How to Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents

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A man is drinking behind the wheel. This is not a way to prevent drunk driving accidents.

A bustle of parties, gatherings, and work functions often occur during summer. Unfortunately, during many of these get-togethers, alcohol plays a component in the festivities, which may contribute to an increase in alcohol-related accidents. Alcohol-related accidents may lead to severe injuries, death, or other consequences, especially if you are the one caught drinking and driving. Check out these tips to avoid and prevent drunk driving accidents and enjoy safe celebrations.

How To Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents

1. Designate a Driver

Every year alcohol-related crashes lead to deaths and injuries. Sadly, in the U.S. alone, a drunk driving accident leads to death around every 48 minutes. The best way to combat injuries and deaths caused by drinking and driving is to pledge never to drink and drive. Before heading to an event, designate a driver amongst your friends. If you are the one driving, avoid drinking altogether. If you are not planning on drinking, you may want to bring some alternative non-alcoholic drinks with you and be sure that you do not cave into pressure from peers. Buzzed driving is the same as drunk driving. Alternatively, if you cannot designate a driver, ensure that you can obtain a ride home from a service such as Uber or Lyft.

2. Be a Cautious Host or Hostess

If you are hosting an event or celebration, you should make it your responsibility to ensure everyone makes it home safely. Do not pressure anyone to drink, especially if they drove to your event and have not made proper arrangements to avoid drinking and driving. Instead, make accommodations for individuals to sleep over, camp out, or get to their homes or hotels safely if they do decide to participate in drinking. If you doubt an individual’s ability to drive, play it safe and attempt to arrange alternative transportation or accommodations for them.

3. Be on the Lookout for Drunk Drivers

In the U.S., a survey commenced by the CDC indicated that nearly 4 million U.S. citizens admit to driving drunk at least once. Especially around the holiday season or around summer celebrations and festivals, chances are increased that you may be sharing a road with a drunk driver. Even though you may never risk driving after drinking or breaking the law, you are unable to account for the actions of others. Exercise caution when driving, especially at night or after a celebration, and be looking for signs of drunk driving. Telltale signals that a driver may be under the influence of alcohol include:

  • Breaking unexpectedly or frequently
  • Driving under the speed limit
  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Abruptly speeding up and slowing down
  • Turning widely

If you spot someone whose erratic driving is worrisome to you, call 911 and provide them information about the vehicle so the police can monitor them to ensure that everyone on the road and any pedestrians in the area remain safe. Keep in mind that your decisions can make a significant impact on the life of others. Following these tips may make the road safer for yourself and others.

Drinking and Driving

In addition to individuals taking a stand to prevent drinking and driving accidents by pledging not to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, engaging in safe hosting practices, and keeping an open eye out for drunk drivers, it is important that the local community collectively takes action to keep drivers safe. Below are some ways your local community may assist with lowering the incidences of drunk driving and preventing injuries and deaths.

Drunk Driving Laws

Incidences of drinking and driving have decreased over the decades. This is primarily due to the implementation of drunk driving laws making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration level above a certain level. Legal limits to drive vary from state to state. Drinking age laws also assist with lowering accidents related to drinking. In every state in the U.S., drinking laws have been implemented.

Sobriety Checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints have been implemented by law enforcement, usually around holidays or events, to check drivers for impairment. In addition, law enforcement may stop all or certain portions of drivers. Publicly announced sobriety checkpoints have been shown to reduce incidences of drinking and driving.

Ignition Interlocks

Ignition interlocks may be installed into cars to measure alcohol on a driver’s breath. Interlocks prevent cars from starting if drivers have a BAC above a certain level. Interlocks are very effective at preventing recurrent incidences of drinking and driving.

Alcohol & Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

As a society, it is vital to have accessible alcohol problem treatment programs for those who struggle with drinking and driving. A behavior-focused approach is an effective way to prevent drinking-related accidents and deaths.

School Programs & Community Intervention

School programs are effective at teaching teens not to ride with drivers who have been drinking and teach them the importance of never drinking and driving and how to mitigate pressure from peers. In many communities, parents and loved ones of those who have become victims of drunk driving incidents create task forces to share their experiences and make efforts to reduce drunk driving accidents in their community.

Drunk Driving Deaths Per Year

While drunk driving deaths are on the decline in the U.S. compared to years past, there remain around 10,000 fatalities each year due to drunk driving incidents.

Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters Can Help

While many efforts may be made to prevent drunk driving accidents, accidents may still occur. If you have been affected by a car collision involving drinking and driving, it is best to contact a drunk driving lawyer immediately. A car collision lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable regarding best legal practices to handle driving under the influence cases is often the best avenue to ensure you get the representation you need to cover your losses. Contact the law offices of Tatum & Atkinson, “The Heavy Hitters” today at (800) 529-0804 or contact us online to receive your free case evaluation.