A Guide to Avoid Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving is a leading cause of injuries and deaths in America, endangering not only the driver in question but everyone around them on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 29 deaths a day, on average, related to drunk driving. The CDC has also found that drunk driving incidents cause up to $44 million in damages per year. Although these costs may be burdensome, a human life is priceless and its loss is irreversible. Yet drinking and driving is an entirely preventable act; with awareness of these risks, these damaging results can be stopped.

How to Stop Drinking and Driving

Preventing a drunk driving accident begins with learning how drinking can impair your driving skills and what the legal limit is for drinking before you drive. The law dictates that driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more is illegal. One way to avoid drinking and driving is to get a better idea of how many drinks you can have before you hit the legal limit, which you can figure out using a blood alcohol calculator; this number will be different for everybody depending on your body composition.

However, you can feel the effects of alcohol before this point, and drinking before driving can impair your judgment, alertness, and small-muscle control, such as your ability to focus your eyes quickly on potential hazards on the road. The best way to ensure that you never drive drunk is simply to not drink and drive: Either stay sober or designate a sober driver before you start drinking. Prevention is in your hands.

How to Detect Drunk Drivers

While the police have their own way of detecting drunk drivers, knowing how to spot one yourself will set you up to not only protect yourself but also protect others by reporting them. If you're driving on the road and see a car in front of you swerving, keeping an inconsistent speed, or both, then it's possible that the driver has been drinking. Other things to look out for are drivers who come close to hitting objects on the road or drive in the opposite lane. Drivers tailgating you or other cars may also be drunk behind the wheel. When you come across someone you think may be drunk, the best thing to do is call 911 to report the vehicle and its license plate number. From there, let the police take care of the rest.

The Consequences of Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving come with both long- and short-term consequences. In terms of the law, drunk driving almost always yields a DUI charge, which will haunt you for the rest of your life. Often, getting a DUI will land you in jail for however many nights the police deem necessary. After that, the court may order you to get addiction treatment or attend driving safety courses. You may also face fines and/or having your driver's license suspended. But legal consequences aren't the only consequences of drinking and driving: Drunk driving is likely to lead to an accident on the road, which can claim lives. If you're still alive after an accident that leads to someone else's injury or death, you will be held accountable for it and potentially charged with manslaughter.


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