Every day, one person dies every 48 minutes in the United States due to drunk driving. And yet people still continue this behavior. Why does anyone put their lives at risk this way?
The causes of drunk driving are puzzling and irrational. However, they are persistent: no matter how intense the public service campaigns, police roadblocks, and penalties, people still continue to drive while intoxicated and put themselves and others in danger.
Here are five reasons why this activity is so hard to stamp out.
I’ve Done It Before
Often drivers believe that since they have driven under the influence before and never been caught, they can handle it. Unfortunately, you never know when your luck may run out.
Alcohol also impairs your perceptions. Studies show that people have a distorted sense of how drunk they really are. Millennials and male drivers are two groups which consistently overestimate their capabilities when it comes to drinking and driving.
It was Only a Couple of Beers
Any good car wreck attorney will tell you that it doesn’t matter what you were drinking. If your blood alcohol level is above a certain point as specified in your state’s laws and you are involved in an accident, you face a drunk driving charge. That comes with financial penalties, raised insurance rates, and possible prison time depending on your record and the circumstances.
If you are small with a low body weight, you may get intoxicated by only one drink. If you are taking medications or are under the weather, one beer may hit you like a ton of bricks.
The number of drinks you have consumed is less relevant than your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
No One Will Catch Me
Often drunk drivers know what they are doing is wrong and they do it anyway. They justify their action in a number of ways.
Often people caught driving under the influence will protest that they didn’t think they would get caught. Perhaps they were driving home late at night on a remote back road. Perhaps they only had less than a mile to go.
Accidents and even fatalities can occur under the most unlikely circumstances. Someone may be walking home on a deserted road and you may not see them until it is too late. People have been arrested driving drunk in their own driveway.
I Have No Other Way to Get Home
Booze interferes with your ability to think rationally. Many people think they have no other way to get home, therefore they are obliged to drive home drunk.
People may be scared to wake up a parent or partner asking for a ride. They may be reluctant to spend money on a taxi or Uber.
That’s irrational thinking. Your mom may be mad if you wake her up for a ride home, but the bigger risk is getting behind the wheel when you are drunk. The danger is worth the extra hassle or dollars.
I’m Meeting Someone Special
Shockingly, many drunk rivers admit when they are pulled over that they were on their way to meet someone for a tryst.The combination of a late night, liquor, and the possibility of hooking up are often irresistible.
A late night rendez-vous is never worth the risk of getting arrested, hurt or worse.
Causes of Drunk Driving: Powerful and Irrational
The reasons people drink and drive look pretty silly when you look at them in the light of day. However, when you are intoxicated, they seem to make perfect sense.
No matter what the causes of drunk driving, the consequences are severe. You can get arrested, damage your academic and career opportunities, and get hit with some heavy expenses. You might also kill someone else or yourself.
Remember to designate a driver, or splurge on a ride home if you are planning on imbibing. It’s not worth it.