Studies show that, on average, someone is killed by a drinking and driving motor vehicle accident ever 30 minutes. Non-fatal accidents are even more common, occurring every two minutes.

This happens for a variety of reasons but the fact is, the power to prevent these accidents lies with the driver of the vehicle. Use these tips to get home safely and prevent something unfortunate happening from drinking and driving.

How does alcohol effect driving?

Most accidents happen because a person makes a split-second wrong decision. The more someone consumes alcohol, the more his or her ability to make those life or death driving decisions becomes impaired. Scientists and police know that after just a single drink, drivers often lose their ability to do simple driving tasks such as braking, steering, changing lanes and adjusting to dangerous road conditions.

If drivers get caught drinking too much, usually a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent, police can arrest them and they will spend the night in jail.

What is blood-alcohol content?

A driver’s blood alcohol content is a measurement used to determine intoxication. It means the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood. Police test breath to measure a driver’s blood-alcohol content by using a breath test. It can also be tested in the blood, urine or saliva.

How to prevent drinking and driving accidents? First and foremost, the best thing someone can do is to not drive if they feel even slightly tipsy. Feeling even a bit drunk can cause a serious accident or lead to arrest. If someone knows he/she is going to the bar or a party and intends to consume alcohol, try to arrange for a designated driver – someone who will remain sober and drive everyone home safely.

If this is impossible, at least take a taxi home or use public transportation. If this is impossible and the party is being held at someone’s residence, inquire about staying over until sobering up. Many cities also offer special services for people who have been drinking where someone will drive their car home for them.

Driving defensively

It isn’t always easy to prevent drinking and driving accidents, especially when it is other people who have been doing the drinking. Always use a safety belt when in the car and always drive defensively, especially at night.

If it is obvious a car is being operated by a drunk driver, report the license plate number to the police. It is better to be safe than sorry.