At DrinkingAndDriving.Org, our target audience isn't necessarily the person who needs to get into 12-step NOW. There are so many wonderful organizations that are out there to help when one goes off the deep end. We want to keep people who haven't gone all the way down that road from getting there in the first place.
We like to put things into the simplest of terms. Prevention of drunk driving *should* be as simple as saying, "Don't be Stupid. You KNOW you aren't supposed to drink and drive!" It's easy to look at The Big Picture and say that anybody with common sense should know better than to drive drunk. But let's face it. When drinking, common sense has less influence on us. Most people never consider The Big Picture. With this in mind, we have arranged our various DUI Avoidance Lessons into an overall vision we call The Big Picture.
The Big Picture centers on three basic concepts:
Before anything else, you must understand and accept certain truths. There are three we focus on - the Primary Truth, the Financial Truth, and the Logical Truth.
Starting with what should be the simplest truth, we address what we call, the Primary Truth. Consider the Law to be your Primary Truth. The law is extremely clear no matter where you live. Blow a .08 BAC, you're going to jail. Refuse to blow, you're going to jail. In some places, penalties are harsher than others. But one thing is consistent across the nation. Drunk driving is against the law everywhere. Most of us go out of our way not to break laws. Sometimes laws are broken and nobody knows. Most people who get arrested for driving drunk have driven drunk before and gotten away with it. But when you drive drunk, it is obvious and dangerous to others.
To get a better understanding of what 'blowing a .08' means, check out our BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) lesson or article. The lesson, like all our lessons, is short and to the point. The article is a lengthier with BAC charts, a description of how alcohol enters the blood and how it gets out again, and more details ...
And speaking of the law, if you are under 21 we have a special message for you. No matter where you drive in the country, drunk driving penalties for you are harsher than they are for the rest of us! Forget all about .08! For you, there is a nationwide Zero Tolerance law. Read about it in our special lesson for you ...
For our final word on the Primary Truth, we'd like to send you to the Penalty Box! The Penalty Box is where we show the penalties for drunk driving where you live. You can view the Penalty Box for your county by going through the map on our Home page. You will also see detailed DUI arrest and fatality statistics for your county and local resources for preventing or surviving a DUI/DWI.
Next, we turn our attention to the Financial Truth. Consider the consequences of a DUI arrest compared to the costs of ANY available alternative. Did you know you could take a limo and drink champagne all the way to the fanciest hotel in town, stagger into the best suite and still not spend as much as you would for a DUI? The Financial Truth of DUI is that you had better have between $7,000 and $20,000 set aside if you intend to ignore every other lesson we present here.
The cost of a DUI varies based on how high your fine is, how much your lawyer costs, and how much your insurance is raised. There are many other fees which are easier to pin down. All in all, a DUI in California can cost anywhere from $6,140 - $19,450. That's an expensive night out! For the Financial Truth, please read our next lesson ...
So far, everything we've shown you is truth which you cannot avoid. But there is one last truth to address - the Logical Truth. Welcome to Earth. We have Physics and Biology. We experience Time. We also have Logic. Logic helps us to accept all of this and understand that some things physical and biological are dependent on Time. If you like sunrises and sunsets, there is nothing you can do to lessen the amount of time between them. Be Logical. Accept that BAC lowers only with time. The higher your BAC, the longer it takes to leave your bloodstream. There's honestly no getting around that.
Believe it or not, some people try to defy Logic. They think they can outsmart physics, biology, and time by doing some pretty silly stuff. The final lesson in our discussion of truth is a reminder that urban myths and legends don't hold up next to the Logical Truth ...
Now, we don't want to get too touchy-feely with you, but think for a moment about yourself and how you approach taking risks. We've all known people who we think do crazy things that we wouldn't do. It might be that neighborhood skateboarder who always tries to do outrageous tricks, or the businessman who stops at the bar every night on his way home.
These are both risky things to do! Either one of these guys can lower their risk by simply making some smart choices. They need to think about the risk they are taking and do what they know is right.
The savvy skateboarder wears a helmet and pads, and he plans his tricks. The savvy businessman stops at the liquor store instead of the bar and drinks at home. If neither of them openly think about their risks and make the right decisions, they will both keep taking the same risks until something bad happens.
The point is, if you are likely to take risks, you have to admit it to yourself. You have to think about the risks you take and you have to think about minimizing those risks. When you drink, you know that is risky to drive. You need to minimize that risk and look for alternatives. Every time you do it and get away with it, you make it worse, because you know what will eventually happen. You know that you will either get busted, or cause an accident.
Some of us never risk it. We know better. People like us need to think about the people around us and make sure they never take risks like drinking and driving. Remember, if they don't see the risk in their own behavior, they'll continue to take the same risks over and over again. We can point it out to them, let them know we don't want them to do it, and to the best of our abilities, make sure they don't.
There is one other important point we wish to drive home. Understand that when you drink, your own opinion of your condition does not count. Just accept that no matter how you feel, if you've been drinking, you don't want to drive.
Know yourself. Look for alternatives. Eliminate risks. Take a look at these lessons ...
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The quality of a 'typical' American life is frequently measured by one's Family, Friends, and Future. The 3 Fs are intertwined in many ways. One can compensate for another. One can severely hamper another. The point is, we need to *think* about our own, personal 3 Fs.
Our actions have a large impact on our 3 Fs. When we do something in our life that is good, we see the positive reaction from our Family and Friends, and we see benefits to our Future.
When we make bad decisions, the opposite occurs. Our Family and Friends treat us differently. Maybe it's just bad jokes, or a genuine mistrust. Combine this with any financial or legal consequences of our bad decisions, and we've impacted our Future. After taking a few steps up the ladder of life, we've taken a step back.
A DUI is one of those major setbacks. Between increasingly harsh penalties and a growing attitude which we promote) that people who drink and drive are losers, a DUI will seriously set you back.
With your Family, Friends, and Future in mind, we invite you to read our last two lessons ...