You’re at a friend’s house and you decide to have a drink or two. You feel slightly buzzed, not drunk. You decide to let the alcohol wear off a bit, before you leave to head home. You get in your car, start it up, and pull off. You don’t feel drunk at all, maybe just relaxed.
As you drive home you don’t remember passing the McDonald’s, Target or all of the other places you passed. You blink and just like that, you wake up to the sound of ambulance sirens and flashing red and blue lights. You’ve just hit someone. But how? You don’t remember. You blacked out.
In 2018, every 50 minutes someone died from a drunk driving accident. More than 10,000 people die per year from drunk driving related situations. Although only about 17% of the U.S. have had a DUI conviction, millions drink and drive, but don’t get caught. Drunk driving is the one of the leading causes of deaths in the U.S.
“I got my first DUI when I was just 18,” Thomas Green said. “I was arrested at six in the morning, after I wrapped my car around a telephone pole in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.”
Green was fresh out of high school and working full time when the accident occurred. Luckily, he didn’t injure anyone or himself. With a few fines and a slap on the wrist, Green went on to receive two underage drinking charges as well as another arrest. This time around, the courts were no longer letting him slide by his charges so easily.
“After my last underage charge, I was arrested and court ordered to the military,” Green said. “I never knew my life would change so quickly, because of alcohol.”
Just because you feel okay to drive, doesn’t mean you should. It’s just not worth it. Be safe when drinking. Walk home, call an Uber or call a friend. Save the lives of others, by saving your own.
“Not only did I have to serve in the military and do time in jail, my car insurance was more than $500 per month for about four years or so,” Green said.
Scientists and researchers have over time proven that many don’t realize how drunk they are. Most people underestimate their alcohol levels. When drunk people are around sober people, they are more likely to notice their level of intoxication. When drunk people are around other drunk people, they have a hard time recognizing their level of intoxication.
This is called contact drunk. Contact drunk is feeling tipsy around those who actually are tipsy or drunk. Yes, it’s a real thing. If you’re looking to sober up, change the environment in which you are in.
Penalties for drunk driving in Pennsylvania include immense tickets, probation, jail time, DUI classes and suspension of one’s drivers license. Tickets can range from $500 to $10,000. Probation and jail time can last a few months to a few years, depending on the circumstances. Suspension of the driver’s license is the least favorite of every DUI penalty. A person can lose their license for a few months to a few years.
Uber and Lyft are available at any time of the day or night and just about everywhere in the U.S. Next time you’re out drinking with your friends, be smart about getting home. Don’t let your friends drink and drive. Make sure they get home safely. Don’t drink and drive yourself. Call an Uber, Lyft, or call a friend.
Whatever you do, please don’t drink and drive.