The Dangers of Drunk Driving
One of the worst things you can do when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is doing so when you’re intoxicated. Not only does driving drunk impair your vision and motor skills, but it is also illegal. While you may think a few cocktails isn’t enough to cause problems, you would be surprised how even just one drink can result in a DUI.
According to recent statistics, around 30 people die every single day in motor vehicle crashes caused by a drunk driver. To put that in perspective, that’s a death every 48 minutes. Even worse, all of these deaths are completely preventable if people would simply choose not to get behind the wheel.
A Very Strange Note
For Shelly Harrison and her husband, it had been one of the worst months of their lives. Not only were they struggling financially, but their relationship was in one of the rockiest places it had ever been. However, the couple was determined to enjoy their anniversary. After a nice night of drinking and laughter, Shelly decided to leave her car in the parking lot. When she returned the next day, she found a note on her windshield.
You won’t believe what it said.
Falling on Hard times
Residing in Sherwood Park, Canada, Shelly, and her husband had fallen on some very hard times. First, she received a parking ticket at her father’s funeral, then while she was parked at the courthouse to contest the ticket, she received another one. Shelly didn’t think things could get much worse, but boy was she wrong.
Trying To Stay Strong
Returning home from the courthouse, Shelly discovered an eviction notice. This forced her to once again return to the courthouse to settle the dispute, which resulted in…you guess it…ANOTHER parking ticket. Regardless of the bills piling up and trying to save for a new apartment, Shelly remained strong in front of her husband.
However, when he returned home one evening and said “we need to talk,” she knew things were about to get much worse.
Shelly’s husband informed her that he had been laid off from his job. While most people would crumble under the weight of the pressure, Shelly kept her head held high. The couple chose to make the best of what they had and stretch every dollar, so they could enjoy a nice night out for their upcoming anniversary. Little did they know, that night would change their lives in more ways than one.
To celebrate all their years together, Shelly and her husband enjoyed a lovely dinner at Original Joe’s Restaurant in Sherwood Park. The night was filled with laughter, memories and a few drinks…perhaps one too many. After dinner, the couple made their way to the car, but Shelly didn’t feel she should be driving.
A Wise Choice
Shelly was afraid she’d end up with another ticket if she left her car in the parking lot, but she also knew the dangers of getting behind the wheel intoxicated. “You don’t have to be drunk to be impaired,” she told Today. “I wasn’t some crazy drunk lady, but I definitely had no business driving.”
The couple lived in a very rural town, so cabs were rare and Uber was expensive. However, they didn’t have much choice and decided to be responsible and called an Uber. The plan was for Shelly to retrieve the car the next day.
However, something happened that made it impossible.
The Snowstorm Cometh
Stepping outside the next morning, Shelly realized she wasn’t going anywhere. A snowstorm had blown through the area and it was way too dangerous to get on the road. Shelly feard she would be facing another parking ticket, but had no choice in the matter. It would end up being two days before she could make it back to the restaurant.
You won’t believe what she found on the windshield.
The Mysterious Note
Arriving back at the restaurant, Shelly’s heart sank. The car was buried under four inches of snow and on the windshield, a note was pinned underneath the wiper. How could she possibly afford another parking ticket?
A Sense of Dread
Shelly didn’t want to read the note, knowing it most likely was going to cost her a pretty penny. She also feared it could be an angry note from the restaurant for leaving her car there. However, when she opened it, she was shocked by what it said.
A Letter from the Management
Shelly couldn’t believe her eyes. The note was from the restaurant’s management, but it wasn’t an angry one. “I’m not sure if you had consumed alcohol at our restaurant or not,” the note read. “But we wanted to thank you for not drinking and driving.”
Even better, the restaurant rewarded Shelly for being responsible.
Rewarded for Responsibility
Besides the note of thanks, the letter continued with a reward for Shelly. “Enclosed is a voucher for 1lb of our delicious chicken wings. Please accept this as a thank you for being responsible. Life is valuable, have a great weekend.”
Shelly was stunned by their generosity and kindness. She immediately took to Facebook to spread the word of the restaurant’s amazing actions.
Taking to Social Media
“When I found the letter on my windshield, I thought I was getting in trouble for leaving my car in front of the entryway to the pub. Wow! I’m so impressed. Definitely going back,” wrote Shelly on a Facebook.
Soon, her post went viral.
An Overwhelming Response
Shelly was amazed by the response to her post, and it was shared over 5,000 times. She hoped it would inspire other restaurants to implement programs that rewarded patrons for being responsible. However, the manager admitted it wasn’t his idea.
Being a Good Business Owner
Jay McClean, the manager of the restaurant revealed that he took the idea from a local bar. “I just thought to operate a restaurant in a rural type area like Sherwood Park where transit is minimal and a lot of people drive, I just thought it was the perfect match.”
However, not all the response was positive.
Some of the responses to Shelly’s story tried to make claims that McLean was only trying to advertise for Original Joes. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Shelly immediately took to Facebook to shut down the lies and rumors.
Clearing Things Up
Shelly posted: “Jay, is a great guy, truly only doing what he feels is right. I can’t believe that some people actually are accusing him of taking advantage of the situation. He’s been doing it for over a year, with no expectations. Just being a good guy.”
Regardless of the motives, the message of not drinking and driving was a beneficial one.
Hoping This Spreads
Shelly continues to hope her story encourages others to not drink and drive. While it may be inconvenient to leave your vehicle, your life is worth so much more. We hope more restaurants follow in Original Joe’s footsteps and reward patrons for making the right choice.