December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Have you ever had a drink or two and questioned whether you were still O.K. to drive? Have you ever been a passenger in a vehicle where the driver had been drinking? In the moment, you may not realize how severe the situation of impaired driving is, or that you were even engaging in it. However, impaired driving is a serious issue that impacts our community every day.
Impaired driving can occur whenever the operator of a motor vehicle is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain prescription medications. These substances not only impair your ability to drive, but they also impair your judgement on whether or not you should be driving. Too often, people that are under the influence by one or more of these substances think they are still O.K. to get behind the wheel- even though they are not. The truth is, buzzed driving is just as bad as drunk driving.
There are many ways to reduce impaired driving:
-Never allow alcohol to be provided or served to minors. It is illegal and dangerous.
-If you're planning an adult party or social event, make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages provided and that they are prominently displayed.
-If alcohol is going to be provided, encourage and insist that designated drivers be identified early on. Choosing the less buzzed person at the end of the night is NOT the same thing.
-Provide lots of protein and high carbohydrate food and snacks, but steer clear of salty ones that make people want to drink more. It's best to have guests eat first so they are not drinking on an empty stomach.
-If you're an adult, and you're thinking about drinking- be aware that there are times where you are more vulnerable to alcohol impairment. If you've been feeling sick or rundown, you haven't eaten, or you're taking medicine that increases impairment when mixed with alcohol, you may want to reconsider drinking for the time being.
-Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, and don't get into a car being driven by someone who is. Arranging for alternate transportation can save your life and the lives of others.
Murray County Medical Center wants to make sure you’re driving safe this December.