In yet another incident of driving under the influence (DUI), a young California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer was killed by a 22-year-old man who was allegedly driving under the influence of weed and alcohol on Christmas eve. Andrew Camilleri Sr. (33) was sitting inside his patrol vehicle parked near an on-ramp to Interstate 880 in Hayward when the driver’s car hit the vehicle from behind. The celebratory mood has turned into a mourning for the Highway Patrol and the victim’s family.
“Today is not a holiday for the Highway Patrol. Today is about a tragic loss of one of our own, who we will consider a hero now and forever,” said CHP Assistant Chief Ernest Sanchez. He condemned DUI and urged the public to stop the practice. Camilleri is survived by his wife and three children.
Dangers of weed and alcohol intoxication
It is dangerous to be behind the wheel when one is in a drunk or drugged state. There is an increased probability of causing harm to pedestrians or fellow travelers as the cognitive and decision-making abilities are impaired due to intoxication. The holiday season is usually followed by increased emergency room visits, hospitalizations and fatalities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that in the days beginning Christmas and leading to the New Year’s Eve, nearly 728 people will either suffer injuries or lose their lives in accidents involving drunk driving. This is substantially higher than the fatalities reported due to drunk or drugged driving through the rest of the year.
Among those who are at an increased risk of becoming victims of drink driving are patrol officers who put their lives in ‘harm’s way every day’ to ensure peace and stability in the city. They have a high risk of being injured as their patrol cars are stationed at strategic positions to monitor unforeseen activities. They are often alone on remote highways and might be far removed from emergency services. The recent mishap not only took away the life of an innocent young man but also caused grave injuries to the driver who is currently critical.
Avoid drinking and driving during holidays
It has been a time-honored practice to raise a toast to health, happiness and prosperity with a drink. An occasional glass of wine generally does not harm. Unfortunately, both Christmas and New Year are associated with excess alcohol consumption. While binge drinking may be a problem for some people, it becomes all the more chronic during the festival season when everyone seems to be embracing alcohol. It is next to impossible to decline the request to accept a drink when everyone seems to be drowning in it.
This season, one can partake in the festive spirit without causing harm to themselves or their family members. It is always better to drink responsibly and stay away from concoctions of drugs and alcohol while indulging in the festivities. In case one feels even slightly inebriated, it is best to stay at home or with a friend, instead of risking one’s own or another person’s life. If drinks are definitely on the menu, then be sure to stay hydrated with water and have food. Instead of endangering an innocent life within a miscalculated decision, one should hand over the car keys to someone who is sober.
If you or your loved one is battling alcoholism, which continues to interfere in daily life activities, get in touch with Sovereign Health of San Clemente that offers a variety of customized treatments for alcohol addiction. Specialists at our world-class detox treatment centers in California are trained to identify the underlying causes and prescribe effective treatments as well as group psychotherapy based on a patient’s requirements. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives for more information on treatment for detox in California.
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