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Helpful Steps to Avoid Drinking & Driving This Summer 

Man holding a beer in one hand and refusing to hand over car keys to a drunk driver - Southern Harvest Cheap auto insurance in Georgia.

Now that summer is in full bloom, you’re probably looking forward to all the backyard BBQs, outdoor live concerts, and chilling with friends and family. And we all know that those types of gatherings usually have adult beverages. As much as you might want to enjoy a cold one to fight the summer heat, it could be risky if you plan on driving. 

You probably know as much as the next guy that drinking alcohol reduces your ability to “think straight.” Driving your car when you’re impaired from alcohol is dangerous and can lead to disaster. Alcohol makes your reactions slower, leads to poor decision-making, and affects your judgment. Maybe you thought you could make that yellow light before it turned red, but alcohol weakened your judgment. Next thing you know, you’re getting rammed by another vehicle. Worse than that, you’re cited for a DUI. If convicted, you’ll probably be required to carry an SR-22 certificate. 

Understanding the Risks and Consequences of Drinking and Driving 

Every state has penalties for people who drive under the influence. You can get cited for a DUI in Georgia if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, 0.04% or higher for commercial drivers, and 0.02% or higher for drivers under 21. Break the law, and you have to pay. Some people might lose their license. Others might get thrown in jail. If you’re lucky, you might just get slapped with a fine and higher insurance costs. But if you get your license suspended, you’ll be required to carry SR-22 insurance. 

To an insurer, having an SR-22 requirement puts you in a high-risk category and your premiums will reflect that. Insurance costs can double and even triple in these situations. 

Planning Your Transportation Before Celebrating 

Since you don’t want to lose your license or get in a life-altering accident, it’s best to plan ahead before you go out to any celebrations that involve drinking. Preparing for the possible drinking that will occur can help you relax and enjoy your time without taking risks. 

You can plan in advance how to navigate driving and sobriety checkpoints. Bring a friend to serve as a designated driver. Then, you won’t have to worry. Someone sober will be there to take over the wheel when it’s time to go. 

If you are hosting a party with alcoholic beverages, have several designated drivers to take home tipsy drivers. 

Utilizing Technology to Prevent Drinking and Driving 

Technology is a way of life for most of us. And thanks to developments in this area, there are technologies that help prevent drinking and driving. And even more apps are being developed for future use.  

Man sitting inside his car with a beer in his hand

The main technology systems that are now in use include ignition interlock devices and Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety (DADSS). Both of these systems measure the blood alcohol content in the driver before they can start the car. It’s like having the cops measure your blood alcohol content BEFORE you get pulled over instead of after. This goes a long way in helping people know when it’s not safe for them to drive. 

Hosting Responsible Summer Gatherings 

Hosting summer gatherings is a great way to connect with friends and family. At the same time, as a host, you need to make sure your guests are safe. You can encourage people to drink responsibly or abstain from drinking. Also, have those few people on hand who can take over driving if needed. 

Smoking weed while driving in Georgia is also illegal, as is smoking marijuana in the state in general. It may be a good idea to ask your guests to refrain from bringing weed to your summer gatherings, and to remind them that they can get a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana. 

The Role of Peer Support in Preventing DUIs 

Just like peer pressure can lead people to make bad decisions, peer support can help people do the right thing. Family and friends can support their loved ones who may have had incidents in the past with DUI. Let your loved ones who are at risk for drinking and driving know they have options. Remind them of the consequences of getting behind the wheel drunk, including getting their license suspended, having to carry an SR-22 certificate, and causing an accident. Helping them to avoid drinking and driving may save their life. 

Understanding SR-22 and How to Avoid It 

Even if you’re not too intoxicated and can drive undetected, you never know when and where the cops will set up a sobriety checkpoint, and you still might get busted for driving drunk. If you get convicted of DUI, you will need to carry an SR-22 certificate. This certificate is proof that you have the minimum insurance coverage to cover costs in case you are at fault in an accident. The SR-22 must be filed with the DMV in Georgia.  

At Southern Harvest Insurance, we can handle all the details for you. We will obtain the documentation for you and file it with the proper authorities. 

Reach out to one of our experienced agents for more information about SR-22 or any other insurance questions you may have. You can get a quick and easy quote online. Or, if you’d prefer to speak with someone directly, call us at (877) 477-8256 or find a Southern Harvest Insurance office near you.