Monthly Substance Use Prevention Update:
Keep your community safe and healthy – Be aware of the dangers of impaired driving
The seasons changing brings exciting opportunities for family get-togethers and parties with friends. This excitement, however, may also lead to more opportunities for impaired driving or underage substance use. As parents plan celebrations, it is important they set the example for their children by not drinking and driving. It’s always the right time of year to talk to teens about impaired driving.
Drinking and driving endangers the driver of the vehicle, passengers, other drivers on the road, and pedestrians. Even if someone does not feel they have drunk too much to drive, their perception can be impaired and will likely still blow over the legal limit and receive an OUI.
● According to the CDC, every day 30 people in the United States die in car crashes with an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes.
● As of 2020, about 290,000 are injured in such accidents every year. (NHTSA)
Using cannabis and driving is also illegal and dangerous. According to Columbia University Researchers, fatal car crashes that involved marijuana tripled in the past decade. Young people and adults alike may be less likely to consider driving after cannabis consumption to be risky, but it is just as harmful and carries the same lifelong legal ramifications of drunk driving.
Make a plan before you go! Impaired driving can always be avoided. If you plan to drink at an event, arrange a ride with a friend, check for local taxi services, or stay at someone else's residence. If someone you know is drinking or consuming cannabis, and you are concerned they might drive, have a conversation with them.
Set the example for your children or teens, and talk to them about the dangers of impaired driving. Make communication with your teen clear, kind, and nonjudgmental. Encourage them to reach out to you if they find themselves in a bad situation, because an uncomfortable call to a parent is always better than a dangerous drive home or staying in an unsafe environment.