Alcohol and the Effects of DrivingThe holiday season is now a wrap but let this serve as a reminder that getting behind the wheel of a car under the influence of alcohol or any other substance is never a good idea. You may have attended a number of festive dinners, family gatherings, or social outings this holiday, but now is good opportunity to remind you of some facts and myths surrounding alcohol and the effects on driving.

Think back over this past holiday season and consider this.  Imagine going to a neighborhood holiday party and drinking two drinks.  You felt fine when you left so you didn’t think about any adverse effects on your driving home until you hit a pedestrian that you just “didn’t see.”  The pedestrian suffered severe trauma and is still in the hospital receiving treatment for the injuries you caused.  Consider the consequences of this happening to you and the emotional and financial suffering you would endure.

Facts to Consider About Driving Under the Influence

  • The average person will drive 80 times before actually getting arrested and usually this is due to an auto accident.
  • In the U.S., 28 people per day are killed by a drunk driver.
  • Drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, or rolling down the window for cold air will NOT sober you up.
  • Typically, the impaired driver is the one who survives, while the passengers or the person he/she hits do not.
  • Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, with one-third of these accidents involving alcohol or another substance.

Ways to Ensure You Get Home Safely

All through the year, it is important to avoid drinking and driving.  Here are some variables to consider when going to social gatherings.

Don’t Drink- You can still enjoy a gathering and not partake in alcohol or other substances. Just plan to take the evening off and enjoy the festivities with alcohol free drinks.

Plan Ahead- If you do plan to indulge in some alcoholic drinks, plan ahead.  You can designate a sober driver ahead of time or plan to use an Uber or Lyft to reach your designation safely.

Wait Before Driving- The rule of thumb is to wait one hour for each drink you have had.  This gives your liver time to reduce your blood alcohol level.  When in doubt, don’t drive!  You can wait longer if necessary to avoid any negative effects of drinking and driving.  Also, it is wise to eat properly when drinking.  Drinking on an empty stomach will enhance the effects of alcohol.

Avoid Alcohol When Driving!

Even if you feel capable of driving after indulging in a few drinks, it is recommended you DON’T drink and drive. You must consider the risks, both financially and emotionally if you cause an accident or get stopped by the authorities and get a DUI.  It could result in extensive fines, legal expenses, and loss of license, to name a few. Some risks aren’t worth taking. Stay safe and don’t drink and drive!