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Prevent drunk driving crashes by being aware

Drinking and driving is a known hazard to yourself and others. While the only way to prevent these accidents as a result of your own actions is to avoid drinking and driving at any time, there are also a number of ways that you can prevent others from getting into crashes.

Any time alcohol mixes with driving, it's a bad combination. Even at a blood alcohol concentration of .02%, people still see the impact of alcohol on their nervous system. It's not safe to drive drunk, but what can you do to help prevent it?

Get informed about the dangers of drinking and driving

The first thing to do is to talk about the dangers of drinking and driving with friends or colleagues before you partake in an event. For example, if you're going to a bar with friends, talk about the fact that you will not be driving home drunk. Make a plan for what to do if one of you wants to leave but is intoxicated, so that you can get everyone home safely.

Know your exit options

If drinking took place and your designated driver had one too many, then it's time to look into other ways of getting home. You should always have alternative exit options to avoid drinking and driving. Calling a ride-sharing service, a friend or family member, or a taxi will help prevent a crash. If you can't do that, see if you can stay at the location overnight or if there is a police officer willing to drive you home. There are always alternatives to driving home drunk.

Recognize when someone is too drunk to drive

Finally, to help yourself and your friends, you should be able to recognize intoxication. When someone is intoxicated, they don't always make the best decisions. Know how to identify if someone is too drunk to drive, so you can take their keys. If they're already behind the wheel when you realize how impaired they are, ask them to pull over and get out of the vehicle. There's never an appropriate time to allow someone to drive while intoxicated.

It is up to everyone to be responsible for their own behaviors, but if you're aware of your surroundings and can help, you could make a real difference. Never drink and drive, because the hazard it creates, and the penalties you can end up facing, aren't worth it.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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