Drinking is one of the most popular recreational activities in the world. Whether it’s good wine at a party or a beer during a football game, alcohol is a signature piece of entertainment for most folks. Drinking is OK if it’s done in moderation. When people have a little too much to drink and decide to get behind the wheel is when the real fallout occurs.
The consequences of a DUI are severe, no matter why the person was driving under the influence. You can lose your license, go to prison, and have to find a new career after getting a DUI. Because it’s been so well recognized what happens when you get a DUI, why do people still drive under the influence?
We’ll discuss why people drive after drinking alcohol and the consequences of doing so. It’s crucial for you or anybody you know who has issues with alcohol to seek professional help and never operate a car while drunk.
Table of Contents
Reason #1 – “It’s Just One Drink”
Because your blood alcohol content has to be 0.08 or higher to get arrested, some people think it’s OK to have just one or two drinks at a party. As we said, alcohol can be an acceptable way to entertain guests. But just because your BAC likely won’t surpass the legal limit after a single glass of wine doesn’t mean you should take a chance driving.
Always have a designated driver if you think you’ll have drinks somewhere away from home. Your designated driver should be someone who has your best interest in mind and cares about everyone’s safety.
If your designated driver is someone who also loves to party and have fun with alcohol, they might not be a good choice. If you need help finding a responsible designated driver, ordering a ride-sharing service to pick you up might be a good idea.
Studies show a single drink can decrease your ability to be cognizant and make good decisions on the road. It is better to be safe than sorry. If you feel impaired in any way, avoid getting behind the wheel.
Consequence #1: Your Insurance Rates Will Increase
A consequence of drinking and driving is your insurance rates will increase. Some people will even have trouble finding insurance coverage after a DUI charge. This is because you are a risk to your insurance company when you have a DUI charge on your driving record. You are much more likely to get into an accident and have to file a claim.
You might have to wait a while after the charge to get insurance again. After you have stayed clean and done other things to prove you are an improved driver, like taking a defensive driving course, you can get insurance coverage for an increased rate. Price increases to your auto policy after a DUI can vary depending on your prior history and other contributing factors.
Reason #2: You Have an Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism is one of the more overlooked addictions in the U.S. despite being one of the most common. People often think about other drugs being more damaging to their life, but having a drinking problem is disastrous. Unfortunately, when we see drunk driving, we sometimes judge the person behind the wheel instead of getting them the help they need.
If you or a family member have an alcohol problem, the first step to healing and recovery is to accept that there’s a problem. Don’t blow it off as some bad habit or something you will get over at some point. You need to get professional help as soon as possible. This can include therapy sessions or alcohol group meetings with others struggling.
Getting help in a group setting with people like you can be a very empathetic experience. You might feel less judged in this setting, making you more open and vulnerable. Being exposed to people in different parts of the recovery process can help you see the bigger picture and understand the process easier than if you were trying to do it all alone.
Consequence #2: You Could Lose Your Job
If you don’t get your alcoholism in check, a DUI could follow. Alcoholics often don’t even realize when they are getting behind the wheel impaired, which could lead to devastating losses for everyone involved. Getting a DUI is one of the worst things that can go on your permanent record.
Many employers will deem you an incompetent person and employee if you drive drunk, resulting in losing your job. If your work involves driving equipment, like construction or delivery driving, you might have difficulty getting another job in this industry again.
If you are an entrepreneur trying to grow your business, you will experience a more reputational hit. Either way, your job, and drunk driving aren’t going to mix very well.
Reason #3: Peer Pressure
Teenagers might struggle not to drive after drinking because of factors such as peer pressure. Teens might also want to avoid getting into trouble with their parents, so they believe driving home themselves would result in less of a negative outcome.
Drinking is a social activity for young people, and many teens might try to pressure their friends into trying it. It’s often part of being rebellious to do something illegal as a young person.
Parents need to try their hardest to make sure their kids don’t try drinking. Try to limit access to alcohol in your home and encourage positive activities like sports with your teenager. Teens should be educated on the consequences that come with driving drunk.
Visuals of drunk driving accidents are a great way to show your children the possible outcomes if they decide to drink and drive.
Consequence #3: You Won’t Get Into College if You’re in Prison
Young people might lose out on the opportunity to go to college if they have a DUI on their application. There is the possibility you could have the charge expunged from your record, but it’s a time–consuming and expensive ordeal.
If you kill or injure someone while drunk driving, there’s a chance you could go to prison. The severity of a prison sentence might depend on factors such as the state you live in, your BAC levels, or the circumstances surrounding the crime.
If you are notice someone who has a drinking problem, instead of spreading judgement, encourage them to make better decisions, seek help, and offer your support. As a community it’s important that we each do our part in keeping our neighbors safe, by working together to ensure drunk driving becomes less of a prominent issue.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to inform people about the consequences of driving while drunk, especially having to do with auto insurance.