In the past few decades, a lot of things have changed when it comes to drunk driving prevention and enforcement. National safety campaigns have sought to educate our younger generations on the hazards of driving while under the influence, and many state highways and roads now feature intermittent sobriety checkpoints as a deterrent. So far, the efforts of federal safety agencies, state departments, and local officials have proved highly efficacious, and as a nation, we have seen the rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000-population drop 65% since 1982, being cut by more than half since 1991 alone. (The Century Council)
Still, even with this wave of progress, alcohol-impairment still accounts for roughly 1/3rd of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States, and it is estimated that three in every ten Americans will be involved in a drunk driving car accident at some time during their lives. Our lawyers have represented countless accident victims from all over the state of Illinois, including those injured or killed by a drunk driver, and that is why we are passionate about educating our readers on how to keep themselves safer. What follows are a few tips our attorneys have come up with for various situations that you may find yourself in:
When generally drinking alcohol in a location you plan to leave later in the night—Above all, when you decide to drink in this context, conduct yourself in a way that is responsible for yourself and everyone in your group. Designate a driver before you leave for your destination, and ensure that this person remains sober throughout the night. If your designated driver drinks anyway, or there is a miscommunication and no one in your group is sober, employ alternate means of transportation to get yourself home (i.e., taxi, train, bus, etc.).
When hosting a party—In addition to serving beer, wine, or liquor, make sure to provide refreshments for those who may not want to consume alcohol, or who have to drive later in the night. You can also slow the rate of alcohol absorption by serving plenty of food and snacks to fill the stomachs of your guests, and always stop serving alcohol an hour or so before your party ends, to allow people to better evaluate how much they have consumed and to give them more time without alcohol before they leave.
Detecting drunk drivers when on the road—According to law enforcement officials, there are several signs associated with a drunk driver:
• Wide or abrupt turns
• Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling a lane
• Driving at a very slow speed
• Stopping without provocation
• Braking excessively or erratically
• Slowly responding to traffic signals
Following these recommendations and tips can’t eliminate the chances of you being involved in a car accident, but they can significantly decrease the odds, and make sure you are doing everything you can to be responsible and safe.