Witherspoon, Michaels: DUIs bad as marathon bombings, mass shootings
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon...
SAN DIEGO, April 21, 2013 — Emmy winning sportscaster Al Michaels and Oscar winning actress Reese Witherspoon just moved from my “Respected” file to my “Reprehensible” file. Right next to the Tsarnaev brothers and the Sandy Hook shooter. The only difference is the number of people potentially in harm’s way.
Within hours of each other on Friday, Michaels and Witherspoon were both involved in drunk driving incidents.
Drunk driving is a disgrace and a serious offense against society. With a drunk behind the wheel, an automobile has every potential for being as deadly to others as a backpack bomb planted by crazed terrorists, or automatic weapons fired at children.
Worse yet, it is entirely voluntary and preventable and there can’t be a person in the country who doesn’t know this, including Al Michaels and Reese Witherspoon.
Assuming the facts being reported are correct, we should be outraged reading about arrests like Michaels and Witherspoon. There is zero excuse for getting behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol, especially by people in the public eye who have a reputation and livelihood to protect, who possess the ways and means to hire a driver at any hour of the day or night, or pull out the Amex Black Card and get a room anywhere.
Drunk drivers including celebrities are no different than the Tsarnaev brothers, people who deliberately choose to put people in harm’s way through their actions.
But until America gets serious about throwing the book at highway terrorists like these, drunk driving will continue to kill more people in the U.S. than any marathon bombers, domestic terrorists or any mass murderers using firearms combined. That means you and me.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 9,878 drunk driving fatalities in 2011, the last year available. Mass shootings have resulted in 513 deaths and 494 injuries over the last 20 years (since 1982), and average of 20 per year.
Since 9/11, less than 250 people have died due to acts of terrorism in the U.S. including the Boston Marathon bombings, or about 25 per year.
So who should we really be angry at tonight? Religious zealots? Mentally ill young men with guns? Or celebrities, our family, friends and neighbors who willingly get behind the wheel of a car and drive drunk?
According to the Associated Press, Santa Monica, California police officials say that NBC Sports announcer Michaels, 68, was taken into custody Friday night and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Sergeant Thomas McLaughlin could provide no additional details.
Unfortunately for Reese Witherspoon, there are apparently plenty of details about the her arrest and the DUI arrest of her husband, agent James Toth. According to a report in Variety Magazine online, Witherspoon, 37, and Toth, 42, were jailed Friday in Atlanta, Ga., and then released, after Toth was pulled over for suspicion of DUI. He was reported to be weaving across a double line on Atlanta’s Peachtree Street.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.
sign up for