Alcohol is a highly depressant drug even though it may come in colorful fancy glasses with delicious flavors. Each drink gradually suppresses the activity of your central nervous system.
Getting intoxicated significantly impacts your driving skills, and you could be putting people’s lives at risk, including your own. If you have ever been tempted to save a few dollars by driving yourself home after a party instead of catching a cab, here are the dangers of drinking and driving you should always know about.
Poor Decision-Making Capabilities
It is no secret that downing too much alcohol can cloud a person’s judgment. There are several jokes about this at college parties, where someone you never felt attracted to may look like Brad Pitt when there are plenty of tequila shots involved.
However, too much alcohol leads to bad judgment. Nearly all of us have had an experience that we regret in the morning after sobering up. The later it is at night, the more likely we are to be drunker than anticipated.
This poses a danger when it is time to go home, and you decide to get behind the wheel instead of ordering an Uber or letting a designated driver drop you off.
One of the worst decisions is ignoring the dangers of driving under the influence. Even though your home is just around the corner, it is not worth suffering from the consequences of drinking and driving. You could be putting yourself and others around you in danger when impaired.
Alcohol Severely Impairs Judgment
Your lack of judgment makes you prone to a lot of distractions. Imagine missing a red signal or a stop sign and crashing into an innocent person. A couple of beers may seem like no big deal, but they can influence your concentration and judgment.
Driving requires your undivided attention. You need to focus on staying in your lane, avoiding speeding, allowing proper space between you and other vehicles, and obeying all the signs.
When you get too drunk, alcohol hinders your attention span. You may end up swerving because driving in a straight line becomes difficult. Your judgment skills need to be impeccable so that you can always stop the car in time or turn without hitting something or someone.
Besides following all the rules and doing everything right, you also need to anticipate problems that can unexpectedly arise on the road. Another car may not have its indicator on to show you which way they are turning, and you may need to guess this based on your instincts.
Imagine trying to do this after a happy hour when balancing on two legs becomes a chore.
Too Many Drinks Lower Coordination
Your body slows down when you drink alcohol, causing you to react to things very slowly. Therefore, drunk drivers are more prone to getting into accidents because they cannot respond to a situation quickly enough compared to when they are sober.
For example, if someone cuts in front of you suddenly, how long will it take to hit your brakes if you have had too much to drink? An animal or person running across the road can startle you and cause a crash. Besides slower reflexes, drinking alcohol can significantly affect your coordination and motor skills involving hands, eyes, and feet.
These are crucial when you are behind the wheel to avoid putting everyone in danger. If you struggle to walk out of a bar effectively because you keep stumbling, it is a vital sign that you should not be putting that key in the ignition.
Cloudy and Blurry Vision
Drinking too much will decrease your vision. You may not see things clearly because everything will appear blurry, affecting how you view the roads and other cars around you. You can also risk losing your peripheral vision.
If you have blurry vision after the last “cheers” and cannot send a text message with both eyes open, you should plan to hitch a ride home with someone else who is sober because your life depends on it.
The CDC states that alcohol causes one death every 50 minutes in the United States. Despite numerous warnings and public awareness campaigns, people still get behind the wheel after having too many alcoholic drinks.
Therefore, harsher penalties are in place since the dangers of driving drunk kill most people under 24 because of alcohol.
If you get pulled over if a police officer suspects you of impaired driving, they will conduct sobriety tests. This can involve blowing into a breathalyzer to check how drunk you are. When you fail this test, you will end up with a DWI or DUI and may have to spend time in jail.
A DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) are practically the same, but the latter comes with harsher sentences. This is a crime that a police officer can officially charge you with if you fail their sobriety tests. In most cases, you can lose your license and will need to attend an alcohol abuse program.
People with multiple DWI or DUI offenses can be put behind bars for a long time, primarily if any fatalities or injuries result from an intoxicated driver’s actions. Offenders can be subject to several financial penalties because of their DWI.
These can include storage and towing fees, legal attorney fees, mandatory treatment program costs, insurance fees, and so much more. Check out this insightful guide to find out the DWI cost you could be facing if you ignore the dangers of driving under the influence.
Never Ignore Dangers of Drinking and Driving
No matter how persuaded you are to get home after a night out with friends and do not want to leave your car, it is not worth disregarding the dangers of drinking and driving. These outweigh the risks and chances of you getting home safely if you do not get caught.
Worst case scenario, you could end someone’s life or your own if you make a terrible decision. Then the legal fees will be the least of your problems because the guilt will never fade.
Always make sure to keep the consequences of drinking and driving in the back of your mind when you go out for social events that involve alcohol.
Stay safe and protect others so that no one must ever risk not living to see another day or ending up in prison. If you enjoyed reading these tips to prevent driving under the influence, check out our other posts for more information.