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*KTSW consists of and respects varying opinions within its staff. Opinion articles do not reflect the opinion of KTSW as a whole
The first home game weekend at Texas State was crazy, to say the least. Bobcats really showed school spirit all around San Marcos; decked out in maroon and gold. From the tailgating, to the excitement of the game, then hitting up Whataburger and continuing the party after, San Marcos was “turnt” on Saturday. While I am not one to turn down a good time, I like safety with my fun and rule number one to any good time is to always have a designated driver. Rule number two is use the buddy system. Remember these rules, stand by them, do not break them.
In the midst of having a fun Saturday night with friends over fries and a milkshake, things went from zero to a hundred real quick. On our way home we were laughing and talking like normal when we hear a definite bump and witness the headlights behind us get too close for comfort. Unsure if we were actually hit or not our driver for the night gets out of the vehicle to assess the damage. Thankfully we were not hit but, there was a three car accident behind us. While our driver asked all the others if they were ok, the three of us remaining in the car looked through the back window at the truck directly behind us to witness a girl get out of the passenger seat and disappear into the night, abandoning her friends.
Now, I can’t say for sure what happened in that car because I wasn’t inside, but it did not look good. Maybe she was under age and drunk so she walked away because she didn’t want to get in trouble. Maybe her friends understood and were okay with her walking away. Maybe she just ditched out. This leads us to rule number two: the buddy system. Using the buddy system does not mean going out in a group with people who are acquaintances or that you barely know – those are the people you meet up with at the party. Your buddy is the person or people you travel with, and trust to have your back when things gets real. Sadly, you won’t always know who your real buddies are until that happens.
To everyone witnessing the accident from outside that vehicle, it was apparent that someone had just failed the buddy test. We didn’t expect to be tested next. As we drove off and made the turn off Aquarena onto Post Rd. there was yet another bump and screech as we drove over the railroad tracks and a red car turned from the wrong lane without the right away. Both of our vehicles came to an abrupt stop and just as our driver was going to once again get out and assess the damage, the other driver felt the need to cuss us out, flip us off, and keep driving. Naturally we took a pause and tried to understand the situation.
We proceeded down the road behind the car that had just hit us and attempted to take a picture of the license plate when things went above and beyond, as the red car started swerving all over the road, randomly slammed its brakes and forced us to swerve out of the way and hit their tail light. If it wasn’t obvious before it was definitely clear when the driver stepped out of the red chevy that she was drunk. She looked like a hot mess dressed in her all black party outfit and frizzy uncombed weave. She strutted around our car, danced in the middle of the street and yelled at us, trying to start a fight. Thankfully SMPD got to us quickly, resolved the situation and arrested her. My friends and I later learned that not only was this woman driving while intoxicated, her blood alcohol content level was .15. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it is illegal in any state to drive with a BAC level of .08 or higher.
This brings us back to rule number one: always have a designated driver. A person is considered intoxicated when their BAC level reaches .02; however, not everyone reacts to alcohol in the same manner. A person with a BAC level of .02 may act more drunk than a person with a BAC level of .08 or higher but, that doesn’t make the person who can “handle their liquor” any less vulnerable to the dangers of drunk driving. Keep that in mind and always make sure you have a designated driver because driving while intoxicated could not only land you in a jail cell, like the lady we collided with, it could possibly result in the loss of your and/or someone else’s life.
In the case that you do not have a designated driver, call a cab. The most frequently used taxi service in San Marcos is Aloha Taxi Cab, they’re available 24/7, you can make reservations, and pricing isn’t bad. In the case that you drove to the party and are unsure if you are good to drive home, they have apps for that. Check out some free BAC calculators like Drink.app; this app will calculate your BAC level based on the exact drink you’ve had, the number of drinks you’ve had and the amount of time you’ve been drinking. There are also more serious apps like Alcohoot that allow you to turn your phone into a breathalyzer, the only downside is that you have to buy a separate piece of equipment that plugs into the phone and cost a whopping $99, but it’s not a bad investment. If you are serious about your safety to the point of investing money you may want to look up Guardian Interlock. This is a system installed into your vehicle that requires the driver to take a breathalyzer test before starting the engine and if the driver is intoxicated the Interlock system will prevent the car from starting. While this system is sophisticated and genius it can cost $500 and up depending on the type of vehicle.
There is nothing like blowing off steam on the weekends. School is stressful so come Friday and Saturday night it’s okay to go out and have a good time and live a little, maybe a lot. Remember that even the lowest BAC level still equals intoxication and no matter the level you should never attempt to drive while intoxicated. Know the difference between friends and acquaintances and be careful who you keep around. Most of all make sure if you go out for a good time to follow these two simple rules: always have a designated driver and use the buddy system.