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DUI: 10 Simple Ways to Avoid Driving Drunk

May 22, 2019

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In 2017, drunk driving was the main cause of fatalities on American roads, with one death happening every 48 minutes. Scary, isn't it?

Getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking isn't only dangerous to yourself, but it's also extremely selfish. Anyone who's on the same road as you is now in a potentially fatal situation. The thought of that should be enough for anyone to stay away from their car while intoxicated.

The reality is that if you're old enough to drink, you're old enough to know about the dangers of driving drunk (or at least, you should be). With these 10 tips, you'll have no excuse to put yourself in risky circumstances.

10 Tips to Avoid Driving Drunk

Having an epic night out while avoiding threatening situations is not only possible but honestly quite easy. All it takes is some maturity and the ability to put safety over fun. 

The following drunk driving solutions will help you to do just that. 

1. Choose a Designated Driver

Every time you go out in a group, choose someone to stay away from alcohol for the night and get everyone home safely.

To do this, you can use the straw game or write everyone's names on pieces of paper and pick one randomly.

But of course, this should be someone who can resist the urge to drink, which is always something you need to keep in mind. If one of you is going through a rough patch, for example, they might not be the best choice.

2. Buy all the alcohol while sober

Your drunk self always believes that you can handle more than you actually can. If you're going to a house party, buy the drinks beforehand and stick to those.

If you're going to a bar, this might be a bit harder to manage. The trick is to take it easy when you're pre-drinking and get tipsy, at most. This way it won't be as hard not to make foolish decisions when you're at the bar.

3. Hideaway your car keys

Anyone who is not the designated driver should not have their car keys with them. Give them to the DD or just put all the keys that will not be used somewhere where you can't see them. 

4. Get an Uber, a taxi or public transportation

With Uber, you can quickly call a ride back home, so it is a great app for you to download if you haven't already. A taxi is pretty much the same, except it can be a bit harder to find one, depending on where you are.

Getting an Uber or a taxi can be a bit expensive, but there are always public transportation options during the night. Check the schedule and plan your night accordingly.

If you don't feel safe going by yourself at those hours, get a friend to go with you.

5. Calculate when to stop drinking

Decide when you want to leave and subtract 90 minutes. That's when you should switch from alcohol to water.

It's important to note that this tip only works if you control the amount that you drink from the get-go. Drinking five cocktails and then waiting for a couple of hours is not the way to do it.

6. Spend the night

There is no safer way to prevent drunk driving than not even going inside a car. If you're at a house party and end up drinking one too many, ask the host if you can crash on their sofa.

You can leave the next morning without bothering anyone, and know that you'll be home safe and sound.

7. Pace Yourself

If you've been drinking for a while, you know how much your body can take before things get out of control. And if you don't, there are several resources online that can give you an idea.

Drink slowly, stay hydrated before and during the night and don't mix different types of alcohol.

Plus, don't give in to peer pressure. You might not have a resistance to alcohol as high as your friends and if that's the case, there's no good reason to try to keep up.

8. Eat before you drink

This one you should follow even when you're drinking at home: never drink on an empty stomach. Having drinks while you're hungry (or dehydrated) means that the alcohol will be absorbed faster and, consequently, you will feel all its effects equally faster.

So have a nice, filling meal before you get to the booze. One more reason to organize a dinner party with your friends!

9. Call someone you know and trust

Sometimes, you go out to have one or two beers and before you know it, things have gotten a little bit out of hand. We've all been there.

When this happens, it can be a good idea for you to ring someone you trust, so that they can go get you. 

You might feel tempted to get in the car and go home by yourself, but when you do, remember that DUI rules are getting stricter and stricter. In Texas, for instance, you can get a fine of up to $10.000 and 3 to 180 days in jail. Need more convincing? Read more now.

10. Don't drink for the night

Yes, you can have fun at a party without one drop of alcohol. We're not saying you have to do this every single time you go out, but occasionally, stick to the mocktails.

This way you can also make sure your friends stay safe. And hey, you won't have a hangover the next day, which always feels amazing.

Have Fun Responsibly

Responsibility is truly the keyword when it comes to partying and drinking alcohol.

It's essential that when you drink, you know what to do in any situation to avoid putting yourself and your friends in dangerous situations. And as you've just read, that is not difficult at all!

Let your friends help you when you get too intoxicated, and do the same for them when the situation is reversed. Take care of each other so that no one ends up driving drunk. 

If you believe you or anyone you know has a problem with alcohol, it's important to get help as soon as possible. Check our article on successful ways of treating addiction.