Why Do People Drink and Drive?

bigstock-Drink-And-Drive-2667399You’re at a party with friends, having a great time and sipping a few drinks as the hours pass by. There is music, great conversation, food and fun, and it seems like the perfect night. As the party wanes and people begin to leave, you realize you may be stumbling a bit, or you are slurring your words. You cannot remember exactly how much you have had to drink, but, now you have to make a decision: should you drive yourself home?

For anyone who has had the experience of being convicted of a DUI/DWI offence, the obvious choice should be to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride. With consequences like ignition interlock installations, attorney’s fees, court costs and driver’s license suspensions, it may even seem like there is not a choice but to arrive home safely. But, drinking alcohol changes a person’s perception, and the choice to drive while intoxicated is made far too often.

Top reasons a person drives after drinking:

  • Drinking reduces the mind’s ability to comprehend how much alcohol has actually been consumed, and, it engages the mind into an “auto-pilot” mode, allowing for normal behaviors to dominate critical thinking.
  • Alcohol induces a feeling of confidence and relaxation, allowing a person to believe that he or she is perfectly in control of his or her actions and thoughts.
  • A person who has been drinking may not be aware of how the alcohol has affected him or her, and if others are at a similar point of intoxication, there may not be a sober point of reference.
  • A chronic drunk driver may enjoy the thrill of getting away with a crime, or, may not feel he or she could get caught.
  • Drinking to excess can be embarrassing, and by asking for a ride home, a person is admitting there is a problem in front of peers.

People drink and drive for a variety of reasons, but, no matter the justification, they are putting lives in danger. Many people who have been convicted of driving drunk in the past are not given second chances to make that decision, and are sentenced to use an ignition interlock device for a period of time, in order to change that behavior, illustrating that a person who has been drinking cannot make reliable and safe decisions regarding the choice to drive.

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