Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcoholic substances is something every licensed motorist knows to avoid. And yet, in the United States 1 in 3 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives. Of fatal accidents in 2009, 32% involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
So what clear steps can be taken to help prevent potential alcohol-related crashes? While you ultimately cannot control what others do on the road, or what they do before entering a vehicle, there are still steps that you can take to minimize a risk of a crash.
- Do Not Drink and Drive! The first step is simple, you are less likely to crash a car if you are not impaired by alcohol. In Virginia the legal limit for alcohol in your system is .08%. If you choose to drink it’s best to call a cab. The service cost about as much as two drinks if you live in Norfolk or the surrounding area. Additionally, apps like Uber have made it easier than ever to find transportation in a pinch.
- Don’t Let Others Drink and Drive! If you are hosting a party, or even just have a few friends over on the weekend, never let someone visibly intoxicated leave by themselves and especially don’t let them drive a car. Not only will this protect them from bodily injury, it can protect you from Social-Host laws in some states.
Social-Host laws make the host of a social gathering where alcohol is being freely given away responsible for the safety of members leaving the party. If someone leaves drunk and injures themselves, it may be the fault of the person hosting the party. While Virginia does not observe Social-Host laws, North Carolina does and it is important to be mindful of what you do when you hold a party there.
Instead of letting your friend drive home, offer to let them sleep at the venue, find them a designated driver, or get them a cab to make sure they got home safely and legally.
- Don’t Drink. The best way to avoid a DUI or any injury is to not drink. We’re not saying to avoid alcohol at every party or event you go to, just to be responsible. If you plan to drink make sure you have a designated driver, and if you don’t have one and don’t have money for a cab you probably shouldn’t drink.
If you do find yourself in the situation where you face DUI or other traffic-related charges, call the experts at the Decker Law Firm for legal counsel and we can help you with the next steps.