James was drunk yet he insisted on driving us home. We all made it home but none of us was safe no thanks to our reckless driver who skid off the road. Our crave for a safer road would remain an illusion as long as drunk driving thrives on our roads.
WHAT IS DRUNK DRIVING?
Drunk driving refers to operating a motor vehicle while one’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit set by statute, which supposedly is the level at which a person cannot drive safely. Also, it is referred to as Drinking Under Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
According to CDC, at least 28 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. A further breakdown reveals that it amounts to one death every fifty-three minutes. What baffles me most is its annual dollar cost which is said to be above $44 billion – monumental waste.
When you are drunk, it becomes very difficult to swiftly react to incidents. You are invariably not only putting your life at risk but that of other road users.
CONSEQUENCES OF DRUNK DRIVING
For every crime, there is penalty and drunk driving is not an exemption. The only way around it is to stay away from it. Let’s look at the many likely prices you may likely pay if you are caught and possibly convicted.
Loss of Productivity:
Recklessness breeds road accident while road accidents breed loss of productivity. An injured man may not be able to engage in any commercial activity and that surely has its own impact in the economy. You need to be healthy or at least not being confined to hospital bed if you desire to be on the productive side.
If you don’t produce, there is no way you could earn and if you don’t earn accessing quality standard of living will remain an illusion.
when you are convicted of drunk driving, you may likely have lose your privilege to drive no thanks to license suspension. The suspension could be either definite or indefinite.
Suspension could be as a result of conviction by a law court or an immediate suspension by the police.
- Definite suspension: This means there is a stipulated period of time for the suspension to lapse but this does not mean you are free until you pay suspension termination fee.
- Indefinite suspension: This means you privilege to drive has been taken away pending when you possibly answer traffic ticket or make pay for same.
Note that it is illegal to drive if your license has been suspended. It is advisable you stay away from from driving while your suspension lasts so as to avoid more troubles.
You risk having your vehicle impounded and you know what that means. When appropriate authority takes custody of your vehicle, total discomfort is inevitable. It is often used to deter those who are under suspension from driving and constituting nuisance to other road users.
The cost implication for car impoundment is a bit high hence, the need to avoid it. You may be required to pay toeing cost as well as storage cost to get your car back. Impoundment period varies and payment of fines will not in any way reduce a 7-day impoundment period to lesser days.
If you are caught riving when you are impaired, be ready to spend some money. You will be required to pay suspension termination. fee and payment for new license. training, toeing and storage.
The cost implication of drunk driving varies and depends on types of penalties handed you by police. For example, its cheaper to pay suspension termination fee compare to cost of getting an impounded vehicle back.
Also, legal and medical costs are are major economic losses. Although the cost implication in respect of these two costs are subject to the magnitude of damage cost, no amount spent on irrelevances could be said to be small.
If you are indefinitely suspended, you may be required to undergo some training before a new license could be issued. Your time is precious and I am sure you don’t want to waste it.
Drunk Driving Attracts Higher Insurance Premium:
If you are convicted of drunk driving, be ready to pay higher insurance premiums. In other words, you’ve created more avenues for your insurer to milk you more than ever before. You are now possibly being seen as a potential hazard.
Drunk Driving leads to Loss of Lives And Property:
Accident resulting from impaired driving often results in loss of lives or property. Nothing hurts more than being losing a family member to one’s silly mistake. Insurance may claim restoring you back to your former state but no compensation is ever worth the live of any man.
Drunk Driving Attracts Jail Term:
No matter how conducive a prison environment is, you don’t want to be there. Also, having to spend some time in jail because of alcohol does not in any way make sense.
Distracted Driving and Crashes
when you drunk drive, distracted driving is inevitable. Also, it’s almost certain you will crash and put other road users at risk. This may invariably lead to injuries and possibly deaths.
Limitation on Future Employment
Nobody wants to hire people with criminal records hence, the need to avoid whatever could hunt your future job opportunity. I am sure you don’t want to mess great opportunities up in the name of pleasure.
Other Causes Of Impaired Driving
Just before we consider how to deal with drunk driving, let’s take a look at other forms of impaired driving. Taking drugs before driving is dangerous as they may likely get you intoxicated. The fact that such drug is legal is never a license to take them before hitting the road.
Marijuana is said to be an agent of sluggishness as users are slow at reaction. Also, it is not only noted for impairment of judgement of time and distance but also, decrease coordination.
Cocaine is not an option either as it is noted for aiding aggressive driving. Users tend to develop unusual confidence and thereby taking unnecessary risks while driving.
Both drugs are not good for you especially when you are about setting out on a journey. Hitting the road after taking them will not only endanger your life but also, those of other road users and possibly your family members.
Another set of drugs that could impair your driving are prescriptions. They seem to be meant for wellness but then, their initial reactions in your system might not be helpful as expected. You may need to consult your doctor so as to know whether they could put you in problem or not.
Neither drunk driving nor drugged driving is good and neither of them worth going to jail for.
Why Do Drunk People Drive?
one cannot but wonder why fines or other penalties has not been able to stop people from drunk driving. Here are few reasons behind drunk driving:
- You may be tempted to think you are not really drunk and can still drive safely. This could be as a result of artificial confidence gained from alcohol consumption
- If you are drunk, chances are that you may be unknowingly taking irrational decisions and one of those decisions is driving yourself home.
You may be tempted to say you’ve got to protect your dignity and as such finding it difficult to tell anyone you are drunk.
This is possibly a very tough task reason being that neither fine nor jail term has been able to deter drug users from driving. As a matter of fact, as long as breweries exist drunk driving remains an endemic we may have to live with. We may not be able to extinct it but we can sure can put up some preventive measures.
It sure starts with you. I may not be in position to dictate what is good for you but if you must drink, never do that when you are about hitting the road.
Take Alternate Transportation:
You don’t have to risk your life for over nothing. Call a taxi to take you home whenever you are impaired and save other road users the trauma of having to cope with you on the road.
Surrender your Key:
Whenever you are impaired, give your car key to your friend and allow him take you home and vice versa. Be careful not to shout at an impaired man when trying to retrieve his car key. Learn to be polite and give good explanation of your action.
Appoint a Dedicated Driver:
If you don’t feel like taking a taxi, make sure a dedicated driver is on ground to help you out. The same thing is applicable is you are throwing a party, prevent your drunk friends from driving by providing dedicated drivers who would take them home
Pretend You Are Not With The Key:
If your friend is drunk, find ways of making sure his car key is kept out of his reach. Pretend you don’t know his key’s whereabouts most especially when you know he is not going to allow you drive.
Instead of hitting the road after after several bottles of beer, sleeping over in your friend’s place is a good option.Also, if you are the host, you may be saving your friend’s life by making provision for him to pass the night in your house.
Be Mindful of What You Serve Your Guests:
It doesn’t have to be alcoholic drinks all the time or what do you think? Serve them enough food and non alcoholic beverages but if they must take alcohol, make sure you are in control
Permit me to round off by repeating what I said earlier: Neither drunk driving nor drugged driving is good and neither of them worth going to jail for.