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Friday, June 25, 2010

Designated Driver

06/25/10  © Claudia Schlottman

This is a tragic but true story, and I feel the need to write about it.  I did not know Jordan Griner, but he was a close friend of Madison, daughter of my good friend, Lisa.

In Atlanta, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, June 20, Jordan, who had volunteered to be the designated driver for an evening out with friends, delivered his last passenger home safely, and within minutes and only a few blocks from his apartment, he was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

Jordan left behind his parents, his fiancé, two sisters and a host of other relatives.  He graduated from The University of Georgia in 2008, and he was serving as a fellow in the Office of the Governor of Georgia.  He worked directly with the governor on many occasions and was looking forward to his marriage and another fellowship in the office of the state’s chief financial officer.  He was avid volunteer and lover of animals.  In short, he was a good guy.  Now he is lost to everyone who loved him, and the world has lost a wonderful soul who would have added to the goodness in this world, had he been give the chance.

Crista Scott, the woman who caused the wreck that killed Jordan, had a blood alcohol level of 0.229, nearly three times the legal limit.  She spent one night in jail, then bonded out in less than 24 hours. (I would venture to guess that she still had alcohol in her blood when she was released).  Scott is charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI and reckless driving.

A young life snuffed out by yet another drunk driver.  The irony of this story is beyond any understanding, and I am interested to learn whether or not this was Ms. Scott’s first DUI.

What is it going to take to keep drunk drivers off our streets and highways?  I am frustrated beyond belief that so many people are maimed or killed because of alcohol.  

Again, what is the answer?   I have a few suggestions.

 - Keep drunk drivers in jail until their preliminary   
hearings, not matter how long. 

- Take away their driver’s licenses at the first 

- Make prison time mandatory at the first offense.

- Post their photos in the newspapers and online, 
describing the charges against them.  (Some 
areas already do this).

- Go after the person or persons who over-served the 
drunk. Charge clubs and bartenders who
knowingly continue to pour drinks for people
who are already drunk, then turning them loose
to drive away in spite of their condition.  Make
them accountable for their illegal actions.

That would be a start, but only a start.  This problem as its roots in so many places:  over indulgent parents, absent parents, college frat parties where pledges are required to “funnel” beer or distilled spirits while their “advisors” look the other way.  There have been several deaths from the alcohol poisoning that results from “funneling.”.  And then there are those who just drink to get drunk.  Jesus.  If a designated driver is killed by a drunk, there is no explaining it.  
Once again, my faith is shaken and tested.  Who is the God who lets these things happen, or even better, where was he when he could have prevented it?   My private struggle with this is something that only I can work through, but surely there is more that the judicial system can do to stem the tide of drunken drivers who are a menace to everyone in their paths.


  1. You are so right. How is it that these offenders -like sexual predators- are given chance after chance to re-offend?

    So sad, another innocent life. I'm sorry.

  2. I like your ideas for stricter consequences for drunk drivers.

    As for the question about God, it is always hard to understand why He doesn't intervene. But my personal belief is that this life is sort of a testing place where every one of us has a lot of freedom to choose...for good or for ill. Not that I think He never intervenes, but I think He often just lets life and nature take its course for all of us, and then we learn from whatever happens. And we get to take those lessons into the hereafter.

    No drunk drivers there, that's for sure!


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