Impaired driving, also known as drunk driving, is a serious and preventable problem that poses a danger to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike. Every day, nearly 30 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes, accounting for one-third of all traffic-related deaths. In addition to alcohol, drugs, both legal and illegal, can also impair a person’s ability to drive safely.
Impaired driving is defined as operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Alcohol impairs judgment, reaction time, and coordination, making it difficult for a person to drive safely. Drugs, including marijuana and prescription opioids, can also impair a person’s ability to drive, and can make it difficult to react quickly and make safe decisions behind the wheel.
The effects of alcohol and drugs on a person’s ability to drive can vary depending on the individual, the amount consumed, and the time elapsed since consumption. However, it is important to remember that even small amounts of alcohol or drugs can impair a person’s ability to drive.
There are several ways to prevent impaired driving:
- Planning ahead: Before drinking or using drugs, plan for a designated driver or alternative transportation.
- Using public transportation or ride-sharing services: Such as Uber, Lyft, or Taxis.
- Educating yourself: Learn the risks and effects of alcohol and drug use on driving and the legal consequences of impaired driving.
- Setting a good example: If you are the designated driver, set a good example by not drinking or using drugs.
If you suspect someone is driving while impaired, do not hesitate to call 911 to report the situation. If you are pulled over by law enforcement, the best course of action is to be cooperative and respectful and remember that you have the right to an attorney if you are arrested.
It’s important to remember that impaired driving is not only illegal, but also dangerous and can have devastating consequences. By taking steps to prevent impaired driving, and speaking out against it, we can make our roads safer for everyone.