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Drinking and Driving

You hear it from your parents, you read it on the highway signs and you learn about it while taking your permit test when you start learning how to drive. But do you still partake in drunk driving? Aside from drinking and driving being a strictly enforced law, most of us don’t really know the dangers and consequences that come with driving while under the influence or don’t know enough to prevent it.

 

To start with the basics, driving under the influence is defined as operating any type of motor vehicle after or during the consumption of either alcohol or a drug substance. There is however, a legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rate of 0.08 that has been established by all 50 states as the legal limit for driving, and those with a 0.04 BAC will be considered a drunk driver and will be charged with a DUI. However, for those under the legal drinking age of 21 in the US if caught with any dose of blood alcohol concentration, you will be convicted for under-aged drinking and if the BAC is high enough, a DUI as well.

 

Once convicted of DUI charges you will now face the responsibility of paying. Not just financially speaking, but paying due time depending on your sentence. Long term effects include the charge forever staying on your record and popping up when you apply for a job, forcing your insurance rates to skyrocket, adding points to your license, or even ending up with the suspension of license and risking being convicted of a serious charge if an accident were to occur.

 

How to prevent it:

  • The most obvious way to prevent ourselves from being in the situation is to just avoid driving if you know you will end up drinking.

  • Know your limits and understand that “probably ok” is not ok and you should not be getting behind the wheel if you use this excuse.

  • When in doubt, Uber it out. Modern day has brought us the comfort of cheap and accessible transportation through just an app whether it be Uber or Lyft. Its better to spend those few dollars rather than face the endless financial issues that come with a DUI.

  • Ask a friend to drive if you can’t. Don’t be afraid to lean on your friends when it comes to something as serious as risking your life. If you take a shot, take shotgun.

  • If you see it, stop it. If you are sober and have a friend that you know is driving, offer them a ride and save them the trouble.

  • Assign someone as designated driver. If you absolutely know you will be out drinking choose someone, or if you have trust issues, volunteer yourself to be designated driver for the night and take turns so you can all have a fun and safe time.

  • Invest in a breathalyzer. Breathalyzers are a new way to test your BAC and get your percentage. Some more expensive than others, but in the end it will give you the information you need to know.

  • Look for a BAC chart. If you don’t own a breathalyzer follow this chart or search one up to help you determine your BAC however keep in mind that often BAC charts are not as accurate given everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. Suggested source : http://dui.drivinglaws.org/drink-table.php

Chart Courtesy of Boulder DUI attorney and criminal defense

 

Driving under the influence is a very serious offense, especially as more accidents coined to DUI charges occur. Always remember to play it safe and know the rules and consequences. It is ok to have fun, but it is also important to be safe rather than sorry.

 

For more information on DUI and DWI laws and prevention go to https://www.dmv.org/automotive-law/dui.php and search for your state.

 

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I am a student at Florida International University who is passionate about the power of expression and empowering women. I am a proud member of Alpha Xi Delta majoring in Marketing and International relations and hope to write to inform, inspire, or even to entertain through my works.
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