Dealing with DUI

Why do people drink and drive?

"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Martin Luther King

Learning that a family member or friend was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) has affected you in some way; leaving you with many unanswered questions or riding on an emotional roller coaster. We are hoping to give you answers as well as resources that will help you help your friend or relative prevent further convictions.

Why do people drink and drive?
There are several reasons people drink: peer pressure, stress, to feel good, but the biggest factor is social. "Ninety percent of all drunk driving happens after drinking with family, friends, or coworkers," Allen Porter, President of DrinkingandDriving.Org said. "Drunk driving does not just happen when men or women leave bars or parties. It happens after holiday gatherings, restaurants, work functions, cookouts and picnics, everywhere people get together."

People drive when they have been drinking because they have not been confronted. When they are not challenged the person who is drunk takes to the wheel. Alcohol affects their sense of judgment, it is up to those who are sober to tell them not to drive.

Another reason for drinking and driving is that the person feels he or she can get away with driving while drunk. An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest. He or she does not believe they will be caught or cause an accident.

Risk factors for DUI
  • Drivers with previous DUI convictions pose a substantial risk of offending again.
  • Eighteen percent of at risk drivers do the bulk 82% of driving within one hour after having three or more drinks.
  • Single males 24-34.
  • Underage males or females who engage in binge drinking (several drinks in short period of time).
  • History of alcoholism or other addictions.
How can I help prevent drunk driving?
"Family and friends can help prevent drunk driving by learning how long it takes for alcohol to pass through the body, and use these facts whenever they come in contact with people who want to drive after drinking," said Porter. "Drunk driving prevention is intervention. When you see it about to happen step up and step in. Prevention is planning and knowing resources."

When alcohol enters a person's bloodstream there is only one way to get it out, and that is to wait. One glass of beer, wine, or liquor (mixed or straight) is considered one unit of alcohol. As a general rule one unit of alcohol takes one hour to leave the body, two units take two hours, etc.

Many states have designated driving services that will pick up the person who has been drinking along with their car and deliver both to their destination. Some of these services are commercial and some are non-profit thus the cost varies from place to place.