December 18, 2017
Picture this: You’ve had a few drinks at a party. You’re feeling good, talking with friends and having a great time. It’s 11:00pm and it’s time to go home, but you drove to the party – what do you do?
You decide to drive home. You swerved a little in the high speed lane and a police officer pulled you over. He or she asks if you have been drinking and you say you had a few at a friend’s house, but you’re fine, right? Guess what – you take a breathalyzer test and you’re buzzed. You could be facing charges such as a misdemeanor, a felony, driver’s license revocation, fines and jail time. Was it worth it?
According to the NHTSA, approximately 29 people in the United States die every day in alcohol-impaired car accidents, claiming around 10,000 lives per year. In 2014, 20% of drivers tested positive for drugs. Whether you have taken legally prescribed or illegal drugs, your driving may be impaired.
According to federal law, the legal intoxication level in most states is 0.08. At this level of intoxication, you experience impairment in muscle coordination, reasoning, depth perception and peripheral vision. You exhibit reduced sensitivity to pain as well as feelings of euphoria and extraversion. If you continue to drink, you may exhibit nausea, vomiting, anger, memory blackout and possibility of death. You may be at a higher risk of death if you mix prescription or illegal drugs with alcohol. If you are prescribed medication, always ask the pharmacist for medication interactions.
Ultimately, it’s your job to be responsible. Help eliminate drunk driving by participating in responsible behavior:
Choose a friend or family member to be your designated driver or call a ride-sharing service to take you to where you need to go if you plan on drinking.
If your friends have been drinking or if you know they took drugs, do not let them drive. Take his or her keys and offer to call a friend, family member or taxi service. They may be upset with you now, but they will thank you later for saving their lives or saving them from a DUI.
If you are hosting a party where alcohol is being served, make sure your guests leave with a designated driver, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle or have them stay over. If you don’t, you could be liable if your friend or family member harms himself, herself or someone else.
This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.