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Young Man's Experience With Autos and Alcohol

October 26, 1985

I'd like to talk about age, alcohol and automobiles. I'm 22 years old and my first experience with these subjects was 11 years ago. At that time, as pedestrians on a residential street, a friend and I were struck by an automobile driven by a middle-aged driver. My friend almost died. I was luckier and went home from the hospital that evening with minor bruises and a never-ending horrifying memory.

My second experience came the other night when a friend and I were dining at a local restaurant. This time there were two of them, both middle-aged and very drunk. One of them fell down twice--bumping into customers and tables. I commend the hostess who called a cab and was quite adamant that these men were not going to drive their own cars home. The men left through a back entrance so I do not know how or if they ever reached their next destination. All I know is that I arrived home safely. I pray that those two men did not get behind the wheel of an automobile.

What I'd like to say about age is that I have had two experiences with the older drunken person. I'm not excusing teen-agers--I'm against the mixing of alcohol and automobiles--however, the media seems to be having a field day giving attention to teens who drink and drive.

Why would a teen-ager pay any heed to a warning when the "older and wiser" adult doesn't? What ever happened to role models? I don't blame teens for not listening--would you?

MARCY C. VINER

Encino

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