Should You Have “One for the Road?”

BeerHaving a few drinks at a party with friends, or unwinding with co-workers at a bar after a long day at the office can be a fun way to maintain social relationships. There is a camaraderie that develops naturally, sometimes with the assistance of alcohol, that can be just as hard to pass down as that final cocktail or beer before heading home. But, even the phrase, “one for the road,” has a dangerous connotation that can increase the odds of an alcohol-influenced driving incident.

Since the average person can metabolize an estimated one drink each hour, drinking “one for the road” means that a person will likely have a higher blood alcohol concentration within just a few minutes of leaving the bar or party. This means that even if a person is legally okay to drink prior to operating a vehicle, by the time he or she is on the road, that BAC level could be over the legal limit. Since the legal .08 BAC limit defines when a person’s reaction time, judgment and ability to focus are impacted, among other physical reactions to alcohol, that “one for the road,” just became the “one” that is putting the other drivers on the road in danger. In addition, if a person is pulled over and tests above the legal limit, he or she will be charged with driving drunk, leading to financial costs, potential jail time, and even the installation of an ignition interlock device in the person’s vehicle.

Having “one for the road,” creates a situation where the person behind the wheel can potentially cause property damage, injury or death to others on the road, or even the passengers in the vehicle. Being responsible for one’s own choices is necessary, especially when alcohol is involved, and by not offering a final drink to a friend or co-worker, or by declining the drink before heading home, the number of drunk driving incidents can be lowered immensely.

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