Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December 14 2022 | Auto Accidents, Blog, Car Accident Lawyer Blog
  • Image of an impaired person holding a bottle of of beer with his keys in it.

    December is Impaired Driving Prevention Month, created to shine a light on the dangers of driving under the influence. According to a release by the White House this month, over 10,000 individuals in the U.S. are killed due to drunk and drug-impaired driving each year. Additionally, roughly 11% of Americans drove under the influence in 2019. As the holidays approach and you make plans to toast in the New Year, keep these tips in mind to prevent an injury caused by impaired driving or DUI.

    Think Before You Drink

    In 2020, during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods, there were 209 drunk-driving-related fatalities. If there is a chance you will be drinking, have a game plan to get home safely before you even take your first sip of alcohol. If you don’t have someone in your group to serve as a designated driver, make sure someone in your party has a rideshare app, such as Uber or Lyft, downloaded and ready to use. Many local organizations team up with rideshare companies during the holiday season to provide discounted rides. Check for coupon codes that can get you and your loved ones home safely for even less money. You can’t put a price on your wellbeing, but saving a few bucks during the holidays is certainly a plus!

    Take Heed with Weed

    While many states have legalized recreational cannabis use, it remains illegal in both Kentucky and Tennessee and can get you in some serious trouble. However, support for both medical and recreational marijuana is at an all-time high. Residents of Elizabethtown, Kentucky have been advocating for medical cannabis for years. In fact, in Kentucky’s 2nd congressional district, which includes Elizabethtown and Bowling Green, roughly 64% of the population is in favor of fully legalizing marijuana. That’s well over the national average of 57%. Supporters cite the medicinal qualities in cannabis for palliative care and as a tool to combat the opioid epidemic. Although Kentucky will soon allow for those with certain health conditions to possess small amounts of medical cannabis, this doesn’t mean residents in Elizabethtown can expect to see head shops popping up on US 62, US 31W, or Ring Road. Nor should any other residents in Kentucky expect to see such drastic changes in their communities. The executive order will only impact those suffering from certain health conditions and will not allow for growing or selling cannabis within the state.

    While cannabis has shown great promise in the medical field and receives bipartisan support, its negative impact on drivers cannot be overlooked. Like alcohol or certain medications, marijuana can have a dramatic impact on one’s ability to operate a vehicle. In fact, other than alcohol, marijuana is the most frequently reported drug found in post-crash drug testing. It can impair coordination, distort perception, cause memory loss, and slow reaction time, all of which are crucial to driving. Regardless of your personal feelings on legalization, driving while impaired isn’t only inadvisable – it’s against the law and could endanger others.

    Home for the Holidays

    The key takeaway from Impaired Driving Prevention Month is the importance of getting yourself and others home safely. The holiday season can be stressful; family obligations, financial strain, and workplace obligations may have you reaching for the bottle well before you ring in the New Year. However, making the choice to drive while impaired puts everyone at risk. With so many alternatives available for getting a sober ride home, there’s no excuse for driving under the influence. Make good choices, and do your part to ensure everyone gets home safe for the holidays!

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