You go to a party. You have a few cocktails. You’re ready to leave. Are you really ready to drive? Driving under the influence is dangerous for you, as well as other people on the road, and it’s illegal. It may not seem like a big deal at the time, but that’s because the drinks you’ve had are impairing your judgment.
How much is too much?
The legal limit for drivers under age 21 is .02 blood alcohol level. This means that even one drink is too much. For drivers of legal drinking age the limit is .08. For most people, your body can process one drink per hour. If you measure out your drinks that way, wait an hour after your last drink to drive. Females or other smaller people may need to drink even less to be under the legal limit.
What can happen while drunk driving?
· Your judgment is impaired so you may make poor decisions about stopping time, following distance, or even just taking the right route.
· You may be in a car crash (30% of U.S. drivers killed in crashes are under the influence).
· You may damage property or your own car.
· You may injure or kill a pedestrian or other drivers and passengers on the road.
· You may injure or kill yourself.
· You may injure or kill the passengers in your car (possibly your own children).
What are the possible consequences of getting caught the first time?
· Loss of your license for 180 days or more
· Up to $500 fine
· 50 hours of community service
· 12-hour drunk driver education class
· Probation for one year
· Jail for up to 6 months (9 months if there is a minor present in the car)
· Increase in car insurance premiums
· Lawyer fees that must be paid
If you injure someone or damage property, you will be liable for costs.
If you kill someone, you will have to live with the intense guilt for the rest of your life.
If you get caught driving drunk a second time, you will face even steeper consequences.
How can driving drunk be avoided?
If you’re not sure how to play it safe, here are some ideas.
· Take a taxi or public transportation to an event that will involve drinking, or at least take it home.
· Arrange a car pool with a designated driver who will not drink; be sure to thank your driver.
· If you find yourself unexpectedly intoxicated at a friend’s home, spend the night even if it means a lumpy sofa.
· Call a friend or family member. This person may be upset with you that night, but you’ll both be glad to be alive and safe in the morning.
· Use a local designated driving service; check online to find one in your area.
· Don’t drink alcohol to excess in the first place. And if you are under age 21, don’t drink alcohol at all.
LiveFree! Youth Clubs can help you make good choices. Spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving. No party will ever be worth the monetary, physical, and emotional cost of a drunk driving accident.
Drunk Driving Penalties in Florida
Drunk Driving Statistics:
Say No to Supervised Drinking
Setting an Example for Younger Siblings