- High BAC. If your blood alcohol concentration is over .08 percent, you’re in for stiffer penalties.
- Refusal of Alcohol Test. If you refuse a blood or breath test then automatic penalties apply.
- Dangerous Driving. Reckless or careless driving, in addition to impairment, brings a more severe charge.
However, these classifications involve the drunk driving charge itself – the how. But what about the why? We can also classify the decisions a driver makes that lead up to a DUI. Know them so you don’t find yourself using them:
- I Know My Limit. People often have an exaggerated idea of how much alcohol they can tolerate without impairing their driving. Every day scores of drivers are placed in handcuffs despite their belief that a couple of drinks doesn’t affect their driving ability.
- Everyone Else is Doing it. Social pressure can be intense at times. If you’re drinking with friends and then everyone says goodbye and heads for their cars, you might not want to be the one that calls a taxi, especially if you’re accompanied by a friend who’s been riding with you. So you risk an arrest or a crash.
- Everyone Else is Too Drunk. Sometimes your friends are too hammered to dream of driving, and you’re just buzzed. So you take on the title of designated driver. This is a bad idea because “less drunk” ≠ “sober.”
- We’re Not Drunk Enough. Perhaps you’re at your home, giving a party, feeling no pain, and suddenly you run out of margarita mix. Time for a run to the liquor store? Really?
- It’s A Holiday. It’s one of those weekends when you’ve been warned that hordes of people are on the roads, and plenty of them will have been imbibing before getting behind the wheel. So what’s the harm? Who’s going to spot you among all those drunk drivers on the highway?
- Caravan. You’d planned on catching a drive with a sober friend after the get-together, but there are eight of you and one designated driver with a Honda Fit. So you offer to be the second driver, despite your BAC.
- Early to Work. You wouldn’t drive home, but you need to be at work early the next day, and it’s hard enough getting up after a night drinking without having to bus it back to the bar to pick up your car. So you drive home drunk.
When you land in court, you can claim one of these as your reason for drinking and driving, but it won’t help you. Because police officers and judges in Canada believe that there is no good reason to drink and drive. And they’re right. If you feel yourself falling for one of these excuses, you’re heading down a dangerous road. Call that taxi, or enlist that designated driver.