to an outing one evening. Marcy’s son was thrown from the car after the drunk driver struck them and her son died in her arms.
Her words below serve as a reminder of our responsibility to drive safely every single time we get behind the wheel and our moral obligation to set better examples for our children and fellow citizens.
August 16, 2017 — My Turn by Marcy Perry — Arizona Republic
I am absolutely appalled at the actions, reactions and non-actions of Mesa City Council and [a certain councilman]. I have been following this saga of excuses, but it wasn’t until today that the significant date slapped me in the face!
May 7, 2017, my son, Robert Leon Perry, AKA Bucko, would have been 50 years old. Notice the past tense. Bucko is forever 16 because on June 25, 1983, we were hit by a drunk driver and I held Bucko when he took his last breath. It was an innocent family outing—we were on our way to the drive-in theater on Recker and Main, 6 miles from home. Details don’t matter at this time.
What matters now are the cavalier attitudes of a drunken councilman who obviously has no concern for his or his wife’s well-being and, least of all, the lives of innocent people not knowing a selfish drunk is out there playing bumper cars!
After 34 years of trying to change the public attitude about drinking and driving, we have a public figure who has missed the stories of loss and injuries and PSAs about consequences. WAIT—he’s above punishment because he’s an elected official. I guess that gives him special dispensation to break the law and run free or make up his own punishment. It was my understanding that 2 DUIs in a 5-year time frame meant a mandatory sentence of 1-3 years in prison. I guess that’s for us mere mortals, not those who claim to represent us and our values.
Things have changed—now we don’t only have to be concerned about DUI, but drugged and distracted driving and wrong way drivers! When are people going to realize that driving is a privilege not a right? When do we stop giving elected officials a blank check for their behavior and expect them to be role models for the community?
I understand innocent until proven guilty, however, [the councilman] was quite obviously drunk and disorderly. If I had been involved in this kind of disgraceful activity, I would have been fired from my position at the school. After all, how could I expect the students to respect me when I had so little respect for myself? Also, this isn’t the first time he has flaunted the law. It’s time for tough love—dismissed from his position; sincere, heartfelt apologies to the people who trusted him with their vote; public speaking for groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) suspended drivers license and some REAL prison time. This may sound harsh, but it’s not as harsh as holding your son when he dies.
Every time I read or hear about lives being taken by drunk/impaired/distracted drivers, my heart breaks for the families involved. I have told my story to school assemblies, convicted drivers at MADD, church groups and anyone who might listen. Police officers put in extra hours and miss out on family holiday celebrations trying to prevent drivers from hurting, maiming or killing others. The radio and TV stations saturate the airways with PSAs for free rides home, etc. What good does it do when someone like [the councilman] acts like his actions are his business and not that serious? What will it take? It’s been 34 years. I’ll never know if Bucko would have accomplished his goals, what kind of man/father he would have been. His future was taken away from him and his family by a selfish drunk who didn’t care about anyone but himself. — End article —
The above gives us so many things to think about: vote for those of high integrity, hold our elected officials to the same laws and standards we live by, and set the example!
In 2015 10,265 people in the U.S. were killed in alcohol related and under the influence accidents. An additional 3,477 were killed in accidents related to distracted drivers. That’s a total of 13,742! And that’s too many folks!!!
Drive Safe—Live Safe—Inspire Others!!!
DO NOT DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE
PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN
DON’T EAT, SHAVE, PUT ON MAKEUP OR OTHERWISE DRIVE DISTRACTEDLY
OBEY ALL TRAFFIC SIGNALS & SIGNS, ESPECIALLY THE WRONG WAY SIGNS