Drinking and Driving: A Deadly Mix

How many times have we heard or even stated the adage, “If you drink, don’t drive”? That warning unheeded and not taken seriously can maim and kill thousands of precious lives, in fact, 27 deaths per day in the US. Those deaths are 100% preventable. 

With distracted driving being the number two cause of car accidents in the US, drunk driving far outranks that as the number one cause. And, the deadliest! The truth has been known for a long time that alcohol and other drugs have a direct effect on changing the brain’s chemistry. That, in turn, inhibits one’s common sense, fear, and motor skills. Even one drink or a small dosage of drugs can be enough to cause reflexes and awareness levels to be impeded when one needs to have their full faculties and mental clarity functioning at all times while driving.

What if you drink under the influence (DUI) or drive while intoxicated (DWI)? Why even take the risk at all? Have you thought of how an accident while DUI or DWI (basically the same terms) could grimly impact your life or any other lives that may be involved? The results are always life-changing or life-ending. These questions must be considered every time you have been drinking or, better yet, before taking that first drink. If you don’t value your own life, at least consider someone else’s life that may be the victim of your neglect or carelessness.

One belief that both young and old have touted is “only one drink won’t’ hurt.” If you only have one alcoholic drink, you are one-drink drunk. Buzzed driving is drunk driving. It is just that simple and just as dangerous.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, there were 36,560 traffic fatalities with 10,511 being alcohol-related, that’s 29%. These numbers reflect fatalities only and not the number of various serious injuries that left people crippled or paralyzed.

The Zebra conducted and collected research from the CDC, the NHTSA, and the DoT to give a complete and accurate look at the dangers and effects of drunk driving. To read the data from that research in complete detail, go to The Zebra. The report is eye-opening, to say the least.

So, since we know and admit driving and drinking is a deadly combination, what can be done to prevent that from turning into a proverbial dead-end? There are various answers, some we already know well, but putting them into practice is how we save lives.

Nothing should be more important than saving lives, your life and the lives of others. If you are hosting a party, be sure to do the following…

  • Serve plenty of food.
  • Offer non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Plan ahead for non-drinkers to be available to call for a cab or drive guest home.

If you are attending a party, there are other things you can do…

  • Don’t drink (best choice) or arrange for a sober driver before party time.
  • Don’t allow others who have been drinking, drive you or others when leaving the party.
  • Call 911 to report drunk driving without hesitation. Don’t worry about making someone upset with you. Again, it is better to save lives than letting yourself be swayed by someone who is being irresponsible.

Parties are a definite source of concern, but we should report drunk driving on the road any time we see it occurring. Some of the signs of drunk driving include…

  • Vehicle swerving and weaving over the road’s center stripe
  • Driving on the wrong side of the highway
  • Driving slowly, below the speed limit
  • Stopping without cause
  • Braking and speeding up erratically
  • Driving with headlights off at night
  • Tailgating

If you spot a drunk driver…

  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle.
  • Do not try to make the driver stop or pull off the road because you could end up crashing into one another.
  • Take note of the make, model, and color of the driver’s car as well as the license plate number.
  • Stop, pull over, and call 911 and report the location of the car and its description.

As previously stated, most of these sensible safety ideas are obvious. Doing them may not help you win a popularity contest among your friends or acquaintances because they will likely resist your advice. In fact, family and friends may become angry with you. You may worry about getting the driver in trouble by reporting the drunk driving. However, you must weigh out the possible outcomes and decide what is the best decision. That right decision is protecting and saving lives.

Drunk driving happens and along with it are thousands of casualties and fatalities. Perhaps you or someone you know has experienced this yourself. What should be done immediately is to contact a good lawyer who can help you determine your rights and your compensation. Ornelas & Serna are the attornies who can do whatever needs to be done to give you peace of mind when it comes to legal matters. With many years of experience and successful cases, we will work hard for you. Don’t try to handle this matter on your own.


Cesar Ornelas lawyer at Cesar Ornelas Law has been named as a life member of both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is recognized as one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States and less than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.