We all know that drinking too much alcohol and jumping behind the wheel is a dangerous mix. Yet, many people still do it. The consequences can be serious injury, damage to property, fatalities, and legal ramifications. The CDC estimates that 29 people in the United States die each day in a motor vehicle crash that involves an alcohol-impaired driver.
The way to avoid such dire outcomes is to make good decisions and plan ahead. Here are some tips to avoid putting yourself in a driving under the influence situation.
Rely on Other Transportation
Not driving when drinking is the easiest way to avoid any chance of a DUI. If you live in an area or city served by taxis, public transportation, or rideshare offerings like Uber and Lyft, there’s no reason to gamble with driving on your own if you’ve had a few. Simply contact one of these options or have someone do it for you. Another idea is to choose someone to be the non-alcohol drinking designated driver before heading out. Trading the responsibility with a group of friends is a good way to ensure everyone gets home safe.
As a last resort, call someone to come and get you if you’ve been drinking. We live in a time when everyone has a mobile phone so just scroll through your contacts and find someone who will accommodate. You may owe them a return favor but it’s much better than taking a chance on the road.
Manage Your Consumption
Enjoying alcohol responsibly is fine. But monitoring your intake can be challenging. Always consider eating something substantial an hour before consuming alcohol. When drinking on an empty stomach, much of the alcohol passes quickly to the small intestines where most of it is absorbed into the bloodstream, thereby increasing your blood alcohol content (BAC). Additionally, consider lower alcohol options, cutting drinks with water or alternating with nonalcoholic drinks to keep a slower pace on your consumption. Generally, one drink per hour is a good gauge but it’s more important to know your own limits.
This one seems obvious, but the point is that you need to decide whether or not to drink based on the situation. If you find yourself alone at a party or bar and won’t be able to rely on alternate transportation, refrain from drinking alcohol and choose sodas, sports drink or a mocktail instead. Avoid doing shots or drinking punches that have been made with high proof alcohols. These can take effect quickly and greatly increase your BAC and your impairment.
What to Do If You Get A DUI
If you do find yourself with a DUI, contact an attorney for assistance. If this is your first offense, there may be less punitive steps available. Regardless, you may still have your license suspended, spend time in jail and be sentenced to additional fines and/or community service. Having an attorney by your side can ensure you get the best possible outcome.