By: Rabbi Abe Friedman
Law Enforcement Liaison/Community Activist
No, not a good idea at all, not for the person behind the bars, nor for his family, and neither for those trying to help.
Every year, early Purim afternoon, the phones of many askanim would start ringing off the hook. On the other side of the line there would be a frantic individual desperately seeking assistance for a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend, who drank irresponsibly and got themselves into trouble, and ended up in a police car, or in an ambulance.
In most cases, the calls relate to cases of DUI or Driving Under the Influence, or in simple language, Drinking and Driving.
Just the fact that we have to resort to writing such an OP-ED is painful enough. Why shouldn’t it be simple common sense that if you plan to drink, just plan ahead for alternative means of transportation? Yet, the unfortunate reality is, that we have no choice, but to raise our voices now, and hope that it will reach receptive ears, and save people some unnecessary anguish.
Aside of the extreme dangerous situations that these irresponsible people create, and risking their own lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of others, what about the rest of the fallout from their irresponsible action.
What about all the people whom they just deprived from their Simchas Yom Tov?
What about their own family, who just got entangled in a mess they didn’t make?
Why shouldn’t the askanim be entitled to the same Simchas Yom Tov, like everyone else, instead of being busy fixing someone else’s crisis of their own making?
What about Chinuch Habanim, what kind of message are they conveying to their kids?
What about the tremendous chillul hashem that they create with their ill-advised action?
What about all the consequences they’ll be suffering from, as a result of this foolish decision? Potential jail time, loss of driving privilege, vehicle confiscation, lifetime criminal record, and more…
State and City Law Enforcement agencies will be out in force, keeping a vigilant eye for drunk drivers.
Is it really worth it? Would you rather destroy your life, rather than just handing your car keys to someone else, when you start drinking? Would you take a gamble with human life, rather than hopping into a taxi?
No one is strong enough to override the power of alcohol, no one can have proper judgement when under the influence of alcohol, don’t try it, it’s not worth the ramifications.
If you can’t drink responsibly, just don’t drink, and if you do drink, take the proper precautions, hand your keys to a friend or family member, hop into a cab, an uber, a bus a subway, anything, just don’t get behind the wheel.
You deserve a true Simchas Purim, so does your family and friends, and so do all the askanim and their families, let’s make this Purim a happy and joyous day for all, and not a day of aggravation and misery that will end up being regretted the rest of your life.
May we all be able to celebrate this Purim in high spirits, and may we all live to remembers the great memories of the day. Happy Purim.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)