Opinion: Farewell to summer

We’ve made it to the tail end of the summer. The kids are back in school, Friday night lights are cranked up after last year’s COVID-19 non-season and life is trying to adapt to the new normal. The only thing left is to enjoy a safe Labor Day Weekend. Fall is set to begin on September 22 and it can’t get here too soon for me.


It is unwise to wish your life away, but when it comes to summertime, I make an exception.


I am ready for sweaters and socks, rainstorms and even fog, if there is enough moisture in the air.


I find it ironic that California is on fire and parts of the east and southern areas are drowning in rainstorms. One day, maybe, man will have learned how to control the weather and command rain where there are fires and sunshine instead of hurricanes. More of my fanciful ideas.


I find it ironic that this first Monday in September is dedicated to the nation’s workforce and yet we celebrate it by taking the day off.


Three-day weekends are a great American tradition. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 according to Google.


A Labor Day weekend is a time to settle back and enjoy the last holiday of summer. Its approach is also a chance to play my favorite broken record, “Don’t get high and try to drive!”


I don’t care what anyone’s drug of choice may be — pot, alcohol, pills, whatever — please don’t catch a buzz and get behind the wheel of a car. The cost factor is far greater than the joy of inebriation.


Discounting that possibility of death to the driver or innocent bystanders, ending up in the drunk tank is a lousy way to end a party.


The loss of employment, the privilege of driving, the family embarrassment is just not worth it.


Then there is the monetary cost. Triple A states that a Driving Under the Influence can cost the driver upwards of $18,000 for attorneys, fines, and increased insurance rates. And that is for a first offense.


According to Wallethub.com the 3 A insurance for a person convicted of a DUI is 243 percent higher than for someone who has a clean driving record.


To avoid driving under the influence is simple enough. Select a designated driver before the evening’s festivities begin. Remember the DD is not the person who drank the least, it is the one who didn’t drink at all.


If the above isn’t an option, there are a few paths that can be travelled safely. Call a car service, taxi cab or a sober friend for a ride. Your friend or relative who gives you a lift will probably be annoyed but, it is better than driving drunk.


Another option is to stay put. If your host or bartender can’t allow you to spend the night, there is another solution. Get in the passenger or back seat of the car to sleep it off. Falling asleep in the driver’s seat tends to show an intent to drive and should be avoided. Just to be safe, don’t have the keys in the ignition either.


Try to be smart and be safe during this last hurrah of summer 2021. It’s been a bad couple of years but don’t let that be an excuse to drink and drive.


Your future is waiting for you. Get there safely.


Long days and pleasant nights, have a blessed weekend.


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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.