Binge drinking is one of those alcohol-soaked activities that is shared by the college crowd and their older-and-wiser parents and grandparents, alike. With little time at the end of the day to fully enjoy a relaxing drink, it’s not uncommon to see friends at a bar toss back four or more drinks in an hour, then head home. But, even if that doesn’t seem as bad as a keg stand or a night of drinking games, it is still binge drinking, and it can be deadly.
Binge drinking plays a big role in drunk driving incidents, and it can be a reason that an offender is required to install an ignition interlock device. For instance, not all states have all-offender ignition interlock laws, but, all states do require the devices for those with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC). That high BAC is often caused by binge drinking, especially when a driver leaves a party feeling fine and ends up well over the limit by the time the full force of the alcohol “binge” hits.
The way an ignition interlock works naturally “catches” a binge drinker in the act. From the first BAC sample submitted, the device records the data and stores it. If, somehow, that sample is lower than the limit on the device (usually around .02 percent), the drunk driving offender is allowed to start driving, while the alcohol that was just consumed is given time to be metabolized. By the time the next test, a “rolling re-test” happens, the BAC in that sample will obviously be over the limit set on the device, catching a binge drinker before they are dangerous on the road again and insisting they pull over and stop their vehicle. After that, they cannot drive that car, and their BAC data will be seen by their reporting agency, probation officer and/or the court.
Stopping anyone before they drive under the influence of alcohol is important, but a binge drinker may not have the obvious signs of intoxication until it is much too late. Ignition interlock devices not only keep those high BAC offenders from re-offending, they stop binge drinkers in the act, creating safer streets for us all.