A sobering summit

November 5, 2009

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Sometimes, we don’t fully grasp the gravity of tragic situations until we learn about them in vivid detail from someone who’s experienced one firsthand … or until we experience it ourselves.

A drunk driving prevention summit today in Ventura was full of explicit detail, no doubt; but it was the kind that we don’t like to see or hear.

The event struck that middle ground — more like a chasm, actually — between what is enlightening and what is uncomfortable. If you can believe that can be achieved, after hearing the professionals and doctors speak at the summit, you would never, ever consider having a drink and starting that ignition again.

ER and trauma specialists often experience high burnout rates because of the pressures and severities, and maybe even the carnage, their job constitutes almost every day, according to Dr. Javier Romero.

We read about DUI fatalities all the time … and maybe we become a bit desensitized to the news. But hearing Drs. Romero and Kimbrell go into lucid detail about the inuries sustained to some of the drunk driving victims they’ve treated, makes one realize that cars truly are deadly weapons when we operate them under the influence of alcohol.

The damaging effects of alcohol are not just limited to roadway incidents, either. According to Dr. Romero, CDC data shows that fire deaths and drowning explain 30 percent of alcohol-related deaths, accidental falls 40 percent.

And they’re not accidents, either, he says … they’re preventable deaths.

But people need to be aware of the dangers of alcohol for injury and death to be prevented, especially now that we’re entering the holiday season, the season of parties when drinking is in abundance.

Because of that increase, Dr. Romero believes that the numbers he cited are, sadly, inaccurately *low* for this time of year.

Don’t drink and drive!

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