According to the National Highway of Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) the number of drunk driving accidents increases from 36 percent to 54 percent over the holiday season! That makes this season a great time to talk about impaired driving prevention.
There are a few things you can do to stay safe. Keep some of these simple tips in mind:
- If you are under 21, understand that Zero Tolerance means just that – if you are stopped with any traceable amount of alcohol in your system, it is illegal. There is no minimum BAC for underage drinkers.
- Buzzed driving is drunk driving. A DUDE should be someone who is NOT drinking.
- If you’re relying on a ride from someone who has been drinking, find another ride. Everyone reacts to alcohol differently. If you know a friend has been drinking, assume they are unable to drive.
- Food, coffee or exercise will not reduce the amount of alcohol in your system. Only time decreases the effects of alcohol.
- If a friend has been drinking and is about to drive, speak up. Offer to drive, take the keys or call someone.
- State law makes it illegal for someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher to drive a vehicle. However, drivers can be arrested with a BAC below .08 when a law enforcement officer has probable cause, based on the driver’s behavior.
- People tend to underestimate their BAC when drinking alcohol, according to a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. As a result, they may think they are still OK to drive because they have only consumed a couple of drinks, when in fact, they may be impaired.