Drinking and driving do not mix. Alcohol affects the brain in more ways than one. It clouds your decision-making capabilities, and hampers your judgment. While driving requires full concentration and quick reflexes, alcohol and drugs slow you down and affect your ability to drive safely.
There are many initiatives and programs in place to prevent drunken drivers from getting behind the wheel. Unless these efforts are supplemented by community-based programs that educate people and create awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving, it will be hard to get the message across.
It is important that we do our best to avoid drinking and driving, and educate our driving population. DUI statistics are alarming – one in every three traffic crashes involve a drinking driver. Underage and teen drinking are also widespread, with crashes being the top killer of teens in our country. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among male teen drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 35 percents had been speeding, and 25 percents had been drinking.
Here, we take a look at how we can reduce drinking and driving, and bring down the number of precious lives being lost on the road.
It is all too easy to get caught up in partying and binge drink when you are out and about on the town. It is necessary that you have a designated driver who will be able to give you a safe ride home. The driver should know his or her responsibilities, and must abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages. He or she should also know the addresses of all passengers, hold a valid driving license, and have emergency contact information on hand.
Rely on Mass Transport
Sometimes, even designated drivers may slip, leaving you with no one sober to ferry you home. In such cases, you can rely on mass transport and get a ride home on a bus or train, or you can flag down a taxi. Look up the schedules of buses and trains to avoid having to hang around at a bus stop or station platform.
These are easy, quick, and affordable means to get home without taking the risk of driving while under the influence.
Hide Keys If You Suspect Trouble
Drinking can lull you into a false sense of security, making it easier to make mistakes. If you suspect that you may get tipsy, it will be smart to ask a friend to hide your keys to avoid trouble. In the same manner, if a drunken friend insists on driving, it will be better to take away the keys.
Better still: Leave your vehicle behind when you go to attend a party. Make arrangements for transport beforehand, so that you are not left stranded after the party. Book a cab in advance so that there is someone to pick you up if you are drunk. You can also consider sleeping over at a friend’s place, or arrange for a lift with a sober driver.
Be Mindful When Throwing a Party
It is important that you be careful when throwing a party. Serve a full meal and have plenty of appetizers on hand. A full stomach will slow down the rate of alcohol absorption.
Ensure that you offer non-alcoholic beverages like soda, juices, and water to keep consumption of alcohol down. If your guests have alternatives, they might prefer to consume less of alcoholic beverages, thereby reducing the chances of DUI.
Our body takes at least an hour to metabolize one drink, so stop serving alcohol at least an hour or two before the party winds down.
Have contact information of local cab services available, so that your guests will be able to get home safely. You can also make sleeping arrangements at home to accommodate guests.
Wait for the Right Time
It is important that you leave a considerable time-gap between your last drink and getting behind the wheel. Remember that if you have drunk heavily, there will be alcohol content in your blood even the morning after. You might feel better, but a sobriety test will do you in. Also, your driving will certainly be impaired, increasing your chances of being involved in a crash.
Sobering-up tricks – though they are popular – never really work. Sipping on endless cups of coffee, taking a cold shower, taking anti-hangover drugs, or even vomiting out what’s in your system will not prevent a hangover. What you can do is down a few bananas, and drink coconut water as well as plenty of water. Bananas are rich in potassium and help cure the hangover. Coconut water also restores electrolyte balance in your body, helping you to get over a hangover quickly. Water will help you stay hydrated and decrease alcohol absorption.
Listen to Your Body
Each of our bodies reacts differently to alcohol. If you are going out for a long night, ensure that your body is ready for it.
A good night’s sleep will prepare your body for drinking, and will slow down alcohol absorption in blood. A tired body will not respond well to alcohol, magnifying the sedative effect of alcohol. If you down a drink or two, think you are sober, and choose to drive home, then the chances of getting a DUI charge are very high. You will then need the services of a Maine DUI lawyer to help you.
Also, know that dark liquors are more potent than the clear ones, and will give the worst hangover. Clear liquors like vodka sodas will help you feel better at the end of the night, and you can wake up feeling fresh and ready for a new day. Do not pair your liquor with diet sodas because the artificial sweeteners in them will accelerate alcohol absorption and increase your blood alcohol content (BAC). So, stick to regular sodas to stay on the safer side.
Be Careful When Choosing to Drink
Irresponsible drinking is never the right thing to do – and, getting behind the wheel after a long night out can land you in jail, or even take your life as well as that of others. Your driving license is a privilege granted to you, and if you do not use it wisely, you can be barred from driving forever. Be careful about your drinking habits, listen to your body, and never drink and drive. You can avoid a lifetime of trouble by just being sensible.