Like many people, I enjoy the summer weather. Spending time with family and friends outside, enjoying the weather and the good times. This often brings out the alcohol to enhance the experience. Unfortunately, consuming too much alcohol during a hot day can become dangerous.
Alcohol and the sun can both cause you to dehydrate. The sun will often cause your body to sweat in order to help you to stay cool. If those fluids aren’t replaced regularly, your body will undergo a variety of reactions. This includes having you feel very thirsty, dizzy, or even fatigued.
Constant exposure to the sun and heat can greatly magnify the effects that consuming alcohol can bring. If you were to overdo it, drinking alcohol can drastically impact your physical and mental capabilities, thus interfering with things like your balance, coordination, and your judgment. This means that only an alcoholic drink or two can put you at risk during many hot-weather activities.
Having prolonged dehydration can also increase your risk of some type of heat injury. This would include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke if you stay in the sun too long. This is why it’s important to stay hydrated, but not with alcohol.
As a note, caffeine from coffee, soft drinks, or some type of mixed drink can heighten your dehydration risk even more. You may want to add that to the list of factors working against you. And if you are dehydrated, it may cause you to be confused and have trouble with your coordination. Sounds a lot like being impaired, doesn’t it?
If you plan to hang out all day at the beach or at a backyard barbecue, you make attempts try to limit your alcohol consumption. However, if you choose to consume alcohol, alternate your alcoholic drinks with low-sodium fluids, such as water or sports drinks. Not only will this help to avoid dehydration, but it can also help to reduce your alcohol consumption. This would be important if you had plans to drive home later. This is because, as many of us know, alcohol seems to impair your judgment and can also promote risk-taking.
Just like wearing seat belts is a normal practice while driving a vehicle, there must be something we can do to ensure we’re safe to drive after spending the day in the sun and consuming alcohol. There is.
Using a breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp can also become the new normal, regardless of where you are consuming alcoholic beverages. A handheld breathalyzer is easy to use and far less expensive than crashing your vehicle, receiving a license suspension, or an insurance increase.
Taking this action prior to leaving the event gives you enough information to know whether you should be waiting before driving or if you should consider taking another way home. Once you know your alcohol level is too high to drive, it’s time to put the other plans into place. Taking the back way home or driving slowly should never be one of the plans. And as they say at Not Your Child Corp, “When you feel different, you drive different. Drive sober.”
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.