An acquaintance was killed Thursday night by a drunk driver. I had just seen her on Tuesday, and she was great as always, fifty-three, satisfied, quiet but confident. Sometimes it takes fifty-three years to achieve the peace and serenity that makes life so wonderful. She loved her granddaughter, who was in the car when the drunk driver crossed the line and killed her.
The baby is okay, my friend is gone. And people continue to drive drunk, and most of us look the other way. Its only the assholes who kill somebody who are publicly scorned, and punished. The rest of the assholes keep on driving drunk, and a lot of assholes let them.
How many times have I transported an intoxicated person from behind the wheel to the ER instead of having the police transport them to jail? More than I like to think of. I know its not my call, and I have little if any power to make a difference other than document the patients condition, but it is still a bitter pill to swallow.
Going along to get along works to get through a shift, but it ain't such a great philosophy when walking through a receiving line at the funeral parlor, and telling the survivors that I'm sorry for their loss, knowing all the while that in the big scheme of things I share the responsibility.
No I didn't kill my friend, but I know lots of people who drive after having one or two too many, and I look the other way. Society looks the other way too, but that doesn't make it any easier.