Drinking and driving is no way to show respect to a holiday or celebrate it. A National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration campaign is out to remind us that unsafe impaired driving comes in many forms. Even a small amount of alcohol affects a driver’s reaction time, distance judgement, and decision making ability behind the wheel.
A person is killed in a drunk driving crash every 51 minutes on average. In 2015, 146 people died in car crashes that included at least one driver with a BAC of .08 or higher over the July 4th holiday. The fatality rate increases at night.
Many drivers still get behind the wheel after a few drinks and refer to it as “buzzed driving”. This has helped the campaign point out the normalization of drinking and driving. Even a little bit of alcohol before getting behind the wheel can still be incredibly dangerous even though it has become the social norm.
Because the July 4th holiday is reported to have so many drinking and driving collisions and fatalities, it is a great time to remind drivers that buzzed driving is drunk driving. There is no amount of alcohol that is “safe”.
The legal limit for the amount of alcohol a driver can have in their blood is .08. Some drivers use this limit as a way to judge whether or not it is safe to get home. Unfortunately, a driver can still receive a DWI if they are not at .08 BAC. Using the legal limit to determine if you are impaired is not a healthy choice. A driver can still be charged with a DWI if their BAC is under the legal limit and can still be too impaired to react appropriately to the traffic around them.
NHTSA offers a smartphone app to assist driver’s in getting home safe. It offers simple options for getting a cab, a ridesharing service, or a designated driver.
The safe driving app can be downloaded on your iPhone or Android to help make it easier for you to get home safe. While it is suggested that you make plans to get home safe before you even have a drink, there are still options to ensure you do not risk your life and the lives of others.
You can find more information and drunk driving prevention tips here.