Posted on: May 30, 2023

Don't Drink and Drive: How To Plan Ahead To Prevent It?

Don't drink & drive

The goal of popular awareness campaigns such as "Drive sober or get pulled over" aim to prevent drinking and driving. Unfortunately, this dangerous practice continues to claim countless lives every year.

The best way to prevent drunk driving in the real world is to have a plan and stick to it. In this blog, we’ll identify ways to help you stay safe and avoid the devastating consequences of drinking and driving.

Dangers of Drinking and Driving

When your judgment is impaired by alcohol, you may think getting behind the wheel can seem safe.

But it's important to understand that under the influence, you have:

  • Impaired vision
  • Reduced ability to track moving objects
  • Slow reaction times
  • Reduced concentration
  • Inability to multitask
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty predicting consequences

All of those factors drastically increase the likelihood you'll get into a car accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 30 people are killed daily due to drunk driving. Drunk driving can kill you, but it's not just your life at risk. In fact, 1 out of 3 drunk driving victims are innocent bystanders.

Even if you don’t hurt yourself or someone else, you'll still have to deal with the expense of an accident, such as a tow truck, car repairs, or high insurance premiums.

Car crashes aren’t the only consequences of drunk driving. Checkpoints have become more common for catching drunk drivers, and impaired driving is readily apparent, so it can get you pulled over and possibly arrested.

Then you're dealing with the legal system, which can include jail time, fines, or a suspended or revoked license.

How To Prevent Drunk Driving

If you drink alcohol socially, what helps ensure safe driving?

It's simple, but not easy: you have to plan ahead.

Here are a few proactive ways to prevent drunk driving:

Don't Drink on an Empty Stomach

On an empty stomach, alcohol will hit your bloodstream harder and faster. Eating later won't "soak up the alcohol," so don't count on meals or coffee as a quick fix. Eating before you start drinking can help slow the effects of alcohol.

Designate a Sober Driver

If you're going out with friends, make sure one of you is willing to forgo the alcohol and play chauffeur at the end of the night.

There are a few ways to make sure you’re successful in picking a designated driver. First, make sure you agree on a designated driver well in advance, or at least before the night out begins. Second, you’ll want to make sure your DD has a good time. Pick up their part of the check and keep them involved in the conversation. Finally, make sure everyone does their fair share and takes a turn being the sober one.

Leave the Car at Home

Even if you don't have a designated driver, you can avoid driving drunk by getting where you're going using an alternative method. This can be by walking, taking public transportation, getting a ride, or calling a cab.

By leaving your car at home, you're guaranteeing you won't drive drunk that night.

Spend the Night

Drinking at someone's home? Ask the host if it’s okay for you to stay for the night. A sleepover is a much better option than driving home intoxicated.  

Choose Low Alcohol Content Drinks

Not all drinks are created equal. A long island iced tea has more alcohol than your average light beer. If it's all the same to you, choose drinks with a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) content. A person drinking cocktails with a lower ABV will have a lower blood alcohol content than someone choosing stronger drinks.

Give It Time

There are many different factors that can affect someone’s blood alcohol content. These include the person’s build, the number of drinks they’ve had, the amount of alcohol in those drinks, and how fast those drinks were consumed. Because everyone is different, everyone’s body absorbs alcohol at their own rate. The only thing you can really do to sober up is give your body time to get rid of the alcohol in your system.

Don't Trust a Friend to Judge That They're Sober

Your friend is just as likely to misjudge their sobriety as you are. Don't get in the car with someone who's been drinking just because they say they're safe to drive.

Preventing Drunk Driving by Planning Ahead

The best way to avoid driving drunk is to set up a plan for the end of the night. Following some of these tips can help you prioritize the safety of yourself and your friends or loved ones to prevent drunk driving.

Are you looking to make a positive impact and contribute to safer roads? Take the first step by enrolling in our online alcohol training program with TIPS today!