We get conflicting messages all the time about drinking and driving. We know it is unsafe. We know that our “limit” should always be on our minds when drinking. We also know that “buzzed driving is drunk driving,” and that “don’t drink and drive,” says it all. In the U.S., the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08% for anyone of legal drinking age. This limit lets us have a beer (or two) and get behind the wheel of a car, legally. Unless we are unable to drive safely under that BAC limit, there isn’t much fear of a drunk driving arrest. But, by not taking a strong stance against any drinking and driving, are we allowing drunk drivers to put our lives in danger?
By “knowing our limit,” we are risking our ability to judge how buzzed we are. Each of us has a different limit or tolerance for alcohol, and what works for one isn’t safe for another. But, when we’re out with friends, we tend to match our alcohol consumption with each other, despite the difference in our limits. That all adds up to a fast track to a drunk driving conviction, ignition interlock requirement and more.
If we don’t drink and drive, we don’t have to worry about our limit. There’s no reason to count the number of drinks we’ve had, or try to judge our buzz before heading home. By not drinking and driving, our risk of a conviction, ignition interlock or possible tragedies are eliminated. We don’t have to worry about whether we’re buzzed, drunk or well under the limit. We just know our BAC is at zero – the safest limit of all.
Knowing that any amount of alcohol is dangerous, there shouldn’t be any conflict in deciding to find a sober ride home after drinking. Even if you know your limit and that your “buzz” means you are drunk, it is still safest to not drink and drive, period.