Most people realize that if they drink alcohol, they shouldn’t drive. They understand this concept in the abstract. However, they don’t think about the actual repercussions if they drink and drive one night.
Drunk driving can permanently change your life, and never for the better. We’ll discuss it in detail now.
How Many People Die from Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving crashes killed 11,654 people in 2020. Those include only US deaths. Many more people die worldwide.
You can expect similar stats most years. These deaths happen because people speed while driving or pass out behind the wheel. Some switch lanes without signaling or go through red lights and crash in intersections.
Some people feel invincible when they drink. They drive because they think nothing can harm them. They drink because they want that loss-of-control feeling.
These problem drinkers might not respect laws telling them they shouldn’t drive. They may feel the laws do not apply and the cops won’t pull them over.
These individuals might drive many times and avoid any catastrophes. However, the more you drink and drive, the better the chances you will hit another vehicle, cyclist, pedestrian, etc.
Even if you think you drive carefully when you drink, you still have impaired senses. They can betray you at any time.
What Happens if the Police Catch You Driving Drunk?
Let’s say that the police catch you driving drunk. Maybe you don’t hit anyone, but you’re driving erratically. You might swerve out of your lane and get a cop’s attention. They pull you over and give you a breathalyzer, which you fail.
If that happens, they will arrest you. That will embarrass you. Your spouse or some other family member must come bail you out. You will have a courtroom appearance. The judge might suspend your license.
If that occurs, you must take public transportation for a while. The judge might also say you must attend AA meetings or some other alcohol intervention program. They might say that you must do community service as well.
Maybe all of that helps you. You realize that you did something wrong, and you might have hurt or killed someone or yourself. You may get your license back and never make that mistake again.
You Might Crash Your Car
You may also crash your car when you’re driving drunk. If so, maybe you went over the speed limit, or perhaps you had friends in the vehicle, and you showed off. You lost control and had a one-car accident.
If that happens, the police will arrest you, and you might also lose your license. You may get a longer suspension because you caused some property damage. You can expect community service or possibly even some jail time.
Also, even if you get your license back eventually, your insurance company might not renew your policy. They may feel like they can’t insure you if you acted too recklessly.
If so, you might take public transportation from that point forward. You may not like that very much, but if you hadn’t become a public menace, you would not face this situation that you created through your own choices.
You Hurt or Kill Someone
Until now, we’ve discussed some situations where drunk driving can change your life. We have not discussed any truly devastating changes, though.
Maybe a situation arises where you get blackout drunk. Perhaps you and your significant other have a fight. Possibly you lose your job, or something else happens, and you drink excessively because you’re having a hard time coping. You get behind the wheel and drive home after the bar closes.
If you hit another vehicle and injure or kill the driver, or a passenger, you’re now facing a very tough situation. You took someone’s life, or maybe your reckless actions crippled them.
Now, you can’t get back to your previous life. A judge will take your driver’s license, but that’s not your worst worry. You will likely face some serious jail time. The judge might say your actions constitute reckless endangerment or even depraved indifference.
If a jury convicts you, you might spend many years behind bars. Also, the family may take civil action against you. They can come after you and take every cent you have. You might liquidate your assets and give them all your money, but even that won’t bring the deceased person back.
If the person lived, they might spend their life in a wheelchair. They did nothing wrong, but you took their life from them nonetheless. Maybe they’re alive, but they can’t enjoy themselves like they once could.
Drunk Driving Can Change Everything
One bad decision can change your whole life sometimes, and many people learn that in just a single day or night. One moment, you’re at the bar having some beverages, the next, you’re sitting on the pavement in cuffs with broken glass surrounding you.
You know in the abstract that this can happen, but if you drink and drive, the abstract might become real very quickly. You will soon learn that drinking and driving can change your life’s trajectory and put you in a miserable situation.
If you drink, you should consider how you’ll get home, assuming you’re out at a bar somewhere. You may also drink alcohol at a friend’s house. Maybe you’re watching a football game or a boxing match.
No matter what you’re doing, monitor your drinking and realize when you’re over the legal limit.
If you know you’ve had more than one alcoholic drink, call for an Uber or a Lyft. You might call a taxi as well. If you can’t afford one, look into public transportation. See if a friend can give you a ride home if you have a sober buddy with you.
You can also stay home and drink. That way, even if you overdo it, you won’t endanger anyone. If you behave responsibly with your alcohol consumption, you can keep your life on the right track.