Despite the efforts of MADD and other advocates, driving while impaired is still all too common. One person dies every 52 minutes from this completely preventable crime. New Year’s Eve is a peak time. Whether it’s making a plan for a ride ahead of time or talking to your teen or college-aged child, please stand with us and let’s all do our part during the holidays and every day to prevent these senseless tragedies.
Here are some common myths about driving while impaired:
Myth 1: Many people believe they don’t have far to go, so it’s ok to drive
Most car crashes happen less than 10 miles away from home.
Myth 2: The belief that driving intoxicated in the past is proof we are good at it.
Let’s say we have a six-sided die (by “die” we mean the singular form of “dice”). We may roll that die multiple times before we finally land on a six, but we wouldn’t assume that we won’t ever land on a six because we haven’t before. When you drive while impaired you up your odds of a fatal car crash. The most responsible thing to do is to reduce our risk and keep everyone safe. At .08% BAC, the odds of a car crash triple. But even below the legal limit, your risk is higher. At .05% BAC for example, the odds of a car crash are already 100% more. Play smart. No one is immune to the biological effects of drugs and alcohol. Everyone is impaired by these substances.
Myth 3: Getting a ride is inconvenient or embarrassing
The inconvenience of asking for help or leaving your car parked somewhere is far less than hurting yourself or someone else, or potentially dealing with legal problems.
Myth 4: Driving while using marijuana or other drugs is not that big of a deal
Alcohol, marijuana, prescription pills, and other drugs have all been shown to reduce judgment and reaction times while driving. Even if something is for a medical purpose, it doesn’t make it safe to use while driving.
Talking to your Teen
It’s also important to remember to talk to teens and young adults about drinking, especially at higher risk times like the holidays. Underage people should not consume alcohol at all because of the risk to brain development and the increased likelihood of a young brain developing addiction. Talk to your teens about your expectations, but also talk to them about how to get out of a dangerous situation, especially without drinking and driving. Our teens need to know that even though we don’t want them to drink, we would so much rather them call us and get home safely than risk injury or death.
OKC is offering free bus and streetcar rides on New Year’s Eve (as well as many weekends). Zone 1 ADA Paratransit will be available for free on New Year’s Eve. https://kfor.com/2019/12/27/embark-offering-free-streetcar-bus-rides-on-new-years-eve/ Please comment below with any other resources for free or discounted rides on New Year’s Eve.
Lastly, don’t forget to wear your seat belt. It will greatly reduce your risk of injury or fatality if you are hit by someone driving under the influence. If we all do our part we can finally make impaired driving a thing of the past!