According to State Farm, there are over 300,000 drunk driving incidents each day. In all 50 states, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher is classified as driving under the influence. Consuming any amount of alcohol can impair your ability to drive safely, so it’s best to avoid drinking and driving altogether. Here’s what you can do to avoid getting a DUI charge this summer. Use these six tips to keep yourself and others safe from the dangers of drunk driving.
1. Ask a Friend to Drive
If you’re planning on going out, make arrangements with a friend in advance for them to drive you home. Getting someone you trust to drive you home is an even safer option than calling a cab or rideshare. Ask your friend to tag along with you to the party so you can enjoy the night knowing someone sober is watching your back. Make sure your designated driver doesn’t drink, and never get in a vehicle with someone who is under the influence.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
If you want to drink but can’t find a friend to drive you home, be sure to drink a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage you consume. If you’re going to drive yourself home, do not consume more than one drink per hour. Drinking any more than that may cause your blood alcohol concentration to rise above the legal limit. Pace yourself and drink water to avoid the effects of the alcohol.
3. Crash on the Couch
Are you headed to a house party? Ask the host if it’s alright for you to spend the night. You may be stuck sleeping on the floor or the sofa, but it’s better than spending the night in jail! If you’re going out to a bar, you can treat yourself by booking a nice room in a nearby hotel. Be sure to make sleeping arrangements before you start drinking so you can make wise, sober choices.
4. Hide Your Keys
If you have a tendency to underestimate how impaired you are while drinking, it’s smart to have someone hide your keys. You may be tempted to drive if you have your car keys on you. Even if you “feel fine,” it’s never okay to drive while drunk, so be sure to have a friend hide your keys for you at the beginning of the night. If you use this trick, be sure to leave your keys with someone you trust! You don’t want to have your keys lost or your car stolen.
5. Eat a Big Dinner
If you want to enjoy a few beverages without getting drunk, be sure to eat a big dinner before you leave home. Treat yourself to meats, cheeses, and carbohydrate-dense foods to cushion your stomach. It’s best to avoid soda because the carbonation will allow your body to absorb the alcohol faster. Stick with water and indulge in your favorite comfort foods before heading out on the town.
6. Stop Drinking and Wait
If you want to leave the party at two o’clock in the morning, you’ll need to stop drinking around midnight. If you find yourself without a way home after a night of drinking, you must cut yourself off at least two hours before you plan to drive home. The two-hour rule should only be used as a backup plan if your designated driver gets drunk or bails on you. Stay hydrated and find a safe place to wait until you’re sober and able to drive home safely.
Every day, twenty-eight people lose their lives because of drunk drivers. Keep yourself and others safe by following these tips and refusing to drive drunk. Driving drunk can also result in a slew of negative consequences including having your license suspended, being heavily fined, ending up in jail, or all of the above. Avoid getting a DUI by following these tips so you can enjoy the fun all summer long.