Have you ever done this? You’re sitting with a group of friends at a bar, drinking. Then, when it’s time to go home and there was no designated driver, you decide who’s had the least to drink, and “probably will be okay” to drive. You volunteer and say…”I’m fine, I’ve only had a few. I’ll drive…”
One night almost 26 years ago, on St. Patrick’s day, on a highway in Colorado, my best friend from childhood, Bobbie Pfeiffer, was killed in a drunk driving accident, a head on collision, along with her fiancee and their 2 dogs (and the drunk driver). So, the issue of drunk driving is an important one for me. I decided to put together an article, highlighting some drunk driving statistics, as well as some things you can do, along with designated driver information.
Here are some drunk driving statistics. (3, and MADD)
- Drunk driving costs each adult in the United States almost $800 per year
- Drunk driving costs the United States $199 billion a year
- Each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested.
- Every 90 seconds a person is injured in a drunk driving crash
- An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.
- Males were more likely than females (15.1% vs. 7.9%) to drive drunk
- Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes, one every 53 minutes.
- Almost half of all drivers who were killed in crashes and tested positive for drugs also had alcohol in their system.
- Alcohol levels above the legal limit were found in 21% of such drivers.
- Each day, people drive drunk more than 300,000 times, but only about 2800 are arrested
- About one in seven teens binge drinks, yet only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks.
- Over 40% of all 10th graders drink alcohol.
- Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
- The rate of drunk driving is highest among 26 to 29 year olds (20.7 percent).
Here is some information courtesy of drinkinganddriving.org.
- If you’re arrested for drinking and driving, it will cost you anywhere from $4500 to $18,000 just for fines, insurance increases and legal fees. This does not include crashes and hospital bills. For more information, follow this link.
- Most of the planet is in agreement that driving with a BAC of .08 is too dangerous to allow.
- A common guideline is that after each typical drink, you must wait 45 minutes before attempting to drive.
- You’ve had a drink and must wait 45 minutes before driving. A quarter hour later, you have another drink. Now you must wait 45 minutes PLUS the 30 minutes left over from the first drink. That’s one and a quarter hours before you should drive. Got time for another? For more information, follow this link.
- Cold showers, coffee or getting some fresh air have absolutely no effect on getting sober. How about eating a large meal before drinking to “soak up” the extra alcohol? NOT! Maybe you will gain a few pounds but otherwise this only DELAYS the alcohol being absorbed. For more information and other myths, follow this link.
What you can do: (For the pamphlet, follow this link)
- Know where and why you are going out to party. What’s the setting? After you drink, will there be an opportunity to wait for alcohol to wear off before driving home? Can you spend the night where you are going? Should you be extra cautious about how much you drink?
- Know how much you are drinking and how it affects you.
- Get a second opinion. You are NOT a good judge of how drunk you are!
- Know when to stop drinking. If you must drive, leave enough time for the alcohol to wear off. Realize this can take at least 45 minutes per drink.
- Wait as long as possible before driving.
- Do not wait in your car. It is possible to be arrested for DUI even if you are sleeping it off in the back seat.
- Remember the contact in your phone for the taxi.
- If necessary, get a room. Hopefully you checked out what was available before partying.
- Put a contact in your cell phone for the local taxi. Make the first character of the contact name a SPACE “ “ so it will appear first in your contact list.
- It costs around a buck, but dialing #TAXI from your cellphone will get you connected to the nearest taxi anywhere in America and Canada.
- Write your address down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket to give to your Taxi driver. Have cash ready to pay for your ride.
If you’re the designated driver: (For the pamphlet, follow this link)
- Make the decision on who will be the Designated Driver before going out, and then stick to the plan
- Designated Driver swears off alcohol for the event and promises to get everyone home safely
- Designated Driver cannot just be whoever is the least drunk
- one drink could be ‘one too many’
- The Designated Driver gets possession of the car keys first, before going out.
- Take turns being the Designated Driver on different occasions, so it is not always one person who is responsible.
If you’re having a party: (For the pamphlet, follow this link.)
- Remember your potential liability if anyone leaves and crashes on their way home.
- Have taxi phone numbers handy.
- Make sure you know who the designated drivers are, that they don’t drink and that they have the keys.
- Don’t let anyone leave without your knowledge.
- Ask your designated drivers to call you after they drop everyone off just so you know everyone made it OK.
- Offer to help reunite any guests with their cars the next day if necessary.
Drunk Driving Sources:
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
- Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
- Fathers Against Drunk Driving (FADD)
- Americans United Against Drunk Driving (AUADD)
- Drunk Driving Prevention Organization (DDPO)
- Drinkinganddriving.org (DADO)
- National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Drunk Driving information – CDC
- The Dangers of Drinking and Driving – quitalcohol.com
- End Distracted Driving (EndDD)
Here’s some other information & things you can do:
Take the DRIVE SOBER pledge HERE
$20 off coupon code: DADO with UBER
National Directory of
Designated Driver Services HERE
Responsibility.org – Virtual Bar –
“The Virtual Bar uses the latest science to help you not only get a better understanding of how different factors affect your blood-alcohol concentration – or BAC – on an individual level, but also can help you see how your night could go depending on the food you eat, the water you drink throughout the night, and other important variables.”
With the Virtual Bar, you enter in your gender, age, height, weight, what you’ve had to drink, what you’ve eaten and time since you’ve had the drink. It then gives you an estimate of your BAC, and how long until your BAC is back to zero (it even tells you how you should be feeling). For smart phone apps, follow these links: IPHONE and GOOGLE PLAY. I have also placed a link to the Virtual Bar on my left side panel.
Here’s how it looks:
the following videos
are not for the faint of heart.
Viewer discretion is advised.
Drunk Driving Awareness Video (2:18)
Choices: The Dangers of Drunk Driving (2:52)
Drunk Driving- Car Crash Compilation (21:04) – this one is long. You don’t have to watch the whole thing to get the idea.
Thank you for taking the time to look through this important article. I hope it gave you something to think about the next time you are out having fun and drinking with your friends and family. Remember, choose a designated driver…THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK!