Why Do People Drive Drunk?

drunk driving

In every U.S. state, a DUI conviction is a serious crime resulting in penalties like jail time, license suspension and steep fines. Drinking and driving can also be fatal for drivers, their passengers and anyone unlucky enough to be on the road at the same time. However, despite knowing the dangers and potential consequences, some people still choose to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks. Why do people drive drunk?

1. Impaired Judgment

Under the influence of alcohol, people might do or say things they’d never dream of when they are sober, including driving. Alcohol alters your perceptions and causes you to misjudge how impaired you are. After an hour or two of drinking, you may not have a firm grasp on how much slower your reaction time and thought processes have become. Less experienced drivers may be especially prone to the logical fallacies associated with the decision to drink and drive, but people who have had their licenses for decades may also make the irresponsible choice to drive themselves home after several drinks. 

2. Embarrassment

Many people who drive drunk do so because they are too stubborn to admit they are too impaired to get behind the wheel, and having to call a friend or a ride service to come pick you up can be embarrassing. However, a little bit of humiliation now is a fair exchange for the ability to avoid the many legal and financial consequences of a DUI conviction down the road. Nobody other than you is challenging you to prove that you are “in control” enough to drive. Your life and your freedom are worth too much to take the risk. 

3. False Sense of Security

Alcohol gives some people a confidence boost that may make them feel invincible when they choose to drive drunk, especially if they have done so before without getting caught. Of course, any police officer will tell you that getting behind the wheel after even one beer or glass of wine is playing with fire. Don’t choose to do it because you feel sure you can escape notice or talk your way out of a DUI conviction. That false sense of security may jeopardize your future. 

How to Prevent Drunk Driving

Of course, the best way to ensure you don’t drive drunk is to quit drinking and commit to a sober lifestyle. However, here are some other drunk driving prevention tips.

  • Call a taxi or ridesharing service to take you to and from the event where you plan to drink.
  • Ask someone you know who doesn’t drink to be your designated driver. 
  • If you’re going to the party, arrange to stay overnight at the host’s house or a nearby hotel.
  • Encourage people you know not to drink and drive by offering to serve as their designated driver. 

Treating Alcohol Use Disorders

For many people, a DUI conviction serves as a wake-up call that they have hit a low point and need to seek treatment for an alcohol use disorder. If problematic drinking is causing issues with your relationships, job status or ability to fulfill essential responsibilities, it’s time to choose an accredited facility that offers evidence-based therapies and support. At Pine Grove, we provide residential and outpatient treatment options for clients based on their illnesses’ severity. Contact us today to learn more.

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