Diversity Is Strength! It`s Also…Drunk Driving

by Brenda Walker:

The Sierra Club Toxifies Itself

Thought for Cinco de Mayo: take
cover. America`s highways are becoming far more
dangerous because of

cultural differences
—unassimilated foreigners who
believe that knocking down

10 beers
before hitting the road is no problema.
And drunk driving is an accepted behavior among Mexicans
in particular.

Americans have changed their
outlook regarding this irresponsible activity over the
past few decades partly because of the commendable
consciousness-raising efforts of

Mothers Against Drunk Driving
(MADD). But there has
been no such

cultural shift

or in

. There are laws against drunk driving there,
but a small bribe to the arresting officer may be all
that is required to fix things. Mexico City police

breathalyzers and checkpoints on Christmas
Eve and New Year`s Eve last year, saying that drunks
would sleep it off before driving.

Traditionally, drinking to excess

valued in Mexican and Latin culture
, where it is
seen an expression of machismo. Moreover, MADD

that Hispanics believe it takes 6-8 drinks
to affect driving, while Americans think it takes 2-4

In 2001,

to MADD, 44.1 percent of California`s
drunk driving arrests in 2001 were of Hispanics,
although Hispanics made up only 31.3 percent of the
state`s population.

The general incidence of drunk
driving has

worsened in California—
parallel with the

skyrocketing Latino population
. Accidents involving
drunk drivers increased overall

nearly 5 percent
in the state in 2000, with an
uptick in Los Angeles County of 7.6 percent in that

Motor vehicle crashes
are the

leading cause of death
for Hispanics ages 1-44.

Experts on the front lines agree

extreme drunkenness
is not uncommon in DUI arrests
of Latinos. Austin police officer Robert Smith, who has
worked the late-night drunk patrol for over three years,

noted higher rates of blood alcohol
: "One thing I
have noticed is that the Hispanics I arrest for DWI, 90
percent of the time, are more drunk than the white and
black people I arrest."

Assistant Dean at the University of
Texas School of Public Health in Dallas Raul Caetano put
it this way, "The profile of a drunk driver in
California is a young Hispanic male, and I bet you have
a similar situation all over the Southwest."
referred to a national survey, saying, "The
traditional pattern of drinking in Mexico is one of
infrequent drinking of high amounts."
troubling trend: Hispanics and DWI Latinos account for
nearly half of 2002 Austin arrests
By Claire Osborn
and Andy Alford

Austin American-Statesman
Sunday, July 20, 2003]

Statistics from Austin support the
observations of these men:  Of 3,007 drunken driving
arrests in 2002, 43 percent involved Hispanic men, even
though they comprised only about 11 percent of the
city`s driving population. And the story is similar
elsewhere: North Carolina drunk driving arrests of
Hispanics in 2000 amounted to 12.3 percent of the total
87,781 DUI arrests, while Latinos were 4.7 percent of
the population according to the Census.

Beyond the drunk driving statistics
are tragedies that have been devastating to American

  • Kenny Shackleford lost his
    19-year-old son Christopher to a drunk-driving illegal
    alien. "I view drunk drivers as highway

    "They`re terrorizing everybody, they`re
    killing people right and left."

Christopher, an aspiring film maker
at Georgia State University, was one of three young
people who were killed when a car driven by a drunken
Mexican crossed the center line and crashed into them
head-on. Julieanne Pasco of Kennesaw and Miechelle
Bourgeois of Woodstock also died in the accident.

Illegal alien Sergio Montelongo-Sanchez
had more than twice the legal blood alcohol when he
caused the crash: he had

drunk 10 to 15 beers before driving. In
May 2001, Montelongo-Sanchez pleaded guilty to vehicular
homicide in the deaths of three people, DUI, reckless
driving, possession of alcohol by a minor, and several
other charges. For all that, he was sentenced to 45
years in prison.

  • Tricia Taylor, 18, of Clarkston,
    Michigan, and companion Noah Menard, were walking to
    his car after attending a concert in Pontiac when both
    were struck and severely injured by Jose Carcamo,
    whose car was traveling between 50 and 75 miles per
    hour on a street posted for 25 mph. One report stated
    that Carcamo has had

    17 violations
    since 1995. The INS had twice begun
    deportation proceeding against Carcamo to return him
    to El Salvador, but did not follow through.

In this crime, Carcamo was found to
have been driving under the influence, with a blood
alcohol level of .08.

As Tricia Taylor stated at
Carcamo`s sentencing, "What you give him won`t come
close to the sentence he gave me for the rest of my
She lost both legs above the knees [See

] and faces a life of pain and disability,
while Carcamo will serve only 3 to 5 years in prison.

Carcamo sent a

note of apology
to Taylor and Menard, but misspelled
the names. She responded, "It hurts me every time I
see him. He acts like he`s sorry, but you`d think he
would know our names."
She is not forgiving, either:
"I have my whole life with no legs … I`m only 18. He
gets no forgiveness."

  • The tragic death of 18-year-old

    Gary Selby
    in 1992 has been made even worse for
    his family because Samuel Avalos Gallardo, the illegal
    alien who killed him in a drunk-driving accident, was
    mistakenly placed by the Nevada Department of
    Corrections into minimum security incarceration and
    escaped within six months of beginning his 40-year
    sentence. Gallardo had been driving very drunk in the
    wrong direction on Interstate 80, with blood alcohol
    at three times the legal limit. He crashed head-on
    into the car driven by Gary Selby and carrying three
    passengers. Gary was killed immediately. His friends
    survived but were badly injured.

Knowledge that the killer is free

has left the

Selby family`s wounds open
. Gary`s aunt, Holly Bayol,
keeps up a remembrance website for her nephew, as she
holds on to the belief that Gallardo will be caught and
imprisoned, as justice requires. (Please imprint the

of Samuel Avalos Gallardo on your memory and
notify the police if you see him.)

Americans have developed to the
point where they no longer condone drunk driving. But to
no avail. Illegal aliens with no such compunctions are
dangerously careening across our highways every day.
It`s worse than unfair to the victims of these lowlifes
who are so drunk they can`t find the right side of the

Driving responsibly with your

seatbelt fastened
in your fuel-efficient car won`t
help when a dead-drunk driver has his clunker barreling
straight for you at highway speed.

Our immigration disaster is turning
America into two (or more) nations, under

. American highway deaths because of
immigrant drunk driving are but one symptom. 

Brenda Walker [email
] lives in Northern
California and publishes