Everyone knows that driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a bad idea and can have life-altering consequences. Unfortunately, thousands of drivers still make the unwise decision to get behind the wheel after drinking, putting lives at risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28 people in the U.S. die in car accidents every day due to a drunk driver. While not every intoxicated driver causes a fatal accident, legal issues like a DUI can be life-changing and expensive.
Whether you’re planning on having a few drinks at happy hour with coworkers or celebrating your favorite football team’s victory, here are five ways to avoid a DUI:
When drinking alcohol, many people assume they can “handle” the same amount every time. Alcohol can affect you differently from one day to the next based on certain factors such as the amount of food and water you’ve had throughout the day, whether you’re battling a virus, or even the setting in which you’re drinking.
According to the Mayo Health Clinic, one drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of “hard alcohol” of 80 proof. Keep track of how many drinks you have and remember that not all drinks have the same amount of alcohol.
Across the U.S., if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or above, you could be convicted of a DUI. Understanding and monitoring your BAC can help you keep your drinking in check.
While there are apps to help you track your BAC, there are other things you can do such as drinking no more than one drink an hour, eating food with your drink, and drinking plenty of water. While these are not surefire ways to decrease your BAC, they can help you “pace” your alcohol consumption.
If you’re planning on drinking with friends, a make sure you’re hanging out with people you can trust and will have your back. Before you raise a glass to toast, make plans about how you will safely get home or select designated driver. Avoid making drinking a game or participate in any competitions.
Sometimes no one wants to be designated driver and other times, your driver doesn’t keep his or her promise. Have a backup plan for getting home. Whether you use a driving service, taxi, or plan to walk home, make sure you are safe and have a friend accompany you.
If you had a glass or two of wine with dinner, you might feel pretty good and alert. While your BAC may be well below the legal limit for a DUI, you are likely impaired in some way and could drive recklessly. If you drive while “buzzed” and get into an accident, you could still get into legal trouble.
Drunk driving continues to be a problem across the country, but you can avoid being another statistic by being smart while drinking.
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