To prevent drunk driving, making a plan for a sober designated driver ahead of time with everyone agreeing to it is best. There are tips for stopping drunk driving that are effective in keeping your friends and family safe, from ruining lives and out of legal trouble. There are strategies The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees are effective it the reduction and prevention of driving while intoxicated.
Steps to Eliminate Drunk Driving
Nationwide a combination of multi-component intervention policies and programs exist to prevent drunk driving. Community mobilization of tasks forces or coalitions is the key to these efforts. Across the nation, there is a joint effort by every state with legal steps in place to eliminate drunk driving.
Drunk driving laws are in place nationwide making driving with a BAC at/above 0.08% illegal. For those under 21 years of age, there is a zero tolerance law that makes driving with alcohol (any amount) in their system illegal. In all 50 states (including the District of Columbia), these laws along with the minimum drinking age of 21 exist nationwide. Since implementation, these laws have had a clear impact on highway safety saving thousands of lives.
How is the nation fighting drunk driving? Through nationwide partnerships.
Everyone is familiar with sobriety checkpoints where police located at specific, highly visible points stop vehicles checking to see if there is an impaired driver behind the wheel. Police stop all drivers passing through, or a certain portion and may administer breathalyzer tests if police feel a reason exists the driver may be intoxicated.
Ignition interlocks installed in vehicles of people convicted of driving drunk, will keep the car from starting if there is a BAC above a specific level of alcohol on a driver’s breath. These ignition interlocks will have the greatest impact if installed for every offender, including first time convictions.
Spreading messages through mass media campaigns of the legal consequences and dangers of drunk driving persuade drivers to not drink and drive, and encourages people to prevent others from driving drunk. This strategy is most effective when combined with other prevention strategies.
Police are allowed to take away licenses from drivers testing at or above the legal BAC limit via administrative license suspension or revocation laws. These laws also allow an officer to take the license of anyone refusing a test.
Teachable moments of people at risk for alcohol problems are taken advantage of through alcohol screenings and brief interventions, getting them needed treatment. This strategy encourages behavior changes reducing alcohol-impaired accidents and injuries.
Effective school-based educational programs teach teens not to ride in a vehicle with drunk drivers.
Tips to Educate Kids on the Dangers of Drunk Driving
- Educate kids of the state laws; zero tolerance for those under 21.
- Talk to schools about implementing school-based educational programs. Seek the help of a local DWI lawyer who may be willing to donate his or her time to help educate kids about the legal consequences of drinking and driving.
- Talk to your kids about the dangers and ask open-ended questions on how they feel about the issue of drunk drivers.
- Provide tips on what to do if faced with a friend attempting to drive drunk. Stress the importance to never ride with a drunk driver and to call a parent or a friend for a ride.
- Educate children on the consequences of drunk driving.
How to Keep Friends and Family from Driving Drunk
Stopping a friend or family member from driving while intoxicated may be one of the most important decisions of a person’s life. If they are lucky, the friend or family member will listen to reason and do the safest thing. However, it is not always easy for an inebriated person to understand the dangers and take caution. Knowing how to keep friends and family from driving drunk before a situation arises helps with the unexpected.
Tips to Prevent Friends and Family from Drunk Driving
- Make a plan – everyone agrees on a sober DD (designated driver) or alternate transportation; taxi, public transportation, a ride to and from a location.
- Remain calm and as non-confrontational as possible if a situation occurs.
- Speak slowly to the intoxicated person so they can understand better, taking extra time to rationalize with them.
- Suggest a sleep over.
- Enlist others for support. Multiple people are more difficult to say no to.
- Before the party starts, collect car keys and give them to a designated “key-keeper”.
- If possible, take the inebriated person’s keys.
- If all attempts fail, call the police.
Tragedy can be stopped before it happens. Don’t wait until your friend or loved one is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and subsequently facing serious consequences. Using these strategies to reduce or prevent drunk driving can save the lives of friends and family members.