Item: 18 year-old Ihor M. Sahan of St. Francis is charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and two counts of misdemeanor causing injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle after traveling at 74 mph and slamming his car into a parked Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department squad car on Interstate 94 in Brookfield. The crash killed Sahan’s 17 year-old friend, Ryan Petri, who suffered massive brain trauma and was not wearing a seat belt.
Item: 29 year-old Jaron S. Omon of Port Washington is sentenced to 9 years in prison for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in the June death of Kelly M. Phillips, 37, also of Port Washington. Ozaukee County Sheriff’s reports state that Omron lost control of his car in the Town of Grafton. The vehicle left the pavement and struck a tree. Phillips, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle.
Two tales of tragedy with a familiar common denominator: drinking and driving. Unfortunately, we see the results of this deadly combination all-too-often. However, in light of extreme cases such as these, it’s important for all of us to again think about the importance of not driving after drinking.
It only takes a matter of seconds, one swerve of the wheel, one slip on the gas pedal to result in a crash that can kill or severely injure a person, changing their life for the worse, forever.
Now, with the Holiday Season fast approaching, there will be an abundance of opportunities to drink more than one normally might. ‘Tis the season to maybe have more than one or two drinks before shrugging it off and getting behind the wheel. In far too many cases, people may not realize how much they’ve had to drink or how many drinks will result in surpassing the legal .08 blood alcohol limit.
If you are at a party and decide to have a couple glasses of wine, a couple beers or drinks, the safest approach to take is to simply not drive. If you have any doubt about whether you’ve had too much to drink, hand the keys to somebody else or call a cab. The cost of waiting for someone to pick you up or getting a cab will be much less than the cost of an OWI.
There’s no way you can ever justify the cost of a human life. Sleep it off, get a hotel, get a cab. Wait for someone else to pick you up. But don’t drive. Take a moment to truly learn from the tragic mistakes of others. The alternative is unthinkable.
Here’s wishing you and yours a peaceful, healthy and most joyous Holiday Season!