I drank and drove … and I apologize

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 5, 2009

By Jeff Bost
For the Salisbury Post
This is not a commercial; this is “word up.” If you know that you will be driving, please do not drink alcohol. The life you save may be your own.
I want to apologize to all the vehicular homicide victims resulting from drunk driving, and their loved ones. I have never had an alcohol-related accident, but I am guilty of drinking and driving. There are millions of others who are guilty but have not been caught.
I got my first DWI in 1986, at age 20. By 27, I had four. From 199801999, I got three more. I never stopped to realize how serious and dangerous it is to drink and drive because I had not hurt anyone else. I’m fortunate in that respect, but I have done irreparable damage to myself. In 1999, I was convicted of habitual impaired driving. I was sentenced to two years in prison; my driver’s license was permanently revoked, and I have a felony on my record.
I’m not seeking sympathy from anyone. This is a confession and an an apology to the victims who have lost their lives or suffered major injuries due to this kind of careless, irresponsible and selfish behavior. If you are guilty of drinking and driving, please stop. Don’t wait for tragedy. It is too late, then.
My heart and mind were sealed with rebellion, disobedience and arrogance. God has removed that seal and allowed that mentality to escape. I cannot change anybody else, but I am making this commitment out of respect for myself and others. I hope I can inspire and encourage at least one more person to make the commitment to stop drinking and driving.
By drinking and driving, I have closed many doors that were once opened to me. My employment options have been limited, as well as my social life. I have robbed myself of a great deal of my liberties and independence. I have no one to blame but myself. I was intoxicated with the mentality that no one was going to tell me what to do. God has revealed to me how childish and immature that mentality was.
I am 42 years old now, and I have spent more than four years of my life in jail and prison, directly or indirectly because of drinking and driving.
Please don’t think it can’t or won’t happen to you. The more you do it, the greater the risk. I’m not making the decision to stop drinking and driving just because of the law; I’m making the decision to save lives. The life I save may be my own.
I have been my own worst enemy.
This is a painful, embarrassing and disappointing confession, but it’s necessary for me to make this change. None of us is perfect. We are all faced with the challenge to change for the benefit of ourselves and others. We must start with the man or woman in the mirror.
Please, no more drinking and driving.
– – –
Jeff Bost is an inmate in the Rowan County Detention Center.