Let me get right to the point. The facts remain that drinking and driving can result in serious injuries, fatalities, damage to property and heavy legal consequences. Protecting yourself from the risks of drinking and driving is strongly to your advantage. But you probably already know this.
I would have to guess that the majority of people know that drinking and driving are things which should never be combined but, unfortunately, many people still do it and don’t take actions to avoid driving after drinking alcohol. Across Canada, there are approximately between 1200 and 1500 fatalities related to drinking and driving each year. That’s far too many and something should be done about it. That’s where you come in. It’s time to gain more knowledge about the subject so you won’t have to be a statistic.
What is drinking and driving?
Throughout social media and the news media, you may find different jurisdictions vary in what they call it. Some use terms like driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunk driving or impaired driving. With regard to each of the Canadian provinces, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for fully licensed drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol for 100 millilitres of blood. This is often referred to as 0.08%. Each of us should know that driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more is considered a criminal offence and the penalties are quite severe. Yes, I did say criminal offense.
The consequences of drinking and driving
When you take the risk and decide to drink and drive, you end up compromising your cognitive ability to think effectively and adjust to driving situations and respond accordingly. This greatly increases your risk for being in a vehicle collision. If you happen to be caught, a single drinking and driving infraction may have legal, financial, personal and even professional ramifications. Is it worth it yet?
Across Canada, having a BAC at or above 0.08% carries with it a license suspension, vehicle impoundment and a fine for the first offense and jail time for any offenses after that. That jail time can seriously affect your job, legal ramifications and relationships. No, it’s not worth it.
How can you stop drinking and driving?
We know that making good decisions and planning ahead are right up there with how to avoid driving after drinking. You could also choose a non-drinking designated driver each time you go out or find other means of trans. If you do go out alone, try to avoid drinking alcohol. You may want to order a non-alcoholic beverage instead. Avoid feeling pressured to drink alcohol if you had no intentions of drinking. If you plan on drinking, do so responsibly. Eat plenty of food and drink water between alcoholic drinks.
So, let’s say you feel sober enough to drive, how can you be so sure? The simple answer is by using an individual breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp. They are each to use and provide quick, accurate readings to know if you should be getting behind the wheel of a vehicle yet. Make these the new normal and carry one with you. If not, you do have alternative ways to get home, right?
Scott Marshall has spent over 30 years promoting road safety in many jurisdictions. He has been a road safety journalist since 2005. Scott was also an on-air judge on the Discovery Network’s Canada’s Worst Driver during their first 3 seasons on the air. Not YourChildCorp. is proud to have Scott @Safedriver as a frequent contributor, his insights are irreplaceable.