Just Say No: Drinking and Driving
You’ve heard it a thousand times: don’t drink and drive. You’ve seen all the ads sponsored by MADD – “Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers” – but you still get the temptation to pick up your keys after you’ve had a couple. Two reasons for drinking and driving are peer pressure and “feeling okay”. Knowing the ways that you can avoid drinking and driving will help you to be prepared next time.
Sometimes we may feel pressured to drink and drive if we are responsible for getting a carload of people home. You may feel guilty that everyone has to spend money on a cab or to take the bus, or you may simply want to be helpful for your friends that night. Whatever your reason, you’ll want to be careful of what kinds of things your friends may throw at you. If they have been drinking, they may want to add to your existing feelings of guilt by telling you that you are a great driver, that you know what you are doing, that you always get them home safe, etc. If you have a history of drinking and driving and have decided to turn over a new leaf, you will probably be pressured even more so than others.
Another reason you may find yourself drinking and driving is that you have convinced yourself that you are not “that drunk”. Your feelings when you are under the influence of alcohol are never an accurate appraisal of your ability to conduct coordinated behaviors like driving. We have all seen it – there is the guy at the party who thinks that he is just fine and then ten minutes later is passed out on the couch. This illustrates that how you feel and what you say are often not accurate or true. The best way to determine if you are okay to drive is to think about how much you’ve drank. Having two drinks is the limit if you have your G licence, otherwise you are not allowed to consume any alcohol and then drive. This means two 6 oz. glasses of wine, two 1.5 oz shots, or 2 bottles of beer.
Strategies for escaping drinking and driving should include leaving your car at home if you know that you will be overly tempted to drive or getting a ride with a designated driver – someone who you know is very responsible and trustworthy. Another good approach is to take the bus or a cab. If all else fails and you have to drive, stick to non-alcoholic beverages, like pop and water.
Having the ability to drive is a privilege and one that must not be taken lightly. Be responsible – your family and friends want to see you tomorrow!