Drunk driving is a serious issue throughout the country. It causes thousands of fatalities and even more injuries every year. It is vital that states and cities work on ways to regulate and prevent people driving while under the influence of alcohol. There are several different methods that both governments and individual people can do to help reduce the number of drunk driving incidents.
Set Up Sobriety Checkpoints
One of the ways a city or state government can prevent drinking and driving is by setting up sobriety checkpoints. These are areas where police officers can stop any drivers to check if they are impaired. Sobriety checkpoints are often set up in specific areas that are more likely to have impaired drivers. By identifying impaired drivers early, police officers are reducing the chances of a drunk driving accident later.
Install Ignition Interlocks Within Your Vehicles
Many states install ignition interlocks in the vehicles of anyone who has a DUI. An ignition interlock requires a driver to blow into a device before he or she can turn the car on. The driver’s blood alcohol content level must be below 0.02 to be able to operate the car. Ignition interlocks significantly help prevent drunk drivers from getting on the road.
Start Campaigns and Implement School Programs
One of the most effective ways to prevent any incident is by educating people about the dangers. Starting a mass media campaign that talks about the hazards of drunk driving and implementing information about drinking and driving in school programs can help make people aware of the severity of drunk driving.
Consider Drinking and Driving When Throwing a Party
As an individual citizen, there are also things you can do to help prevent drinking and driving. When you are throwing a party, try to offer beverages that are non-alcoholic. Many people automatically associate parties with alcohol, but it can be dangerous if the only things you provide are alcoholic.
If you do serve alcohol, be careful not to serve to minors. Not only is it illegal, but minors are less likely to understand what their personal limits are, increasing the likelihood of them becoming intoxicated.
Additionally, serve plenty of food. Alcohol will hit people faster if they have empty stomachs because there is nothing to help absorb the alcohol. Provide plenty of options for food so everyone will want to eat.
Take care of your guests. Try to pay attention to their behaviors and note if someone seems to have had too much to drink. If someone is drunk, make sure he or she does not drive home, and set up alternate transportation for him or her.
Do Not Be Afraid to Ask for a Ride or Call an Uber
If you have been drinking, do not be afraid to ask for a ride from a sober friend. It is a good idea to plan for a designated driver before you begin drinking, but if you did not determine a designated driver, it is still important to ask for a ride if you think you have had too much.
Report Drunk Drivers in Your Local Area
If you are driving and think you see a drunk driver, do not hesitate to report him or her to the police. Pull over, call 9-1-1, and give the police the license plate number and a description of the vehicle. You may be saving his or her life and the lives of other drivers on the road.
Some signs that a person is driving under the influence include:
- Weaving, swerving or drifting
- Almost hitting an object or vehicle
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Braking suddenly or without reason
- Slow responses
- Abrupt or illegal turns