#NoRegretFriday … or any other day of week for that matter.

First, watch this …

As a mother, that scenario sends fear pulsing through every inch of my body. Most of my readers are parents, so I just know that you feel the same way. Yes?

We all know how it is: you have “just one or two” after work/book club/long lunch drinks and you drive home. No biggie, right? Wrong. It is a HUGE mistake to drink and drive. I’ve done my fair share of drunk driving, PRE-CHILDREN (before you call social services on me!). Nowadays, the idea of my child(ren) being abandoned and alone because of MY irresponsibility, leaves me feeling physically ill. I just WON’T do it.

It’s not like I’m a big partier at all, but I do still enjoy going out for a girls night or even a nice romantic dinner with Dave, which would involve a bottle of wine with our meal. Driving home from a restaurant, Dave and I could EASILY be pulled over and breathalyzed and chances are, we’d both be over the legal limit. And then we’d both be arrested. And thrown in jail. Not something I’d want to have to explain to my kids, or to Beauty the next morning when we haven’t returned home. No thank you.

That’s where #NoRegretFriday (launched on 1 July 2011 by SAB Reality Check) comes in. Only, it’s about more than just Fridays. It’s about South Africans, taking responsibility for their lives, as well as the lives around them, each and every day of the week. The roads in Jozi are dangerous enough as it is. Add drunk drivers to the recipe and you’ve got a disaster on your hands. People like Good Fellas offer a service, which is essentially priceless. You get to go out and enjoy yourself without having to worry about how you’re going to avoid the roadblocks on the way home. If only they offered babysitting services for the next day, when your head’s pounding and your toddler insists on unpacking the Tupperware drawer and BANGING ON EACH AND EVERY PLASTIC CONTAINER WITH EVERY WOODEN SPOON IN THE CUPBOARD! *ouch*

So yes, I have pledged my support for No Regret Friday. You should too. I’ve also signed Dave and I up for a Good Fellas membership, which we (only Dave, for now, duh!) will be making FULL use of, particularly early next year when I turn the BIG 3 OH! In the mean time, I don’t want Dave to feel like a caged animal when I’m all about the “gazing deeply into M’s gorgeous eyes” period that I just KNOW I’ll be in after birth. Not a fun time for husbands. I would much rather send him off to have a few drinks with the boys, knowing that the good fellas at Good Fellas will bring him home safely to his family. No promise for a quiet sleep in the next day though, Mr Dadic 😉

You should also share your stories, stories about how drunk driving has affected your lives. Its telling of personal horror stories that scares people into NOT drinking and driving. Share them with me as a comment here (or email them to me and I will repost them, keeping your identity anonymous, if that’s what you would prefer). As an incentive for sharing these stories, SAB has given me a “Smarty25” Good Fellas membership to give away to one reader of my blog. I don’t want to be the judge of it myself, so I’ll set up some sort of voting mechanism to choose the “best” (most emotive?) story and you can all vote for a winner. I’ll award the prize at the beginning of November … closer to the festive season madness, when this kind of membership would really come in handy. SAB would also like to submit these stories to the #NoRegretFriday website, which you can choose to do with your identity attached or anonymously.

Check out and pledge your support on the #NoRegretFriday website, view the other ads on their YouTube channel and like the page on Facebook for more information.

As parents, we owe it to our children to be responsible each and every day, as the only way they will ever learn is by our example.

4 thoughts on “#NoRegretFriday … or any other day of week for that matter.

  1. I moved away from South Africa two years ago when I got married to Emma. My first marriage. My first child in the form of my step son. I moved essentially from bachelor-hood in wild South Africa to father and husband hood in far calmer rural Wales. People here don’t drink and drive. They just don’t.

    When we came back to South Africa for a visit in April this year, I was amazed at how many of my friends were already making use of Good Fella’s or simply having designated drivers who were simply not drinking at all on the night. A tall ask when your friends are getting hammered alongside you until 4am…

    Anyways, I just thought I would throw that in there, positive change is making itself known all over the show, anything that can be done to effect and enhance that change is welcome!

  2. My husband works for a fantastic little creative company and they actually sponsor Good Fella’s for all their employee’s. Their belief is that it’s a small price to pay compared to an employee in jail or an worse, an employee’s funeral. I know they’ve also joined forces with a lot of the car insurance companies and you can include it in your monthly premium.

    Rather be safe than sorry.

  3. My brother Neil spent a few hours at a braai when he was 19. He left the party earlier because he wanted to be at work early the next morning. He’d had a few drinks, so his friends insisted on driving or following him home.They even took away his bike’s keys. He insisted he was fine, and they all handed his keys back to him and watched him drive off.

    The braai was at a farm nearby, and there was a bit of fog on the quiet road. A car was approaching from ahead, and it seems like a car behind that one tried to overtake, but hit my brother instead.

    He was nineteen.

    The driver of the other car took off and left my brother there. We can only assume that the other driver had been drinking, and thus fled the scene in fear of criminal charges.

    My brother was a very good driver, and I feel he could have avoided the accident if he was more alert at the time.

    His friends also drove back in to town about an hour later, and that’s when they found my brother and the remains of his bike on the road. They had to phone my parents and tell them that their son was dead. My father held his empty body on the roadside and cried. My mother has never been the same.

    So many lives were changed that night. My brother lost his. His friends placed his keys back in his hands. The person that caused the accident could have been jailed for life. I am sure that they live in guilt and shame. How do you forgive yourself for something like that? His friends and family that miss him every. single. day.

    Don’t let your drinking harm other people or yourself. Don’t let your friends drive drunk. Call them a cab like Goodfellas. Arrange drivers for your staff when you have work functions that involve drinking. Ask a friend to fetch you. Take cabs when you go out on the town. Being drunk is basically a state of temporary brain damage. Plan ahead to protect yourself and others from tragedy.

    Neil would have been 29 this year. It’s been ten years. I see glimpses of him in my toddler, Noah. He will never meet my husband or my kids. He will never have his own.

    He was on the right side of the road. He didn’t cause the accident.

    He wanted to be at work early at his very first job, that he’d just started at. He was a really nice, genuine guy.

    He didn’t deserve this.

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