Drunk and Distracted Driving: Designated Driver Programs

Drunk and Distracted Driving: Designated Driver Programs

Drunk & Distracted Driving: Designated Driver Programs

"I think I can make it.” “If I leave my car here, I’m afraid it will get towed.” “My house is only a few blocks away.” Do any of these statements sound familiar?

Alcohol clouds the judgment usually used to make big decisions — ones such as

whether or not we can safely operate a vehicle. The importance of these types of decisions is magnified when the potential for harming others is a key factor.

Someone who might never soberly consider making such a poor decision may have lower inhibitions when drinking, making the same decision a tough one to carry out.

Enter the designated driver. These helpful friends help take the decision-making   out of getting home safely. If you’re putting together a night on the town, be sure to plan ahead on finding a ride from someone who isn’t planning to drink.

This can include a friend, family member, public transportation, a taxi or a  rideshare service.

Designated Driver Programs

There are many national initiatives aimed at promoting the act of designated  driving.

Here are a couple coordinated by Mothers Against Drunk Driving: National Football League:

Since 2009, MADD and the National Football League have worked together to launch public service announcements and conduct on-field advocacy to help spread the word that the designated driver is a group’s most vital teammate.

Ride-share partners:

MADD also has partnered with rideshare services Uber and Lyft. Doing so has  given people more options when it comes to choosing a safe way to get home.

Give the Gift

The next time you plan a night out with friends, why not give the gift of being a designated driver? People who decide to do so can find it extremely rewarding  to know that your friends are in good hands for the night. Volunteer yourself to  get everyone home safely. You can even download a designated driver coupon  on MADD’s website that you can hand out to your friends.

Green Shoot Media, Sponsored by Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri

November 20, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
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Driving While Impaired: The Consequences

Driving While Impaired: The Consequences

Driving While Impaired: The Consequences

We all know impaired drivers aren’t just putting themselves in danger. They also are endangering everyone who shares the road with them.

No penalty may seem too stiff for a driver who takes the life of another innocent person. There are a range of punishments that drivers arrested for impaired operation of a vehicle have to face.

First-Time Convictions

The punishment for a first-time, non-injury DUI is, in many states, punishable by a minimum number of days to be served in jail complemented by a hefty fine.

Licenses also typically can be suspended for up to a year and the driver is generally put onto a type of probation for a few years, meaning another arrest during that time period could result in much longer jail time.

Prior Convictions

Drivers with prior DUI convictions are not let off as easy. Judges are privy to prior arrest records and may take into consideration any past drinking and driving offenses.

If an arrested driver appears to be a further threat to others, more serious

jail time or larger fines could be on the table. Each state is different, but penalties and fines generally are even more serious when blood alcohol content is .15 or more. (The legal limit is .08.)

DUI / Defensive Driving School

One of the prevention pieces put in place for people arrested for impaired driving is DUI school, also known as mandatory alcohol education. Such programs are focused on teaching offenders about alcohol dependency and the consequences

of DUIs. These types of programs are different from state to state but can last up to 30 months for repeat offenders. Factors in deciding the length and intensity of the program can include whether or not a driver has any prior DIU charges, the driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of arrest and whether someone was seriously inured or killed during the accident.

Green Shoot Media, Sponsored by Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri

October 30, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
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Submit your pledge not to drive while drunk or distracted

Submit your pledge not to drive while drunk or distracted
September 04, 2015 8:03 amLoading…

Drunk and Distracted Driving: A 100-Year Problem

Drunk and Distracted Driving: A 100-Year Problem

Since the era that cars were first mass produced, there have been issues with impaired driving. The first such offense came in 1897 in London.

In the states, the first drunk-driving law was passed in New York in 1910. Other states followed suit, eventually introducing blood alcohol content levels as standards for the crime.

Many worldwide advances have been made over the past century, including the introduction of the breathalyzer in 1953 and the influential lobbying efforts of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the 1970s.

While much progress is still needed to make our streets and roads safer, the efforts of advocacy groups, law enforcement and the media continue to make strides in their objective.


Candy Lightner founded MADD in 1980 after her 13-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver. The driver had three previous drunk-driving convictions and was out on bail from a hit-and-run arrest two days earlier,  according to MADD’s website.

Over the next decade, MADD played a vital role in securing legislation that increased the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as raising the minimum drinking age in many states.


The legal drinking age is 21 everywhere in the United States today. People convicted of impaired driving can face a range of punishments, from jail time and pricey fines to loss of their driver’s licenses.

Some offenders are  ordered to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles, requiring them to breathe into a sensor attached to their dashboards. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is above a certain limit, the car won’t start.

Despite all the progress that has been made in the fight against drunk driving, the problem still remains a serious one.

Overcoming it will require community-wide collaboration to make a positive change in driver behavior.

Green Shoot Media, Sponsored by Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri

September 04, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
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