There are many reasons not to ride in a car driven by a drunk person. You put yourself, the other driver, and others at risk of harm—and even death—due to the driver’s intoxication. However, another reason is that you put yourself at risk of legal consequences.
Those aren’t the only reasons not to ride with a drunk driver. Therefore, if you’re ever in a situation where you feel any pressure to ride with a drunk person, just say no and find another option. You don’t have to give them a reason. In addition, you should also try to persuade the other person not to drive. You could keep them from harming others or even save their lives by doing so.
The Dangers of Drunk Driving
Any alcohol in the bloodstream can affect a person’s driving ability. However the state has a perse limit, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher is what is considered intoxicated in Texas. Therefore, when a person is legally “drunk” (intoxicated), their blood alcohol concentration is at least 0.08, making it illegal for them to drive.
The drunk person isn’t fit to drive because there is an increased risk of causing a car accident if they did. These accidents can be catastrophic and affect other people, not just the driver and passenger. As a result, people’s lives can suffer lifelong effects.
Drunk driving is a crime for a reason: it harms and kills people. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 32 people die every day across the nation due to drunk driving.
How Alcohol Impairs Driving
Law enforcement takes drunk driving so seriously because it significantly impairs driving and increases the risk of an accident. The risk comes from how alcohol affects the body, decreasing a person’s ability to concentrate, react quickly, and judge situations on the road. Alcohol can quickly impair the following:
- Reaction time
- Muscle control and coordination
- Ability to multitask
- Ability to detect moving objects, like other cars or pedestrians
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The Many Reasons Not to Ride in a Car Driven By a Drunk Person
It’s obvious that drunk driving is risky. It’s dangerous for the driver, but also for passengers and other people on the road. Thus, considering the danger alone, there are plenty of reasons not to ride with a drunk person. However, other legal reasons exist.
It Would Put You in Harm’s Way
Riding with a drunk person would put you at risk of injury or death. Passengers are very susceptible to harm in car accidents, especially considering they have virtually no control over what happens to them in an accident.
It Would Put the Driver at Risk of Harm
By riding with a drunk person instead of stopping them from driving drunk, you let them put themselves at risk of harm. Therefore, you’d be contributing to a dangerous driving situation.
Other People Would Be at Risk of Harm
By riding with a drunk person, you also let them put other people at risk:
- Other passengers
- Other drivers on the road
It’s essential to consider other people who could become involved in a potential car accident, so please do so when deciding whether to ride with a drunk driver.
You Could Easily Face Legal Charges
Even though you weren’t the driver, you could still face criminal charges for riding in a car with a drunk driver in Texas and elsewhere. For example, you could face a charge of DWI. You’re probably thinking, how can i get charged with DWI when someone else is driving? We have represented numerous people who were charged with DWI as a passenger. Typically after an accident, everyone gets out of the car. When officers arrive they don’t know who was driving and just pick who they think was driving and make an arrest. The state could also charge you with possession of an open container.
Others Could Easily Face Legal Charges
The driver could face a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge regardless of whether they drove with a passenger. However, they could face more severe charges because they put a passenger at risk. If the passenger is younger than 15, the driver could face a state jail charge of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger.
What Do I Do if I Am Supposed to Ride With Someone Who Has Been Drinking?
If you ever feel pressured to ride with an intoxicated driver, like a friend or a family member, refuse them and help them explore another option. For example, you could drive if you’re sober. However, if both of you were intoxicated, you could hail a cab or hire a ridesharing service. Public transportation is another option. Finally, your friend or family member can leave their car and just get it the next day.
You don’t have to give reasons not to ride with the drunk person. Instead, provide the person with reasons for them not to drive. If you can’t persuade the person, talk to a sober friend or family member about it. Perhaps they can help influence the person. As a last resort, you can take the person’s keys away. Remember, you could be saving their life.
Finally, remember going forward to designate a driver or set up a cab or ridesharing service whenever you may need a ride home.
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Contact Our Firm for Legal Advice or Legal Representation in Texas
If you believe you need the services of a lawyer who handles drunk driving cases in Texas, contact the team at Blass Law. We can talk to you about your situation and introduce you to a DWI defense attorney. Likewise, if a friend or family member needs our services, you can contact us on their behalf. There’s a lot we can do to help.
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