“Once my kids reached legal age, I started drinking with them. We’d each have a bottle or two of beer. I wanted to remove the mystery of alcohol because you know how kids are, if it’s not allowed, the more they’d want it. I wanted them to know they didn’t need to sneak around.
“You can have a drink, no big deal, but not when you’re driving. My kids know that if they’re at a party and they get drunk, they can always call me and I would pick them up with no dangers of me shouting at them or embarrassing them in front of their friends.
“I don’t want them risking their lives and the lives of others just because they’re afraid I’d get mad that they’re intoxicated. I set an example, too. I never drink and drive and my kids know this.” —Luis, dad of three
“It has to start with the parents. Parents should have an open line of communication with their kids—we need them to be able to open up to us, we need to be able to discuss these things without raised voices and anger.
“Our kids are smart. Make them understand the possible consequences of their actions. It starts at home but it shouldn’t stop there. They say it takes a village to raise a child. It’s true. The government and the commercial establishments need to step up too.
“Convenience stores need to stop allowing kids to purchase alcoholic beverages. Check their IDs. We need to employ more people on the road—trustworthy, uncorrupt officials with a real concern for safety, I must stress—that would use breathalyzers to check drivers. We shouldn’t make it easy for our children to break the law.” — Chris, dad of three
“Many innocent people die on the road because of drunk drivers. There should be stricter laws in the Philippines just like in the US and many parts of the world. I always tell my son not to ride with anyone who is not sober. Find a designated driver and always buckle up.”—Toni Abad, mom of two
“In my younger days, I have had my fair share of post-drinking adventures where I acted as both daredevil driver and sleepy passenger with my drinking buddies. I have been fortunate enough to have never figured in any mishap but I know some who have been part of accidents. Some minor, some major. I’ve been lucky and when I think of it now, it was crazy to try to drive home in the state I was in or ride in a car with a fellow so drunk, he didn’t know which way was forward.
“As a young-ish parent, I believe there ought to be a law penalizing drunk drivers, imposing stiff penalties for violators. The sanction should be enough to deter would-be drunk drivers from thinking twice about pushing their luck. Aside from the law, I ought to play my role by educating my three children regarding safety when out having fun with friends. If they drive, they shouldn’t drink. If they drink, they shouldn’t drive or get in a car with a person who drank. They can always call me to arrange to get picked up wherever they are. Or ask permission to sleep off the alcohol in a friend’s house.
“My eldest child is 9 years old —there is also that hope that she forms a serious allergy to alcoholic beverages in 10 years’ time.” —Mon, dad of three
What are your thoughts on drunk driving? What do you think can be done to put a stop to it? E-mail [email protected]