As we see in the news so often, impaired driving is a leading cause of road accidents and death in North America. Knowing and following simple steps of prevention is the best way to avoid unnecessary heartache and pain.
What is impaired driving?
Impaired driving involves anything that prevents a person from having complete awareness of the road and surroundings while driving. The common form of impaired driving is when someone drives when drunk or while high due to drugs. This poses a danger to the driver as well as everybody else on the road. These impaired drivers get charged with driving under the influence or DUI for short.
Impaired driving means driving or operating any vehicle (this includes cars, trucks, snowmobiles, and boats) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The consequences are serious, and it is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Understand the effects of drugs and alcohol
Knowledge is power. Find out from your doctor or pharmacist or read online to learn about the side effects related to driving when using prescription medication.
Read the details on the package of any prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, including allergy and cold medications.
Keep in mind that fatigue and stress can affect your ability to drive safely.
The best way to avoid the consequences of DUI is to make simple arrangements that keep you from driving while you consumed alcohol or drugs:
Even before you go out, decide who will be the driver by choosing a designated driver. Ensure that person doesn’t drink any alcoholic beverages.
If nobody in your group is sober, call a taxi.
If needed, take the keys from the person who is drunk.
When Throwing a Party
Serve plenty of healthy food. A stomach that is full is likely to slow the rate of alcohol absorption.
Offer non-alcoholic beverages. Water, juice, soda pop – give your guests plenty of alternatives. And never pressure guests to drink alcohol.
Stop serving alcohol well before the party ends. Give your guests an extra hour or two without alcohol before they head out the door.
Arrange alternate transportation. Pay attention to your guests’ alcohol intake and behavior. If someone has had a lot to drink or seems even the slightest bit tipsy, call a cab or set up a ride with a sober driver.
Understand the massive implications of these actions
- Lose your license
- Have your vehicle impounded
- Need to attend an education or treatment program
- Be fined upon conviction
- Spend time in jail
While the hazards of drunk driving are all over the media, it has not prevented all drivers from driving while intoxicated. Understanding and following the rules is the best way to prevent avoidable tragedies.