Why do people drink and drive? The question is asked by law enforcement personnel, by therapists, and by the victims of drunk driving collisions.

There are different ways to look at the cause. One way is to ask, “Why do people make the decision to drink and then drive, rather than find another way to get where they’re going?” The alternatives usually exist, whether they be taxis, rideshares, designated drivers, or public transport.

The answer is usually that the alcohol itself has diminished the drinker’s capacity to make a good decision. In an impaired state, he or she might feel capable to drive, or at least might deem it not worth the trouble and expense to find an alternative.

But there’s another reason that needs to be discussed. Most people who drive drunk have done their drinking in groups – with friends, family, and colleagues at work. Those are the last people to see the driver before the collision.

If you are in a gathering where drinking is being done, whether it’s a family outing, holiday bash, weekend barbecue, office party, or evening out, take a look around once in a while. Does everyone have a way of getting home? It might seem nosey to ask, “Do you have a ride?” but it’s not – it’s genuine concern. If someone says, “I’ll be fine, don’t worry,” then you should definitely worry.

It’s not fair, perhaps, that the burden falls on you to keep others from driving drunk, but that’s life – it’s your responsibility if you see that someone is about to risk their safety and that of others.

So one of the main reasons people drink and drive is that others let them – others who should know better.

Fortunately, you know better. Thanks for your help.

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