What is Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving is when you are driving while there is still alcohol in your system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29 people die every day from motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver and there is one death every 50 minutes. Driving home while you are intoxicated is not worth endangering the lives of yourself and those on the road.
There could be a party or you go to a bar and you think that you have a good handle on your alcohol tolerance until you drink too much of it. Maybe you have a curfew or you are embarrassed to ask someone to give you a ride home in fear they will know you are drunk so you try to drive yourself. It is important to know just how severe alcohol can affect your driving. Alcohol has a way of changing your judgment, depth perception, and motor skills.
How Does Alcohol Affect Your Ability to Drive?
Alcohol can slow your reflexes which decreases your reaction to changing situations. So that means if something unexpected happens on the road like a car swiftly changes lanes or there is construction on the road, you may not be quick enough to use your brakes or turn quickly. Alcohol can also slow your eye muscle function, eye movement, and blurred vision.
Your perception should be perfect when you are on the road as unexpected things can always happen. Alcohol can make you lose control of the car’s position on the road and make you miss centers or cross the centerline. You can lose your ability to make rational decisions as well as reduced eye, hand, and foot coordination. You need to be able to have the ability to be quick with the brakes if anything happens.
What Counts as Drunk Driving?
According to VeryWellMind, a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .10 or greater is seven times more likely to have a fatal car crash than someone who has not consumed alcohol. A driver with an alcohol concentration of .15 or greater is 25 times more likely to get into an accident. A 160lb man that drinks two 12 ounce beers in one hour with a BAC of .02 is 1.4 times more likely of getting in an accident.
Even though the legal BAC level of dangerous driving is at .08 or greater, this can give people the misconception that lower than .08 means your driving will be safe. In reality, your skills can deteriorate with a BAC level of .02 like a decline in vision and not being able to do two tasks simultaneously. Do not rely on BAC calculators as you need to take your age, gender, rate of consumption, body type, metabolism, food eaten, tolerance, and other factors that contribute to how safe it is for you to drive while intoxicated.
What is a DUI?
A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) refers to your behavior and if you drive over the legal state limit as a first offense, you can get your license taken away for one year, be on probation, and be sentenced to outpatient treatment. You can be fully prosecuted if you commit multiple offenses and charged with vehicle manslaughter if you killed someone. A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) refers to your blood alcohol concentration which is considered more serious than a DUI. You would have to undergo a field sobriety test, breathalyzer, blood test, serve time in jail, enter a federally mandated program, and lose your license.
When undergoing all of these punishments, you may find none of them fair in the moment but if losing your license and going through any other punishment will teach you a lesson and keep other drivers safe, any punishment you suffer will be worth it.
How to Avoid Drunk Driving
You may make your own rules where you tell yourself you will only have one alcoholic drink per hour or that you will only drink alcoholic beverages with a low alcohol level but the safest you will be behind the wheel is with no alcohol at all. If you experience dramatic mood swings, slurred speech, and unsound judgment or someone points these qualities out to you, you should not be getting behind the wheel. Do not get upset with your friend if they notice you are not fit to drive and try to stop you as they are thinking of your safety.
If you are at a party and you feel the need to drink alcohol, make sure you come with a designated driver who does not plan on drinking that night. Also, do not be afraid to ask someone for a ride as it does not matter if you are too intoxicated. You should not be driving just so no one knows you are drunk or because you feel too embarrassed to tell anyone. Do not get upset if your friend takes away your keys because a good friend will not allow you to get in the car intoxicated.
Non-alcoholic drinks may be spiked with alcohol so it is best to bring your own drinks like bottled water, soda, and juice. Make sure that you eat plenty of food if you plan on drinking to slow down the absorption of alcohol in the circulatory system. Make sure that you have the number of a cab company ready to bring you home. It is important to think twice before getting in a car drunk as you should think of your health and those around you.
Get Treatment Today
If your alcohol abuse has led to drunk driving or other life-changing choices, it’s time to get treatment. At Bayview Recovery, we offer a variety of treatment options, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Yoga therapy
To learn more about our treatment programs or the dangers of drunk driving, don’t hesitate. Call 855.478.3650 today to talk to one of our admissions counselors.