Michelle Battogtokh Finalist Never Drink and Drive Scholarship

CALIFORNIA — The following essay was submitted to Johnson Attorneys Group for the 2023 Never Drink and Drive Scholarship Competition. The winner will be chose by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and announced later this month.

Michelle Battogtokh Essay

Is one night of fun worth somebodies’ life? We all think that we are invincible, especially after a drink or two, and can’t make conscious decisions. We don’t understand the impact driving under the influence has until someone we know is affected by it but that shouldn’t even be the case. Thousands of innocent lives are taken each year by irresponsible drivers.

I think when people make the decision to drunk drive, they only think about how it would affect them and not other drivers too. I realized from personal experience that it’s hard to put it into perspective for people who haven’t thought about how it would feel to lose someone from drunk driving. I never thought much of it either until my uncle was riding his bike and one day out of nowhere, he was hit by a car by a drunk driver, it’s amazing how my uncle made it out alive because he took all of that impact without any protection. That’s when I really understood how fast someone can disappear from your life. I would explain and teach others about this topic by making them think of losing someone. It’s so important to have an emotional connection in order to want to fight for a cause. It may be harsh, but I really do think it’s a good way to make people understand.

If say a family member of yours went out to go to the store and never came back because of someone’s irresponsible decisions, wouldn’t you feel that the rest of your family member’s life has been robbed? how unfair is it to take someone’s life in that way because of a drunk decision? The emotional damage that could be caused to a person’s family and friends can never be made up for, so are you willing to take a lifetime’s worth of guilt and resentment from people whose friend you killed? If you take that risk to drive home after a night out even if it’s close by, you are also intentionally breaking the law and taking the risk to murder someone.

I think the best way to educate my community would be to teach people starting from when they’re still in highschool because education and awareness are where all growth comes from and it’s easier to teach things like this while someone is not yet an adult. I think it would be a good idea to have speakers who’ve been affected personally by drunk driving share their stories with children. I also think having influencers talk about this subject is very important too because children look up to and take inspiration from their favorite influencers.

Learn more about Johnson Attorneys Group scholarship opportunities on our website.

James Johnson

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