Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Your Special Traditions

Driving Under the Influence-What is at Risk?

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Many of us enjoy an alcoholic beverage from time to time whether it be at a local pub with friends or a drink you enjoy with dinner. In addition, with the increase in the legalization of marijuana in the United States, some choose to smoke or eat foods with that ingredient as well. While doing either may seemharmless (and done in moderation)is likely when you are under the influence of any substance and decide to get behind the wheel it is an entirely different matter.

Driving under the influence of any substance is incredibly risky for a number of reasons and while you may believe you are “just fine”, when you consider the consequences that may befall you if you are indeed unfit to drive, you may just decide to think twice before driving after having too much to drink or have had any amount of a substance that can cause your driving to be impaired. Alarming information from M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) reveals how often drunk driving can occur alone!

Here are just a few of the consequences of drunk driving or even driving under the influence:

  • Getting a ticket- While you could get pulled over for driving erratically due to being impaired, there are many reasons why a police officer could pull you over. These include speeding, having a taillight out, failing to stop fully at a stop sign or stoplight, and the list goes on. If you are pulled over and found to have been drunk driving or even driving under the influence of a substance, you may be issued a ticket that can include a fine for as much as $500.
  • Losing your license- While getting a ticket is bad enough, you may also be in jeopardy of losing your drivers license as well. The duration can vary and would depend on the severity of your impairment and whether it was your first offense or not. Driving under the influence can often result in loss of driving privileges for 30 days or longer.
  • Jail sentence- In some states, you can be sent to jail for your very first offense of driving under the influence and jail time is very likely for anyone who has been convicted of doing so prior. In some instances, a jail sentence is possible on your very first offense.
  • Losing employment or military opportunities- Many don’t realize that being convicted of driving under the influence can have grave consequences in other areas of your life that have nothing to do with driving. For instance, if you are convicted, you could lose the ability to attend medical school, law school, and you would be banned from serving in any branch of the military. Such a punishment could have far reaching negative effects for the rest of one’s lifetime.
  • Injury or death- Certainly the most serious consequence involves you being in an accident that causes serious injury or death to either you, or another person. Such an incident is devastating and while you may survive, if you caused the death of another person, you may find yourself locked away in jail for the rest of your life.

Even if you feel like you are fine to drive, if you have consumed anything that could possibly impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, you should seriously reconsider your decision to operate a vehicle. Even the slightest impairment can affect one’s driving ability.Looking at the list of consequences above, I am sure you would agree that no drink or puff of marijuana is worth any of the negatives that could befall you for driving under the influence.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.