Don’t drive drunk! Drinking and driving can have severe consequences. Here is what you need to know to stop yourself from becoming a drunk driver.
Sure, getting out for a drink with your friends can be a fun way to spend the night. But all it takes is a few too many drinks to get you pulled over, or worse, in a terrible car accident.
It can be difficult to tell just when you or your friend is too drunk to drive- what are the signs you need to watch out for, and how can you avoid driving drunk?
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can tell if someone has had too much to drink. Avoid becoming a drunk driver with these simple tests and tips.
Signs You’re Too Drunk to Drive
If you believe you or a friend may be too drunk to safely drive home, there are some simple steps you can take. Here are just a few of the ways you can figure out if it’s safe to drive home.
Short-Term Memory Loss
Take your friend into the next room and have a conversation. After you’ve finished talking, try asking your friend a few questions about the conversation, or try to remember out loud what was discussed. Is either of you having a hard time remembering exactly what you talked about?
Short-term memory loss is a sign of intoxication. If you or your friend can’t remember the details of something you discussed a few minutes prior, then it’s likely you are too drunk to drive.
Listen closely to your friend as they speak. Are they slurring their words or talking faster or slower than normal? Are they shouting or speaking more softly than usual?
If you or a friend has a varied speech pattern compared to their usual talking voice, then they may have had too much to drink. Keep a close eye on them through the night, and don’t let them drive home drunk.
Smell of Alcohol
One clear sign that someone is too drunk to drive is if you can smell alcohol on them. If your friend isn’t holding a drink, but you can clearly smell alcohol on their breath, then they need to sober up before driving. If you happen to get pulled over smelling like alcohol, you could face some serious consequences.
Field Sobriety Tests
Running a drunk driver test before you or a buddy hits the road is a great way to figure out if they can get home safely. By giving them one or two field sobriety tests, you can get a good idea of how drunk they might be.
Find a straight line somewhere on the floor and try to get from one end to the other without stumbling off of it. If you can make it to the end without tripping, falling, or walking off of the line, then you can try another test before making a decision.
If you or your friend have a difficult time staying on the line for any reason, then you shouldn’t drive home yet. Your vision may be impaired from drinking, and you may get into an accident on the road.
One-Leg Stand Test
Testing your or a friend’s balance is another way to see how sober they are. Have yourself or your friend try to stand on one leg for as long as they can; if they have an easy time with it and don’t lose their balance, then move on to the last test.
If they do struggle to stay up, the drinks they had may be interfering with their balance, and they shouldn’t drive.
Simple Question and Answer Tests
Have yourself or your friend perform one of several simple tests. Listing the alphabet backward, counting odd or even numbers, or just recalling specific events can help to figure out how drunk they are.
Have you or your friend failed any of the above tests? If so, it’s better that you don’t try to get behind the wheel just yet.
How to Prevent Yourself from Becoming a Drunk Driver
It can be difficult to keep yourself in check when having fun with friends. However, you can have a good time while still keeping yourself safe from drunk driving car accidents. Here are a few ways you can keep yourself from being a drunk driver.
Keep Track of Your Drinking
As the night goes on, try to keep a mental record of what you’ve had to drink. Try not to have any more than one drink per hour to keep yourself sober enough to drive home after the night is over.
Wait a Few Hours After Drinking
Have you had an eventful night and feel a little tipsy as things come to a close? If you have any reason to believe you may be drunk, then waiting for at least an hour after you’ve finished drinking can help you to sober up.
When in doubt, you can always ride home with a friend or call an Uber for a lift home. In the end, it’s better to be safe and avoid a potential accident.
Eat Food With Your Drinks
Having a bite to eat as you drink will help to keep your blood alcohol levels down and keep you more sober. It will also prevent you from getting too hungover the next day.
There are certain foods that will help you maintain sobriety, or help you feel less drunk after you’re done drinking. These include, but are not limited to:
- Bananas (alcohol cuts down your potassium, so eating these will help you feel better)
- Broth-based soups
- Pancakes (helps to soak up the alcohol in your system)
- Any whole-wheat foods (whole grains quickly absorb alcohol because of their complex carbohydrates)
Eating any of these foods as you drink or after you’re done drinking can help you get back into a sober state of mind.
Drink Plenty of Water
Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the most important things you can do while you drink. Alcohol can work to severely dehydrate you and acts as a diuretic; especially if you choose not to eat anything while drinking alcohol, you should at least make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.
Drinking plenty of water can also help you avoid a hangover the following day. One of the main reasons why you feel so crummy is because of dehydration- avoid that altogether by getting plenty of fluids!
Give Someone Else Your Keys After Arriving
If you have any reason to believe that your thoughts may become impaired while you drink, or that you might try to drive drunk when the night is over, you should give your keys to a trusted friend immediately after arriving at the party. That way, you won’t be tempted to just get in your car and go when the night is over.
Know Your Limits
Keep in mind how much you can usually have to drink before you start feeling drunk. That way, you can keep a tally of how much you are able to drink and still get home safely at the end of the night.
Of course, if you start losing track of how much you’ve had to drink, or if you’ve passed your usual limits for whatever reason, keep that in mind as well. That way you can know if you really shouldn’t be driving yourself home.
What to Do Instead of Driving Drunk
In today’s technological world, there are plenty of ways you can avoid driving home when you’re drunk. A few of those options include:
- Asking a friend or relative to drive you home
- Calling for an Uber or Lyft
- Getting a taxi
- Staying at a friend’s place for the night
- Getting a hotel room nearby to sleep it off
- Waiting at the bar for a few hours before leaving so you can sober up
- Calling a loved one at home for a ride
You have so many ways to avoid driving home drunk that there really isn’t any good excuse to be a drunk driver. If you do happen to find yourself driving drunk, there will be consequences to face; DUI lawyers can try their best to help you out of a tough situation, but if you’re in a car accident, there may be more issues than just a DUI charge.
Get Home Safely
With all of these tips to help you avoid becoming a drunk driver, you can ensure your family that you’ll be able to get home safely after a night out. Keep all of these tips in mind the next time you decide to go out drinking with your friends so you can keep them safe, too!
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