How to Avoid Drunk Driving

Drunk driving often results in injury, death and legal consequences. Protecting yourself and others from the dangers of drinking and driving is imperative. Everyone understands that drinking and driving don’t aren’t a good duo, however, many ignore the dangers of doing it. According to the CDC, 29 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver each day.

What is drinking and driving?

Information provided by State Farm:

States differ in what they call it. Some use terms like driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, drunk driving or impaired driving. All states except Utah consider a baseline blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% a crime. For those under age 21, zero-tolerance laws criminalize driving with very small amounts of alcohol. States may also have enhanced penalties in place for those who drive with very high BACs, minors in the vehicle or multiple convictions.

The consequences of drunk driving

When driving drunk, the cognitive ability and responsiveness of the driver is compromised, which increases the likelihood of an accident. State Farm notes:

  • Most states suspend your license for varying lengths of time — sometimes up to a year. Multiple convictions typically equal a revocation of a license. Drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) might have their licenses suspended for a longer period.
  • The employers of drivers with a CDL could also be liable for the actions of the driver. The driver’s future employment might also be impacted.
  • Some states require mandatory jail time — even for a first offense — as well as fees and fines.
  • You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car; if it detects alcohol, it will prevent you from operating the vehicle.
  • A single drunk driving conviction may lead to job loss or restrictions (i.e., operating company vehicles).
  • Higher insurance rates almost always accompany drunk driving convictions.
  • If you sustained injuries in an auto accident as a result of your drunk driving, depending on the laws of your state, your insurance company may deny payment for treatment of your injuries

How to Detect Drunk Drivers

There are several signs associated with drunk driving. While on the road, keep these signs in mind to avoid all accidents

  • Making wide turns
  • Drifting or straddling the center line
  • Almost striking an object or vehicle
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Driving at a very slow speed
  • Stopping without cause or warning
  • Constant braking
  • Responding slowly to traffic signals
  • Turning abruptly or illegally
  • Driving after dark with headlights off.

How to Stop Drinking and Driving

Always make good decisions and plan ahead. Here are some solutions to avoid drunk driving, provided by State Farm:

  • Always choose a non-drinking designated driver — every time you go out.
  • Never feel pressured to drink alcohol. If you do plan on drinking, do so responsibly.
  • If you’ve been drinking, call a car-sharing service for a ride.
  • Do not get in a car with a drunk driver.
  • If you can safely do so, protect others by taking their keys if they attempt to drive after consuming alcohol. They may be mad at you, but the alternative is much worse.

The holidays bring a host of emotions and events, however, ASCI urges everyone to do all they possibly can to remain safe at all times. Be responsible!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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