There’s never a time when drinking and driving is okay. It creates an unsafe environment for you and anyone else on or near the roads. But drinking and driving is more than unsafe—it can affect all aspects of your life and change it forever. One of the most common problems occurs when people think that “one drink is fine,” or that they’re “just a little buzzed.” Regardless, buzzed driving is still drunk driving, and that lack of forethought is where problems arise.
If you need more of a reason as to why you shouldn’t get behind the wheel after drinking, look below. You’ll find numerous examples of how drinking and driving affects your life—and not just physically and personally. Learn more below.
As we mentioned, drinking and driving creates an unsafe environment. We briefly touched on how it affects more than your own life but also the lives of individuals all around you. Any car you drive past, any pedestrian on the sidewalk nearby—all of these people are in danger when you choose to drink and drive. Drinking and driving affects your life (even if you don’t get pulled over) because it throws safety out the window.
How it impairs your driving
Drinking impairs your ability to drive safely. The smart, safe choices you could make while sober don’t come as easily or instinctually anymore, creating an unsafe environment for yourself. Here are some of the ways drinking impairs you driving.
- Slow Reaction Time
- Reduced Concentration
- Decreased Vision
How it affects others
As indicated, drinking affects your ability to drive. This affects the safety of any individual present, putting them at risk from your slow reaction times, reduced concentration, and decreased vision. If even one drink starts affecting your body, then one drink affects the lives of those around you. Simply put, if a drunk driving accident harms another person, that’s going to heavily affect the life of the driver.
Drinking affects your body. We’ve talked in previous blogs about the effects of alcohol on the body, and those facts show how even just one drink can change your life when you get behind the wheel. Your body does not react or think the same way when you start drinking, so when you start driving, that puts your life on the line. Physically speaking, drinking and driving may often result in a crash. Your body may suffer injuries, or you could end up physically harming someone else. These affect not just your physical condition but often end up really affecting your mental health as well.
Distress from drunk driving sticks with victims, families, and the accused for days, months, and years after the fact. Though the choice to drink and drive only takes a few seconds, the repercussions can stick with people for a much longer period. Even if you haven’t suffered injuries, but someone else has, then that can bring you down mentally. It’s a situation that few people can cope with, even with a strong support system and various professional resources.
In a similar sense, our bodies also suffer emotionally from drinking and driving. Grief, depression, anxiety, and so many other emotions can end up influencing someone affected by drunk driving. Remember, when you get behind the wheel after drinking, you’re not just risking yourself and your physical, mental, and emotional well-being but also the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of those around you. Take guilt, for example. It can overcome convicted drunk drivers, making life incredibly difficult and dark. But there’s also the anger that cultivates within victims or their families. Emotions run high in situations like these, and not just for the driver.
Probably one of the biggest aspects of how drinking and driving affects your life has to do with the social repercussions. When someone drinks and drives and ends up injuring someone else, that comes with major consequences. We talked about how very few people can cope—mentally, emotionally, physically—even with a strong support system. However, a lot of people tend to lose that support system when their decision to drink and drive is what caused the damage. Friends and family want the best for you, but if you make a choice that affects, injures, or kills someone else, they may not be supportive.
If the choice to drink and drive doesn’t result in a crash but a ticket, a court date, or a suspended license, then that also affects your social life. You won’t be able to drive to a friend’s house. If you’re applying for a job, your record may affect your chances. When the consequences of your actions disrupt your social life, you may feel the above factors a bit heavier, as well.
Whether the choice to drink and drive results in a crash or a ticket, the cost of a DUI resonates for years beyond the actual incident. Fines impact the driver immediately and can be quite hefty, depending on one’s driving history. Insurance premiums skyrocket in the long term. Employers may pass on your applications even years after a drunk driving incident occurs. Drunk driving arrests show up on credit reports. If your decision to drive drunk results in an accident or loss of life, that can lead to major financial consequences—legal fees, property repair costs, and liability payments to victims. All these repercussions can end up changing the lives of individuals and their families.
The decisions we make in our lives may seem small. We may think that the choice to have one more beer really only affects how our body feels. But choices roll into other choices, and the small choices we make can end up changing our lives and the lives of people around us forever. We must be cognizant about the choices we make and whether they’re safe, smart, and healthy. If someone makes the decision to drink, then they should also make the decision not to drive. Small choices can have big consequences.
If you or a loved one find yourselves in a situation where a small choice turned into a bigger problem, then reach out to Jared Justice. As a West Linn DUI attorney, he can help mitigate the consequences of your small choices. With an excellent track record and the passion to help you through these impactful life events, he’s exactly the man you want on your side. Reach out now and see how he can help!