We’d make our roads a lot safer if we could separate drinking and driving altogether. But no one’s been able to do that. The words seem to go together – you hear them on the news and in conversation all the time.
One of the reasons drunk driving is still with us is that people believe they are exempt from the consequences. They believe “facts” – in reality persistent myths – that convince them they’re in shape to get behind the wheel. Check out the most common myths about drinking and driving – are you aware that they’re false?
1. Coffee Will Sober You Up
Coffee has no effect on the alcohol in your system. If you’re tired, as you might be after an evening of partying, a coffee will wake you up a bit. But you’ll just be a wide-awake drunk.
2. It’s Just Beer (or Wine)
Whether it’s beer, wine, or the hard stuff, alcohol is alcohol. To get drunk, you might have to drink more volume with beer than whiskey, but you’ll still be impaired. A 12-ounce beer equals a shot of whiskey or a glass of wine.
3. Drive Slowly and You’ll Make it Home
Drinking and then driving slowly home is just asking for trouble. First, slow drivers are dangerous on roads. Second, police officers know to stop drivers who are driving slowly precisely because they fit the profile of an impaired driver. Slow or not, if you’ve been drinking you’re in no shape to handle a vehicle.
4. You’re An Experienced Driver – You’ll Be OK
Even one drink is enough to reduce the judgment and reflexes of an experienced driver.
5. If You Eat Before Drinking, You’re Good to Go
Eating can slow the absorption of alcohol, but it doesn’t prevent it. And since you don’t feel the alcohol’s effects as quickly, you might end up drinking more.
6. Splash Cold Water and Open Up a Car Window
Cold water and air make you feel more alert for a moment, but the effects fade fast. Only time can remedy the effects of alcohol.
It’s easy to see why these myths won’t go away: it’s convenient to believe them. They absolve drivers of the responsibility of calling a taxi, or designating a driver, or otherwise making arrangements.
But it’s important that you know that they are myths. Alcohol, when mixed with driving, can kill. That’s no myth.