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The deaths and many other injuries caused by drunk driving are avoidable. Prevention starts with a decision to not drive drunk. Here are five alternatives to getting behind the wheel while impaired.
Before embarking on your outing, decide who in the group will not consume alcohol. Designate that person as the driver for the evening.
In some cases, you’ll find the selection easy because the designated driver may not drink for religious or other personal reasons or not have enough money to spend on drinks. Ask those in your group who might have an early start to the next day due to work, school or a long trip and might need to be alert. Your group might agree on rotating designated drivers or a random selection through drawing straws or names.
It may help to have two designated drivers, should one change his or her mind or become unable to drive.
Consider planning your dinner, movies or club visits at places available by foot. With good or at least bearable weather, the ability to walk somewhere obviates the use of a car. Many planned unit communities have a mix of homes or apartments near restaurants or bars where alcohol is commonly served.
Take advantage of bus or subway services that operate late in the evenings or overnight. Have enough currency or your check card (if the service accepts it) to pay the fare.
When you need a ride home, use an app that can link you with a taxi, service or trusted friend. One such app comes courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA’s “SaferRide App“ pinpoints your current location and has settings to contact a taxi or a person who’s information you program through the app.
Thanks to the prevalence of mobile phones, the nearly two million pay phones in 1999 have dwindled to about 100,000 in 2018. Accordingly, this makes keeping your own phone charged fully before leaving for a night on the town. Bring along your phone charger or a portable power bank so that if your phone is quickly losing charge or you find that it’s close to death, you can claim an outlet or charging station for yourself at the venue.
Spending a night in a hotel room, even a short distance from home, beats driving while impaired even that short distance. Use your smartphone to retrieve or store information about hotels near your night spots. Should you anticipate a late night and no reasonable prospect of a safe ride home, go ahead and reserve the room—before you leave.
Without question, don’t drive if you have been drinking or plan to drink. Preventing drunk driving also involves preparation, planning, compromise and knowing the alternatives available to you before you venture out into the night life. If you find yourself in legal trouble due to drunk driving, be sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help you with your defense.