Opinion

Drive hammered, get nailed

Heather Meadows was only 20 years old when her life was cut short by a drunk driver in 2005.

The 2003 Central Kitsap High School grad was taken from her loved ones by a man whose alcohol level was .18, twice the legal limit, when he drove the wrong way on I-5 in South King County and slammed into her car head-on. Meadows died at the scene.

It wasn’t the first time Ngere Omari was caught drinking and driving and upon his scheduled release in 2012, who knows if it was his last? At the time of his collision with Meadows, he had a suspended license because of a DUI conviction and was on active probation with Seattle Municipal Court. But apparently that wasn’t enough stop him from drinking and driving.

Fortunately for those who travel on local roads, law enforcement are determined to find and arrest drunk drivers before they take an innocent life. Starting yesterday and continuing through the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 1, Kitsap County law enforcement are participating in extra patrols as part of the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign.

Local drivers should really think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking, even after only a couple of beers. It doesn’t take much to reach the legal limit of .08. And it only takes one bad decision to completely change someone’s entire life and the lives of their loved ones.

Meadows left behind her parents, five siblings and multiple other family members and friends who are forever changed because of just one drunk driver. Unfortunately for some, it takes a tragic accident and the loss of life for them to fully grasp the concept of how dangerous it is to drink and drive. Even then, it never really sinks in.

Hopefully DUI emphasis patrols and the story of a young woman’s life cut far too short will be enough to make people think twice before they drink and get behind the wheel.

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