The high cost of drinking

  • Published
  • By Charles Cypher
  • 82nd Training Wing Safety Office
Even "smart" cars equipped with state-of-the-art technology can't give you total protection. They depend on you, and others, to drive smart.

Drinking and driving is not smart.

It could happen to you. One out of every two Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident. The major reason? People believe they can drink and drive safely. The truth is no one can.

The truth about alcohol

Many people drink and drive because they are misinformed about the effects of alcohol. For Example:

Hot coffee or cold showers have no sobering effects. Only time (one hour per average drink) does.

You don't have to be "legally drunk" (in most states, .08 blood alcohol concentration) to cause an accident. At just 0.05 percent blood alcohol concentration, or only three standard drinks, your risk of having an accident doubles or even triples.

Prescription and over-the counter drugs, such as pain killers, cold remedies and allergy medicines can greatly intensify the effects of alcohol.

It's not what you drink, but how much. A shot of liquor, a glass of wine and a can of beer are equal in alcohol content.

More costly than you think

Drunken driving arrests have doubled in recent years. A DUI conviction can cost you $5,000 or more, including legal fees, trial costs, bail and increased auto insurance premiums. You could lose your driver's license, and, in some cases, your livelihood if your job requires driving.

What's more, drunk driving can cost lives - yours, or someone else's. And that's a loss no one can afford. Remember- you drink, you drive, you lose!

Some sobering statistics

Drunk driving causes over half of all fatal automobile accidents.

It is the number one killer of persons age 5 to 34, causing one death every 22 minutes.

More than two million drunken driving collisions occur each year.

(Courtesy of the Air Force Safety Center)