8 Ways to Avoid Driving Drunk

Author
Alicia Betz
January 21, 2021

So you’ve had some drinks, and you think you’re OK to drive. Very few people get behind the wheel while intoxicated with the intent of causing harm. Unfortunately, this situation is all too common, and drunk driving often leads to unintended consequences. Even just one drink can impair your judgment, and if you get behind the wheel while intoxicated, it can lead to a DUI or worse. 

Before you even begin a night of drinking, it’s helpful to have a plan so you can avoid driving drunk. These tips will give you multiple ways out so that you can always find a way to avoid driving drunk no matter what situation you find yourself in.

1. Hand over your keys

Before you even start drinking, give your keys to a designated driver or somebody who won’t give them back to you unless you’re sober. If you’re using a designated driver, be sure that person does not drink at all. Making this decision before you start drinking can take away the temptation to jump in the car and start driving after a few drinks.

2. Call an Uber

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Ways to avoid DUI

3. Call a friend or family member

If you’re out drinking and don’t have money for a cab service or if none are operating in your area, call a friend or family member. Even if it’s two in the morning, pick up the phone. It’s much better to drag somebody out of bed than it is to drive drunk and risk lives. Consider making a plan ahead of time for somebody to come pick you up.

4. Wait it out 

Wait to drive until you sober up. As a general rule of thumb, wait one hour per drink. Even after that time is up, remember to listen to your body. If you feel like you’re still too impaired to drive, find another way home. Everybody metabolizes alcohol differently; women and smaller people tend to metabolize it more quickly, meaning they would need to wait longer for alcohol to get out of their system.

5. Don't go home

Assuming you’re somewhere safe with people you trust, simply stay the night. Ask to stay over if you’re drinking at a friend or family member’s house. If you’re drinking at or near a hotel, consider booking a room for the night.

6. Drink responsibly

Eat food before you start drinking, have just one drink per hour, drink plenty of water, and stop drinking 90 minutes before you plan to leave. These steps should help ensure you aren’t intoxicated when you get behind the wheel, but it’s still important to listen to your body. If you feel even slightly impared, don’t drive.

Tips to avoid DUI

7. Err on the side of caution

You may think you’re okay to drive after one or two drinks, but it is very possible to be imparied after just one drink. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), impairment begins at a blood alcohol level of just .02—far below the legal limit. If you even suspect you might not be okay to drive, don’t drive.

8. Make a no drinking plan and stick to it

When you decide to be a designated driver or to refrain from drinking, stick to your plan. Don’t allow others to pressure you into having “just one drink.” It can be helpful to let people know you don’t plan on drinking and ask them to respect your decision. Try drinking your favorite soda or a delicious mocktail instead.

Even the best laid plans sometimes go awry and DUIs happen.  If you get arrested for a DUI, you can speak to a lawyer about your options.

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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