7 December 2022

Technical Inspection

Best ways to get home without drinking and driving

Having a few drinks with family or friends after a long week is something a lot of South Africans indulge but how much you consume and what you do afterwards could impact the rest of your life. Drinking and driving has become a huge crisis as many lives are lost due to this each year.

Consuming too much alcohol can lead to various dangerous situations since it slows down your reaction time and distorts your vision. Both can cause injuries to others and even result in road fatalities.

This doesn't just apply to your evening drinking. If you overindulged at night, you might still be over the legal limit the following morning, which could affect your driving abilities. After only a single unit of alcohol, your chances of getting into an accident are doubled, and those who are at the legal limit of 0.24mg are four times more likely to be involved in an accident.

To help you get home safely during the holiday season, the DEKRA team has compiled a list of alternative ways to avoid driving home after you've had too much to drink. With this list, you can still celebrate and enjoy your alcoholic beverages of choice without worrying about how you'll get home. This will help you plan to ensure that you arrive home alive.

Alternative ways to get home safely and avoid driving drunk

If you are intoxicated, there are many safe and reliable ways to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking. The key is to plan as this this will allow you to make an informed decision when you plan on drinking even a small amount of alcohol.

Here's how you can get home without getting behind the wheel while intoxicated:

1. Use a ride-sharing service

If you know you are over the legal drinking limit, use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Bolt to get home. It's as simple and easy as that.

So, how do you know that you are drunk? Your balance, speech, and coordination can all be affected by alcohol. If you are unsteady on your feet and have a blood alcohol level of over .08, you are intoxicated. Take note that you can be drunk and show none of the usual signs, so it's best to keep your alcohol quantities in mind as well when you had your last drink when you start thinking about driving home.

Photo credit - Elevate on Unsplash

2. Have a designated driver !

Getting a ride home from a friend is probably the best option if you're planning on having a night out. It's free and you can still enjoy a few drinks without worry. Choose your designated driver and make sure that they know it will be an alcohol-free evening for them. Your driver for the night will transport you and your companions to and from the location without anybody having to worry about their safety.

If you find yourself the designated driver for the night, keep an eye on your friends and help them to avoid making bad decisions. Ultimately, it's far better and safer to be sober than to drink and drive.

3. If possible, stay where you are

Depending on your location, we would suggest staying where you are until you are sober or spending the night. If you can't, the next best option would be to get in touch with somebody who lives close to where you are. Ask if you can crash on their couch or if they can give you a ride home.

4. Leave your car at home

If you're not the designated driver or simply going out by yourself, don't take your car with you. Most times, intoxicated drivers choose to go against their plan to limit their drinking and drive home instead of leaving their cars behind. This could lead to an accident where people get hurt or die.

When you plan your night out, leave your car behind and ensure that you have a safe way to get home.

5. Instead of driving, call family or a friend

If you need a ride home after having too much to drink, call a friend or relative instead of driving home. You should never get into a car even slightly intoxicated, and you should not be a passenger if the driver isn't completely sober.

Most people are reluctant to ask for a ride home due to their fear of upsetting or inconveniencing their friends or family. However, it is important to remember that drinking and driving can have dire consequences. It's better to get home safetly, and your family or friends would agree.

Photo by Art Markiva on Unsplash

6. Catch a taxi

If none of your friends are willing or able to drive you home, you can always get yourself a taxi. It's an affordable option, and it will allow you to spend the night in your own bed instead of sleeping on the floor of a jail cell.

Be safe during the festive season. Don't drink and drive!

According to Garth Johnson, CEO of DEKRA Automotive (Pty) Limited, "the increase in alcohol-related accidents during the holiday period is due to the high volume of people consuming alcohol."

He adds, "If you're worried that you might be over the legal limit of alcohol, you have other options. You can either hire a ride-sharing service or ask a friend to take you home. A ride-sharing service will pick you up and take you to your destination safely."

In these situations, it's important that you do whatever it takes to prevent yourself from driving drunk. You can call either family or friends and ask them for a ride home.

You won't be able to live with yourself if you are the cause of an accident that ends up taking somebody's life or a crash that causes permanent injury to you or somebody else. Remember, "friends don't allow their friends to drink and drive".

Johnson concludes, "Don't become a statistic this festive season. Buckle up, stay off your cell phone while you are driving, make sure your car is certified roadworthy by DEKRA before you start a road trip, and don't drive drunk."