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Tips to keep drunk driving out of summer plans

Summer in Texas is a great time to get out on the lake, catch a ball game or just hang out in the sun with friends and family. Often, the weather is best enjoyed with a cold beer or a refreshing cocktail.

But if you're planning to drive, drinking too much and getting behind the wheel is an unnecessary and dangerous risk.With people spending summer days at remote cabins or other places away from their homes, it's more important than ever to avoid driving impaired. 

By the numbers

Drunk driving is a problem nationwide and here in Texas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1.9% of adults reported driving after drinking too much across the United States. The percentage jumps to 2.1% for adults in Texas.

Avoiding drunk driving

While conventional wisdom says that it's easy to simply not drive if you've been drinking, you might find yourself in a difficult or inconvenient situation in which driving seems like your best option. Use the tips below to keep yourself and others safe, and ensure you never get on the road while impaired.

  • Designate a driver: One of the easiest ways to avoid drinking and driving is to designate someone at the beginning of the night who won't drink and will drive everyone else home. Each time you go out, take turns with friends to decide who will be that night's designated driver.
  • Know your BAC: While one or two drinks throughout the course of the night will not likely impair you enough to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08, drinking too quickly or drinking too much can spike your BAC to the point where you cannot legally drive. Limit your drinking throughout the night if you plan to drive to keep your BAC low. You may also consider investing in a Breathalyzer, a machine that tests your BAC by blowing into it.
  • Hail a ride: Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing apps make it easier than ever to avoid driving drunk. If you do not have a designated driver, getting a ride is as easy as few taps on your phone. Also consider traditional taxis or public transportation. Studies show that cities offering free transportation home from bars decrease their DWIs.
  • Have a game plan: Whether you have a designated driver, plan to limit your drinking or decide to get a ride, know what your plan is before you go out. If you can't get a ride, consider staying the night with a friend. There's no reason to endanger yourselves or others while you're impaired.

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