Saturday, July 03, 2010

Vince Neil: Please Don’t Drive!

I feel very bad for musicians who struggle with alcohol addiction. We live in a culture in which alcohol is legal, accepted, and promoted… but many people are addicted to it. I don’t drink alcohol, but I do not support banning it. Unlike the use of drugs, alcohol is legal. Alcohol is also accepted in social events. The use of alcohol among those over 21 years-old is not frowned upon like smoking is. The problem is that while alcohol is legal, some people who consume too much of it can develop major substance abuse issues.

On the other hand, I cannot feel bad for those who drink and drive. I have a higher level of anger at those who are rich and famous who drink and drive, because they can afford to have designated drivers (and in many cases, fans who would drive them around for free). I believe that with financial resources and fan support, celebrities have a stronger ability to avoid getting a DUI. I would completely support tougher fines/jail sentences for celebrities who get charged with a DUI because they have the best resources to avoid driving while drunk.

Vince Neil was recently arrested for driving while he was drunk. He is one of the worst offenders that I can imagine writing about. On December 8, 1984, Vince was driving drunk while the drummer, Razzle of Hanoi Rocks, was in his car. Vince crashed into another car. Razzle died at the age of 24 and Hanoi Rocks later disbanded.

So Vince Neil’s choice to drink and drive led to the death of a beloved drummer. I will admit that Razzle is not 100% innocent like the passengers in the other car, because Razzle chose to ride in the car with Vince Neil knowing that Vince was drinking. Regardless of the fact that Razzle chose to ride in the car, he still paid the ultimate price for his decision. Vince should have learned from this situation because he caused the death of a friend. I believe that the jail time that he served for his actions was not long enough. Had he killed one of the passengers of the other vehicle, he probably would have gone to jail for years.

Vince Neil is not immune to tragedy himself. In 1995, his daughter, Skylar, passed away. He knows what it is liked to lose a loved one. He also knows what it is like to be responsible for the death of another person due to driving while drunk. One of the members of his own band, bassist Nikki Sixx, actually died of an overdose for two minutes and was brought back to life by the paramedics. Vince Neil is wealthy enough to pay for a taxi to pick him up if he is too drunk to drive. He has plenty of fans who would be honored to give him a ride home just to be able to say that they helped him out. There is no excuse for his reckless behavior.

I have pure sympathy for anyone who cannot control their addiction to alcohol. If Vince Neil is having difficulty trying to stay sober, I can understand that. I do not frown on those who suffer from an addiction to alcohol. But his decision to drive after drinking is horrible and knowing that he already killed one person by driving while being drunk, he deserves a long jail sentence. I want him to get better. I really do. But his actions are not just risking his own life. He is risking the lives of others… again.

For those who have not heard the music of Razzle’s former band, Hanoi Rocks, I strongly recommend that you watch the video of their song “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” on YouTube. Here is the link:


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