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Timely Florida Alcohol Detox Program Might Have Saved Three Young Lives
With all the carnage on our roads and highways caused by drunk drivers, one can’t help wondering how it keeps on happening. How could anyone get drunk, or even a little tipsy, and then climb behind the wheel of a car and risk killing someone, including themselves? Yet alcohol addiction continues to be Florida’s most dangerous, and expensive bad habit.
“I know firsthand that one of the real problems with this is, you just don’t think it can happen to you. And that’s really why it’s still happening.”
So says Joseph Safrany, 45, formerly of Tampa, FL, more recently an inmate of the Florida state prison system. And no one should know this any better than Joseph Safrany.
Ten years ago, on April 7, 2000, at 3:15 in the morning, Safrany was speeding along Sheldon Road in Tampa, FL, on his way home from partying with friends. Authorities said he was going 73 mph in his 1993 Cadillac when he hit a 1998 Honda Civic so hard that it rolled over and over for 140 feet. Safrany’s blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit. The Honda’s driver, 24-year-old Troy D. Call, was also driving drunk, authorities said. The impact killed Call, and two of his three young passengers, leaving the sole survivor in a lifetime of pain.
But Safrany, they said, was a known drug and alcohol abuser, a “party animal” who had a history of drinking and driving. Safrany’s record already included driving under the influence, driving with a suspended or revoked license, disorderly conduct and cocaine possession. For his part in the fatal accident, Safrany was found guilty of ten separate charges, including three counts of vehicular manslaughter. He was sentenced to life in prison.
So when Safrany stood up in court recently to make a plea for a shortened sentence, his claim that people continue to drink and drive because they never think an accident will happen to them carried some weight. The man has had 10 years to think about it. What he didn’t admit to is that alcohol addiction is an effort to solve personal problems.
Safrany’s bid for a shortened sentence? His life sentence was reduced to 50 years. The man is 45 and he’s only served 7 so far. Do the math, think about living with the guilt of killing others, and decide if you should risk driving drunk, or let someone else risk it.
If Safrany, and for that matter, the late Troy Call, driver of the other car, had taken a timely opportunity to deal with their predilections to drive while drunk, three lives could have been spared. A simple Florida alcohol detox program — just a few days — by either one of them, could have prevented a lifetime of grief, guilt and sorrow for three Florida families.
Florida alcohol detox improves drunk driving statistics
Every time someone takes responsibility for their alcohol addiction or dependence, and enrolls in alcohol detox and recovery programs, there is one less person among us who will put their own and others’ lives at peril by driving drunk.
A new state-by-state National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration shows that 30.6 million people aged 16 or older, or 13.2 percent of that age group, drove while under the influence of alcohol in the past year. It also showed that younger drivers, aged 16 to 25, had a 19.5 percent rate of drunk driving, almost double the 11.8 percent rate for drivers 26 or older.
But the survey also shows that in Florida, alcohol detox programs may be having a positive effect. Florida statistics, at 11.9 percent, were well below the national average, and a nice drop from 13.7 percent 5 years ago.
Florida alcohol detox “ripple effect” helps even more
When people successfully complete alcohol detox, there tends to be a ripple effect that spreads beyond their own happy recovery from alcohol dependence and perhaps driving under the influence.
People who know that alcohol detox works, and that a new life really is possible, encourage their friends and families to avoid the pitfalls and dangers of alcohol abuse, dependence and addiction — including driving under the influence.
People who beat alcohol addiction through an effective Florida alcohol detox program ask their drinking friends for their car keys, rather than let them get behind the wheel.
But let’s do some more math: Yes, the statistics are somewhat improved. But 1,004 people died in alcohol-related crashes last year right here in Florida. That’s 1,004 shattered families, tragic statistics that clearly tell us we have a long way to go, especially with our younger drivers.
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