Don’t Drink and Drive: 5 Myths That Could Put Your Life In Danger

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In addition to concentrated patrols, there will be sobriety checkpoints, where deputies will confirm motorists are licensed to drive and whether they are inebriated or altered due to drug use, officials said. | Courtesy Photo or Riverside County Sheriffs

Michelle White | Contributor

You’re having drinks with co-workers, and you’ve had more than you should, but it’s not enough to impair your judgment, you think. You tell yourself it would be fine to drive home; you know the roads so well. Then the topic of ride-sharing apps comes up, and one of your friends says she’d never get into an Uber or Lyft if she’d been drinking because there’s no telling who might be behind the wheel.

Yes, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is something that more and more people are doing nowadays. And sadly, myths about drinking and driving are not uncommon in our society, and they can only put your life in danger if you continue to believe them.

Enrolling in online DUI classes can help protect and save lives. With these classes, you can bust drunk driving myths and recognize signs that someone is struggling with alcohol use.

5 Common Drinking and Driving Myths

The idea that you’ll be okay if you only have one drink before getting behind the wheel or that it’s okay to drive under the influence of alcohol is, again, very common. So, we have to bust these myths because they are dangerous and could lead to an unfortunate situation where you or others pay the price.

Myth #1: Caffeine can keep you awake.

Caffeine is a known stimulant that can keep you awake and alert in a short time. But your reflexes may still be affected, even if you have had that much-needed caffeine boost.

In some cases, caffeine can cause people to experience microsleeps, which can be dangerous for drivers. These short dozes happen randomly, and people just nod off without even knowing it. These microsleeps may last several seconds and cause drivers to stare blankly in front of them, close their eyes without realizing, and suddenly drop their heads.

Even worse, microsleeps can cause drivers to unintentionally steer the wheel in the wrong direction. This can result in drifting into oncoming vehicles or hitting pedestrians.

Myth #2: Opening the windows or playing loud music keeps you up.

Sure, loud music may distract you for a short while. But it doesn’t guarantee your safety on the road. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to stay up and alert while driving, find an area for you to rest and take a short nap. This is because, at this stage, your ability to drive safely has already been impaired.

Myth #3: Alcohol has minimal effects on bigger individuals.

Size may be a factor that can determine impairment. Other factors to consider are medications, how you drank alcohol, the time you last ate, the amount of food you’ve eaten, and your overall health.

However, size is but one factor. No matter the size, you can’t guarantee a safe driving experience after drinking a lot. Your body may still react to alcohol similarly to a smaller person’s.

Myth #4: The alcohol content in your drink doesn’t matter.

It is worth emphasizing that alcohol is still alcohol. Drink too much, and you will be impaired. This applies to all alcoholic beverages, such as liquor, wine, and beer.

But where did this myth come from in the first place?

Beer is 4% alcohol by volume (ABV), whereas hard liquor is 40% ABV. And drinking any of these two at the same rate means getting drunk faster with the latter. That is perhaps the reason people believe drinking beer before getting behind the wheel is perfectly fine.

The truth is that what matters here is the alcohol content you consumed and not the drink. Drink 10 glasses of beer, or drink a glass of hard liquor; the effect is the same.

Myth #5: The penny trick should fool a breath test.

Some drivers believe that putting a copper penny under the tongue has no effect on breath tests. Yes, that myth persists. But no penny, ingredients, or objects can actually alter the results of breathalyzer tests. If you are impaired, it will show in the results, and you can put your life or others in danger.

What Happens When You Insist to Drink and Drive?

Impaired driving is a serious offense, and the consequences can result in injuries and high costs. If you get arrested for a DUI, you could lose your license and pay hefty fines.

Below are the consequences you may have to face when drunk driving:

● Repairs – Collisions can cause your car to suffer serious damage, hence the need for repairs. And in case you don’t know, auto glass replacement can be a bit pricey.

● Imprisonment – Drunk driving can cause you to go to jail. And the possibility of being imprisoned increases if you damage property or cause harm to others. If found guilty, you will have a criminal record, and future employers will know this.

● License Suspension – On the first offense, your driver’s license may be confiscated, depending on state laws. This suspension may last for a certain timeframe, depending on the offense and other factors.

● Fines – The fees vary per state but generally include civil penalties, court fees, and license reinstatement fees.

Prevent Serious Damage; Keep Drunk Family and Friends Off the Road

A car alarm installation may help reduce the risk, but it does not give you the assurance of road safety. So, aside from educating your family and friends about the dangers of drunk driving, you have to keep them off the road when drunk. This way, you can prevent crashes and other serious incidents:

Here are some other ways that can help:

● Convince them not to drive once they feel too tired or when drunk. You can keep their keys and be firm about not letting them drive. ● Book an Uber or call a taxi. Don’t let them drive home.

● Drive them home. If you did not drink alcohol, volunteer to take your friend home.

● Ask them to stay for the night. If you hosted the party, have a room for your friends to stay in and sleep over. This is so they can have a place to stay when they become sober.

Don’t Drink and Drive to Stay Safe on the Road!

According to reports, one in three drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. And those aren’t just isolated incidents; they’re caused by individuals who think they’re safe behind the wheel after a few glasses of liquor. Even though you told yourself earlier that it would be safe to drive home, we hope this new information changes everything.


About the Author

Michelle White is currently the Content Marketing Strategist for Arizona DUI Team. Aside from spreading awareness on DUI and vehicular-related offenses, she enjoys reading and hiking with her family and friends.

Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle

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