Sometimes, Giving The Ro-Sham-Bo Award Is Not Funny

As faithful readers of the site have probably noticed, my presentation of the weekly Ro-Sham-Bo Award — the explanation of which can be found here — is usually done with a fair amount of humor included.  And as those same readers have noticed, my Ro-Sham-Bo pick is always accompanied by both a picture of Eric Cartman and a header title that’s a direct quote from Cartman taken from a South Park episode.  But in a week where there weren’t a whole lot of stand-out candidates for derision, one person jumped out as a no-brainer for this week’s selection.  But considering the sensitivity of the subject involved, I’ve decided to forgo the usual theatrics to concentrate on some sobering statistics — and hopefully, the message behind them.

I’ve already ranted about reckless drivers, and I’ve already chosen one such driver previously as a Ro-Sham-Bo recipient.  And while I’ve already talked somewhat about the details surrounding the unnecessary death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two of his companions last week, I think that one more reminder today on the seriousness of the subject of drunk driving is certainly worth making.  For the record, here are some statistics that are more important than anything you’ll ever see in a baseball box score:

— In 2007, an estimated 12,998 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents

— This total represents approximately 31.7% of the total number of people killed that year in all traffic accidents

— The number of people killed in alcohol-related accidents in the age group of 16-34 — the age bracket that Adenhart and his two friends were in — account for slightly more than half of the fatalities (51%) of all drunk-driving deaths

— 1,431 of these fatalities — 11% in all — were occupants in vehicles other than the one being driven by the alcohol-impaired driver

All of these numbers — courtesy of the NHTSA — add up to one thing.  One death due to drunk driving is one too many.  One can hope that, if anything comes out of this tragedy, it would be that somewhere, someone will choose to not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after they’ve been drinking.  There are just too many other options available — designated drivers, taxis, friends who can pick you up and bring you home, parents, etc. — to have anyone try to justify driving while intoxicated.

Sadly, for whatever reason, the accused in the Adenhart tragedy, Andrew Thomas Gallo, showed none of this common sense or restraint before he climbed behind the wheel of his vehicle with a blood alcohol content that was well beyond the legal limit.  He had shown none of this common sense or restraint in the past either, having already been convicted for driving under the influence.

And now due to his negligence, a number of lives will never be the same, including his own.  Gallo might get this week’s Ro-Sham-Bo distinction, but his real deserved punishment will come from what will hopefully be a lifetime spent behind bars — and whatever the weight of the guilt on his conscience bears before he someday has to answer to a higher power for that one drink taken too many — and a horrible decision he never should have made.

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