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Editorial: Drunk decisions can have irreversible consequences

College students and drinking are often associated with each other, and the trend runs true at nearly every university in America. If consumed responsibly and legally, alcohol can be an enjoyable social activity. However, irresponsible drinking can lead to people making choices that they would not normally make while sober.

Whether you’re at your own house, a friend’s house or a bar, alcohol can lead to some interesting conversations and positive experiences. The danger lies in what happens afterwards, especially if it includes driving after a night of drinking. Alcohol can lead to a multitude of damaging consequences, and no matter the intent, people are still accountable for any harmful actions they commit while intoxicated.

Now is the time to take note of transportation options for students who want to go out, party and drink.

If you are planning on drinking, think it through first. Plan ahead in ways such as arranging rides, whether from a friend, roommate, a rideshare company or transportation services offered by the bars themselves.

In the event that you are asked to give a ride to your intoxicated or soon-to-be intoxicated friend, think about the risk if they drive home from a bar. On the other side, if a friend volunteers to be your designated driver for the night, thank them. Whether or not they know it, they are potentially saving your life, and multiple other lives, as well as keeping the community safe.

Public transportation in Peoria can be problematic, especially late at night when most drinking occurs. CityLink buses run on a limited time schedule and are not an option for a ride home after 1 a.m. Monday through Fridays. On Saturday and Sunday nights, the hours of operation are even shorter, putting the community at increased risk for people driving under the influence.

No matter what, students of legal drinking age are going to leave their residences to drink. The Bradley community and local bars should consider how they can curb the number of potentially intoxicated drivers by offering late-night transportation to and from the campus area. Designated drivers are an option but not always available, and neither are rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, which are especially sparse in Peoria.

Offering rides to students that choose to go out can be a potential business venture for those who choose not to drink on a given night. While Saddle Up Dance Club offers free transportation on Saturday nights to and from Bradley’s campus, other bars in the area do not.

By offering a bus or other forms of transportation, drinking establishments can offer jobs to those looking for new employment in driving patrons to and from their business. While it may not be cost-effective to operate transportation for just a few hours a night, it can save the lives of Bradley students and others in the Peoria community.

You can place a cost on operating a bus or calling an Uber, but you can’t put a price tag on someone’s life, and that should always be remembered before heading out to drink.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.