Top Myths of Drinking and Driving
Know the drinking and driving facts before mistakes are made.
Before getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking, know the
facts. Driving under the influence is illegal and dangerous. Do not be
deceived by drunk driving myths that so many people have fallen for,
endangering their own life and others around them in the
process. Drunk driving statistics are solid and by knowing the facts,
can significantly decrease with time and knowledge; know the drinking
and driving facts, sober up before driving. Don't drink and
drive. Common Myths about Drinking and Driving are:
- MYTH: It's only the young and inexperienced drivers who are
affected by alcohol.
FACT: It is true that being an inexperienced, possibly younger, driver
will increase the chances of having a wreck when alcohol consumption
is involved, but by no means are young and or inexperienced drivers
the only ones incapable of drinking and driving. Drinking alcohol, no
matter how old you are or how long you have been driving, will affect
your cognitive state of mind and debilitate your senses needed to
safely drive a vehicle. Don't chance your safety based on age, sex,
weight, driving experience or hair color when it comes to drinking and
driving. If you drink, make the choice not to drive until your blood
alcohol concentration (B.A.C) levels have dropped.
- MYTH: I can still be in control after drinking.
FACT: Maybe you have driven after drinking 101 times before and
feel convinced you are still in control after drinking. Even though
you may not have a staggering walk or be running into walls, the fact
is that after only one beer impairment begins to set in and slows your
reaction time. Alcohol doesn't only affect vision and coordination,
but it also alters your attention span, reaction time, judgment and
not to mention the ability to multi-task – all vital parts in
operating a vehicle.
- MYTH: If I have to, I can sober up quickly.
FACT: No matter how much you allow yourself to feel control has been
regained after drinking alcohol, simply by will, is a common
misconception. From the very first drink, judgment begins to impair,
reflexes relax and slow down. Drinking alcohol is what it is and only
time without drinking can flush your system, allowing you to regain
the senses needed to drive safely. Don't drink and drive, just wait a
little bit. Use the facts to be sure you are not technically "drinking
- MYTH: I just need to eat and I'll be o.k. to drive.
FACT: Being that it is never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach,
having eaten with your drink(s) is still not a sure-proof defense
against impaired driving. In fact, the only absolute way to be surly
be safe is time. It takes about 6 hours for the body to completely
purge alcohol when a B.A.C level is at the legal limit of .08. Food
while drinking is good but not a fail-safe when it comes to drunk
- MYTH: Coffee with sober me up enough to drive safely.
FACT: Coffee does not alleviate the effects of alcohol impairment in
any way. The only thing coffee will do is create a wide-eyed and
awake, nervous drunk person; a drunk person still in no condition to
drive. Only time will wear off the effects of alcohol.
- MYTH: If I stick to drinking beer and not the "hard stuff," I'll be
fine to drive.
FACT: Beer is still alcohol no matter how you see the severity of the
effects. One 12 oz. beer contains just as much alcohol as a 5
oz. glass of wine or a 1⁄2 oz. shot of 80-proof whisky. Drinking beer
or drinking the "hard stuff" and driving still constitutes as driving
"under the influence" for a reason. Judgment and basic reflex
functions are degraded, don't risk it.
- MYTH: Bigger people are more equipped to handle alcohol so they can
drink and still be able to drive safely.
FACT: Granted, a person's physical stature does play a role in
determining the rate at which alcohol's symptoms take effect. However,
one must also take into consideration an individual's metabolism, when
the last time that person ate and how much sleep they got leading up
to drinking. These complex calculations could determine the
possibility of risking one or more person's life when agreeing they
are alright to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
- MYTH: As long as I splash cold water on my face and roll down the
car window for fresh air, I'll be fine.
FACT: Waiting it out is the only option to be "fine" to drive safely
after drinking. Splashing your face with cold water and rolling down
the car window feels good and may give you a sense of revitalization,
but the fact is that you drank alcohol and put alcohol into your
body. Neither cold water nor blowing wind will get it out of your
system and prepare you to drive safely. Don't be hasty when it comes
to drinking and driving, drunk driving accidents are no laughing
matter. The impaired person behind the wheel of a vehicle has the same
probability of crashing with his window down and he does with it up.
- MYTH: I'm only driving a few blocks to get home.
FACT: The majority of car accidents happen close to home, typically
between 2 and 5 miles close to home. Statistics show that only 1% of
car accidents took place more than 50 miles away from the driver's
home. Those are pretty tough odds to beat especially after drinking.
- MYTH: I won't get caught.
FACT: Local law enforcement has increased alcohol checkpoints in
recent years and the penalties for driving under the influence have
become even harsher. New legislation also gives police the ability to
test drivers they believe to be under the influence, for drug/alcohol
impairment and charge those who do not comply, to supply a mandatory
saliva, blood or urine sample. Depending on the severity of the drunk
driving or drug influenced situation, consequences could include a 24
stay in the local jail, vehicle impound, fines and even sentencing to
longer jail-time. If the drunk driving case was bad enough, a
rehabilitation program and installed vehicle breathalyzer may be