Designated Drivers are Essential on College Campuses

Jordan Sherman, Contributing Writer

This past week when students were walking to go eat in the Serve, a huge sign had been put up with the question, “What should we do with $25,000?”. Written up on the sign with a huge circle around it was “the drunk bus”. The “drunk bus” was a bus that took students to and from the bars in Storm Lake during the weekend. This has been a tradition on and off at BVU for decades. Last year because of Covid-19, it was not available for students to use, and the service was not brought back for this year. It is unclear why the riding service did not return; a few possibilities are the cost and having nobody to drive the bus. From the sign, it’s clear students want this service back.  

Having a designated driving service allows for students to safely get to and from the bars without having the risk of drunk drivers out on the streets. Harold Gerr Law Firm explains, “The fatality rate for drunk driving car accidents is highest among college students who are between 21 and 24 years old. An estimated 2,000 college students between the ages of 18 to 24 die each year from alcohol-related car accidents, and an estimated 120,000 victims are treated in emergency rooms across the country.”  

Providing transportation prevents drunk driving and it also makes sure students are not walking to and from the bars, as this is incredibly unsafe. Students think this is an alternative for drunk driving, but they can still receive a public intoxication ticket from the police.  For example, Malarky’s, a popular bar for college students in Storm Lake, is about a five-minute drive from campus but around a twenty-five-minute walk. A lot can happen in that time frame if someone is driving under the influence or walking.  

Providing a designated driver for college students allows them to safely partake in partying and drinking. It’s like that saying that Moms have, “If you’re going to do it, I’d rather you do it at home, so I know you’re safe”. That saying goes for colleges and drinking. They know students are going to do it no matter what, so they should make it safe for students. It should not be looked at as the school encouraging parting and drinking. Instead, it should be looked at as a preventative for accidents. Providing transportation allows for all students to get to and from safely and colleges don’t have to worry about their top students receiving OWIs and Public Intoxication tickets that could ruin the reputation of the college campuses and ruin that students future career. Or even worse, a fatal accident that could result in the loss of students or others.  

Bringing the drunk bus back for students to use will make sure BVU is a college campus that is 100% free from drunk drivers. It is not encouraging drinking and partying. Students are going to drink and party no matter what the schools’ rules are. So, instead of trying to take away the resource’s students used to get to and from the bars safely. The drunk bus should make a return next year after a two-year hiatus and give the students what they want.