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Stay Alive, Don’t Drive

Stay Alive, Don’t Drive

On November 8, 1985, well-known, widely-respected Boston news reporter Dennis Kauff died.  He wasn’t old or sick.  He was 32, and he was killed by a drunk driver.

Today, 25 years later, it makes me physically sick to read of the large number of drunk driving arrests and deaths that happen on what seems to be a daily basis.  Just recently, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health announced that 30 million Americans admit to driving drunk each year, and Massachusetts has been ranked among the top 10 for highest percentage of people driving drunk.  Among this pathetic group of people as of late:

  • Robert Bryant, 50, of Haverill, drunkenly plowed down 30-year-old Cynthia Anne Ray, killing her as she walked outside the Andover police barracks.  His response to officers upon getting pulled over?  “Did I hit somebody?”
  • Not one, but TWO, police offers: Salem Officer William Riley, 46, and Springfield Officer Edward Hurley Jr., 55, were both arrested in the same weekend on separate offenses.
  • Dedham resident Sinead K. Glynn, 45, was arrested on her 2nd offense when attempting to drive away from a local holiday party with five children in her car.
  • Vernon Perry, 50, of Rhode Island finally lost his license for life after being indicted by a Massachusetts grand jury after his 9th charge.
  • 24-year-old Joshua Lacroix of Ware was arrested for drunk driving in an accident that killed a 27-year-old Portland, ME woman.
  • Boston resident Vincent Sumler, 42, currently faces charges of drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident after a hit and run on I-95 near exit 2.
  • John Snow, 51, of Mashpee was arrested on his 6th drunk driving charge.

These seven examples of arrests, deaths, and accidents have only happened since Thanksgiving.  In that holiday weekend alone, police arrested 71 drunk drivers in the state.  Why this number continues to be so high is horrifying, but even more despicable is that offenders are able to reach a 2nd, 6th, and 9th charge!  I implore Governor Deval Patrick, who has previously spoken out against drunk driving, to make this serious issue a priority in his second term in office.

So, when knockin ‘em back this holiday season, please don’t be a dumb, selfish shit and get behind the wheel even when “only” buzzed or with a ½ mile drive ahead of you.  Not only are you risking your own life and those of other drivers on the road.  You’re risking the lives of countless friends and family who will always carry a loss like that with them.  As Dennis Kauff’s daughter, I can tell you, I know.

Posted by Haley