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How to win against DWIs? Plan ahead

Feb. 6, 2017

Photo of a traffic crash.
Photo: If you want to go out drinking, plan a sober ride ahead of time. That way your decision won’t be impaired by alcohol, and neither will your driving … and your car won’t end up like this.​

No matter how you feel about the outcome of yesterday’s Super Bowl, hopefully you had fun watching it and got home safely. And if you’re among the thousands of Minnesotans who planned a sober ride home after the game, congratulations and thank you. Unfortunately, not everyone did. Over the Super Bowl period so far (Sunday through this morning), preliminary numbers show that Minnesota law enforcement arrested 142 impaired drivers, and what’s sad is that every single one is avoidable with a little planning.

After all, there’s nothing wrong with having a good time with your friends and family. As Minnesota State Patrol Lieutenant Robert Zak put it in a news conference last week, “We’re not against driving. We’re not against drinking. But what we are against is drinking and driving combined."

And here’s why planning ahead is so important: Alcohol impairs your decision-making abilities (which is one of the reasons why it’s so dangerous to drive under its influence). So if you think to yourself, “I’ll have a few drinks and figure out how I’m getting home after that,” you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Instead, if you plan on drinking at all, then also plan on getting a sober ride or staying where you are.

Lt. Zak elaborates: “We all know that when people are drinking, they make decisions they would never make if they were sober. Deciding to drive when you’re buzzed, or being impaired and getting into a car with a drunk driver – if you were sober, you wouldn’t do it. You wouldn’t trust yourself or that other driver with your own life. You wouldn’t trust yourself or that other driver with the life of your wife or your teenage son or your baby girl.”

And although there won’t be another Super Bowl for another 363 days, these concepts apply to so many other occasions in the upcoming year: St. Patrick’s Day, graduations, summer barbecues, the holidays … the list goes on. So there’s no time like the present to practice your planning skills. That way you’ll live to celebrate another day.​​​​