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Designated Driver

Sometimes I hear about people who are going out drinking. Usually, one of the members of the group is named the designated driver. That person will not drink and is responsible for driving the others home safely. As far as it goes, that sounds like a good idea. Certainly, people who have been drinking should never drive.

But does having a designated driver mean that you can drink all you want without any concerns?

What if on the way home, there is an accident? What if the designated driver and others are injured? Will you be sober enough to rescue them?

What is your group is attacked in the parking lot of the bar?

What if the designated driver has a heart attack?

What if, what if, what if?

My point is that by putting your trust in a designated driver, you are giving up your own responsibility. You should always be your own designated driver. You should not rely on someone else when it comes to safety.

If I went out drinking with my wife and she was the designated driver, how could I protect her? If I were drunk, would I be clear headed enough and in control of my senses and body to defend her, and other loved ones?

I think not. I am responsible for myself and also for my family. That is not something I would delegate to anyone else. If I go out with my family, I am responsible for them. Each of my children is also responsible for themselves and the entire family. We are responsible for each other. We are not going to designate anyone to take that responsibility.

We live in a culture where drinking is glorified -- because the people who sell alcohol spend countless millions of dollars conditioning us to believe that drinking will make us somehow better, more attractive, cool, etc. The radio plays songs specifically about drinking. People have bought into the marketing.

I am always the designated driver of my own life. I cannot let alcohol or drugs interfere with that responsibility. And with Karate skills, being sober and in control of one's senses is even more important. Can you imagine a drunk Karate (or other martial arts) student losing control?

We are responsible for our actions. As Karate students, we have to be in control of ourselves at all times -- all times. That is the only way to ensure that should we have to use the destructive aspects of Karate, it will only be as a last resort -- not a drunken response.

For parents of teenagers and young adults, please feel free to share this post with them. You can blame it on me!


Charles C. Goodin