Most people know and heed the common knowledge that drinking alcohol and driving do not mix. Operating any vehicle under the influence can lead to fatalities, injuries, property damage and legal consequences such as a DUI conviction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies every 50 minutes in the United States because of a drunk driver. Thankfully, certain tips can help prevent motorists from driving drunk altogether.
1. Eat food and stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water before, during and after indulging in alcoholic beverages. Avoid drinking carbonated or caffeinated drinks with alcohol, as these can increase the effects. Enjoy a meal before drinking; a full stomach will help you process the alcohol better.
2. Call a ride
Download any ridesharing app or save the taxi company’s number in your phone before you head out to drink. Utilize these services or public transportation to get you home safely.
3. Make plans to stay over
Anticipate staying at your friend’s or loved one’s home if you plan on drinking at their gathering. Your friend would likely rather host you for the night than face the consequences of your impaired driving.
4. Choose a designated driver
Select a person to remain sober and serve as the “designated driver” before the festivities begin. This prevents you from ever being in a position where you might drive drunk. If the driver at any point starts drinking alcohol, do not get in a vehicle with them. Even one drink may affect your safety.
5. Pace your drinking
Alcohol affects everyone’s body differently. Pace yourself by drinking only one alcoholic beverage per hour. Stop drinking at least 90 minutes before leaving the gathering or bar.
Drive safely and pull over to report any motorists you suspect are driving under the influence.