The proposition of driving a vehicle, while either at the edge of intoxication or after you’ve stumbled well past it, creates a number of unique challenges.
Upon reaching a certain blood alcohol concentration level, a person’s reflexes slow dramatically as does his or her ability to exercise reasonably good judgment. So the first challenge is being able to compensate for slowed reflexes. That’s simple enough, but it’s complicated by the second challenge-- realizing that your judgment capability is no longer sufficient to deal with the first.
Evidence in the failure of judgment capacity is found in the oft-expressed, and routinely false belief that a particular level of alcohol consumption hasn’t been sufficient to impair driving ability. Another all too common problem is that even when some people realize they’ve reached the “tipping point”, they don’t care. I’ve known people who stated they could drive better drunk than sober. And they could—right up to the point that they ran into a tree or hit another car.
Since the blood alcohol tipping point (the level at which significant degradation in reflex and judgment occurs) varies from one person to another, there is no universal guideline as to the number of drinks (amount of alcohol) that can be consumed without seriously impairing reflexes and judgment. So it’s very easy to wind up in a position of not realizing that you’re too drunk to determine that you’re too drunk to determine whether or not you should drive. Dealing with such a concept is challenging enough when you’re completely sober. It’s an impossibility after a few drinks.
Something else to keep in mind—you may reach your particular tipping point long before your blood alcohol concentration level has reached the point at which you’d be considered legally intoxicated (.08). If you’re involved in an accident, penalties may be more severe if it’s determined that your judgment was impaired as a result of alcohol consumption, even if your blood alcohol concentration level is well below .08.
So in the interest of reducing or eliminated the problems typically encountered when “Driving Under the Influence” we present the following.
Top 5 Drunk Driving Tips
1. After consulting with a variety of experts on the subject, some of who acquired their knowledge through numerous field trips, others with more formal types of study, the number one Drunk Driving Tip is: “Don’t."
In fact, that’s the only truly usable tip we could find. The verbiage or studies we reviewed all put a unique perspective on the whys and wherefores, but they all lead to the same one word conclusion: “Don’t." Since driving under the
influence should never be attempted, the remaining four tips present helpful
methods of determining if you’ve reached the tipping point.
2. Uncertain whether or not it’s safe for you to drive? Try the elbow in the ear test. It’s impossible to put your elbow in your ear even if you’re absolutely sober, so the mere fact that you’re even considering taking the test means just on thing.
The best options are to stay where you are, call a cab, or simply alternate between left and right elbows as you continue to search for ways to place an elbow in an ear. Before long, someone will offer you a ride home—or to a psychiatric facility.
3. You walk out to your car completely convinced that you’re perfectly capable of driving and find you can’t unlock the door. Upon further examination you notice the car is blue. Your car is red. But it doesn’t matter. You’re too drunk to drive.
4. It’s time to go home, so you stroll up to your car, open the trunk and fall in. No problem. You’re right where you belong for the rest of the evening.
5. Your night on the town has come to an end, so you walk to your car, unlock the door, open it and slide into the driver’s seat. After latching your seat belt, you start the engine, reach up along side the steering wheel and move the shift lever out of “Park” into “Drive."
Presto-- the windshield wipers spring into action, but the car won’t move. Thinking there’s something wrong with the transmission linkage, you move the lever back into “Park” and as you do, the wipers suddenly switch off. It’s time to reconsider the drive home. There’s nothing wrong with the transmission-- the shift lever isn’t on the steering column, it’s on the floor.
These tips aren’t intended to make light of driving under the influence of alcohol, or any other substance that can impair your judgment or slow your reflexes. They’re offered in the hope that at least one of them will become lodged in you mind and sound a mental alarm if the time ever comes when you think you can drive, but shouldn’t.