Driving while under the influence of alcohol is always a bad idea. At best, you can end up with a costly DUI that might result in the suspension of your driver’s licence and other legal ramifications or fines. At worst, you can end up in an accident, injuring or even killing yourself or someone else. If you’re going out and know you will be drinking, plan in advance how you will get home safely.
Here are some tips to drink responsibly and avoid driving while impaired:
1. Take out the guesswork.
If you’re doing math in your head to calculate how many drinks you’ve had in how many hours and wondering if you’re “safe” to drive, then chances are you are not. Keep it simple. If you are drinking, don’t drive. Even if you think you feel fine, not drinking and driving at all is the ONLY way to be safe. If you MUST drive home then you need to plan accordingly. Ensure you’ve waited at least 2-3 hours since your last drink (more if you’ve had several).
2. Designate a driver
Whenever you are going out with friends, designate one person to be the driver and that person needs to make sure they stay sober that night. If you often go out with the same social circle then take turns being the designated driver – which means it will be your turn on some occasions. If you are the designated driver, stick to it. You can also swap being the designated driver with your spouse if you often go out together. If you’re going out alone and have no other means to get home, don’t drink.
3. Get a ride
Depending on your location, there are many options to get a ride home. You can call a cab, an Uber, or take public transit. It’s helpful to plan in advance if you’re going to be using one of these options. Have the phone number or app ready and make sure you have enough cash if necessary. Spending the money to get home safely is always worth it.
4. Spend the night
If you’re going to a party or gathering at a close friend’s house where you will be drinking, ask them in advance if you are able to crash on the couch and spend the night where you can safely drive home in the morning.
5. Give someone your keys
If you think you’ll be tempted to drive home after drinking, leave your keys with a responsible friend or family member who won’t let you have them back until you’re sober.
6. Never get in a vehicle with someone who’s been drinking
It’s incredibly dangerous to be in a vehicle with someone who’s been drinking. Do not encourage your friends to drive while drinking and never get in a vehicle with a drunk driver behind the wheel.
We’ve all heard the statistics when it comes to drinking and driving and no one wants to be one of them. If you plan in advance how you will get home safely you will still be able to enjoy a night out with alcohol and avoid drinking and driving along with any DUI convictions that could be made against you.