Mothers are Making Positive Steps to Decrease Drunk Driving

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t drink and drive. However, after having a few beers, that drive home doesn’t seem like any problem at all. After all, you’re sober, right? Wrong! Depending on your sex, height and weight, reaching the 0.08 blood alcohol limit is relatively easy to achieve with just a couple of cocktails, beers or a few glasses of wine. Though you may feel perfectly sober, a Breathalyzer test will see it differently, thus putting you in jeopardy of picking up a DUI arrest or even getting in an accident. So how can you avoid this?

The fight against drunk driving and preventing DUI accidents has gone high-tech, thanks to a push from Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD). According to a recent post on their blog, new technology and prototypes are currently in development that would prevent a drunk driver from even having the ability to start the vehicle. An invisible, automobile-grade system would be able to detect alcohol use from a person’s breath.

Anything over a 0.08, the threshold limit in many states, would cause an ignition lock to come on, thus preventing a drunk driving incident. The life-saving potential of such devices, particularly those of younger adults and teens (who often make poor decisions when drinking), is enormous. What else can be done?

1) Education

Ensuring that your children and their friends have access to information about the dangers of driving drunk should be an essential element of their driver’s education courses. Additionally, information should be readily available through the school. If you’re concerned about your teen driving intoxicated or potentially getting in a car with a driver who’s been drinking, speak to the school’s principal to ascertain what’s being done to educate the students. You can also work with your local MADD branch to make sure the kids have access to age-appropriate information.

2) Smartphone apps

You can lecture your teens all day long about the dangers of drunk driving, but sometimes you need to go the extra mile just to ensure their safety. New smartphone apps can monitor the Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) of a driver. Your teen can carry a pocket-sized Breathalyzer that is connected to an application on their smartphone. The information taken from the Breathalyzer is then transmitted to a pre-determined cell phone, email address or even social media, allowing you to know if your teen is about to drive while intoxicated.

3) Support MADD

If you agree with MADD’s efforts to get new invisible ignition-lock technology installed in all cars to prevent drunk drivers from being on the road, then join them in their fight. You can write your local congressman and state representative to let them know you support these measures. Donating money and even your time to MADD is also greatly appreciated by the organization. Check out their website for ways that you can assist their endeavors.

4) Talk to your children

In order to keep your kids safe, it’s important that you have a frank and honest discussion with them about the dangers of driving under the influence. Make them aware of the consequences, such as a suspended license and a criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their lives. They should also understand the financial implications regarding fines, attorney’s fees and an increase in your insurance rates. Let your children know that if they are ever in a position where they are asked to accept a ride from a driver they know to be intoxicated that you will pay for a cab home or come get them.

5) What if it goes wrong?

It’s no secret that young people make bad choices sometimes. If your teen does get arrested for drunk driving, the best thing you can do for them is to contact a DUI lawyer. For example, If the incident took place in Minnesota, a St Paul criminal lawyer could advise you of the steps to take to help your child, as well as represent your teen in a court setting. They will also have helpful ideas on things you and your teen can do to lessen the judgment, such as enrolling in a defensive driving course or attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Drunk driving is a serious issue in the United States, and MADD is doing everything they can to lobby for preventative measures that will keep drivers who have had a few off the road. Take the time to talk to your children about the issues surrounding drunk driving, and let them know that they should never get in a car with someone who has been drinking. Safety is your main priority when it comes to your children, and giving them the information and education about DUI’s will help them to make the right choices.

As a parent, Domonique Powell believes that responsible driving starts with her. With two children that drive, she believes that you can never stop educating young ones about the dangers of alcohol. She has braved the Minnesota snowy roads, and follows the advice of a St Paul criminal lawyer, which provided information for this article.


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