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Tis the season for festive parties with coworkers and friends, as well as family get-togethers, to celebrate the holidays. A vast majority of these events will have alcohol on hand, which is why there are more DUI arrests between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than any other time of the year.
In an effort to curb this problem, the Whitehouse, in 2012, declared December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. It goes without saying, but that’s never stopped us before; Don’t Drive Drunk.
9 Reasons For Not Driving Under The influence of Drugs or Alcohol
1. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol Can be Deadly
A whopping 32 percent of all vehicle fatalities involve alcohol. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,000 people every year die due to driving drunk.
In December 2014, there were 840 known deaths due to drunk driving.
2. Dying Young Sucks
Young adults, aged 21 to 34, are at the greatest risk of driving while impaired, and are involved in more fatal crashes than any other age group.
No parent should ever have to attend their child’s funeral when it could have been avoidable.
3. Nobody Wants a Criminal Record
The consequences of a DUI arrest vary from state to state. However, after the driver’s license suspension, fees and fines, possible jail time and installation of an ignition interlock device, the conviction remains on your record and could have long-term effects.
A simple background check will reveal your mistake to future employers, landlords and insurance companies among others.
4. A DUI is Expensive
For some of the same reasons cited in #3, attorney fees, court costs, loss of job or work time, license suspension, increased insurance premiums, and mandatory classes can all add up to $15k plus.
It’s not worth it when a $15 cab or Uber could have gotten you home safe and sound.
5. Injuring or Killing Others is Painful For Everyone
While coping with the crippling emotional and psychological toll of accidentally hurting or killing others, DUI drivers who survive fatal crashes face serious charges, such as manslaughter, second or third degree murder or vehicular homicide.
That will end at some point, but the guilt and grief lives on forever.
6. Everyone is a Lightweight
Though the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% in all 50 states, even a little bit of alcohol or drugs is enough to affect hand eye coordination and response time.
A study at the University of Kentucky found that even one drink doubles the difficulty drivers face in handling minor distractions behind the wheel.
7. It’s Completely Avoidable and Unnecessary
By planning accordingly, anyone can avoid driving under the influence, whether that means spending the night at the location you’ve been drinking at, catching a ride with a sober friend, calling a cab or using any number of ride sharing services now available in most places.
Uber, Lyft, and other “vehicle for hire” services are exploding in popularity around the country because they are a convenient and economical way to avoid drinking while impaired.
8. Staying Sober and Alert Can Save Your Life
In an average year, 30 million Americans drive while drunk and another 10 million drive impaired on other illicit drugs.
Many DUI accidents and fatalities occur because the drivers weren’t alert enough to handle unusual traffic circumstances or poor road conditions like rain and snow.
The problem is compounded during December and winter months.
9. You Will Get Caught If You Drive Drunk
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) effort to stop drunk and impaired driving.
Law enforcement agencies across the country are on high alert. Many cities will have DUI checkpoints during the holiday season.
Be a hero. If you see someone who’s too drunk to drive, offer to arrange a ride for them or give them a ride if you haven’t been drinking, but don’t let them get behind the wheel. The following day, you can remind them of the night before when you saved their life or the life of someone else on the road.
For those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, this can be an isolating and difficult time. Be sure to show love and support for anyone in your life who’s trying to stay sober by providing non-alcoholic beverages at any event.
While December may be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, it’s important to take drinking and driving seriously every month.
Have a Safe and Wonderful Holiday Season!