driving under the influence

Strategies to Avoid Driving Under the Influence

Published on May 28, 2020 by First Responder Wellness

Chronic alcohol users reach an inevitable crossroads at one point or another: to drive while impaired, or not to drive at all. The addictive condition includes holding back or suppressing emotions and thinking it’s normal to drink alcohol or use drugs.

As our addiction spirals, the number of activities that we engage in while impaired increases. These situations may include recreational hobbies, workplace environments, and behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle. 


The addicted mind goes to great lengths to rationalize this sort of endangering behavior. For example, we might tell ourselves “nothing matters anyway, so why not go for it.” Indifference to this extent is extremely dangerous, not only to the individual, but to their family, co-workers, and fellow drivers.

To these people, sobriety matters. It affects their very livelihood as well as their emotions. Below are some strategies to avoid driving under the influence.


Think First

One of the main regrets people experience after receiving a DUI is wishing they had just stopped to think longer about their decision. Give your actions a thoughtful pause. Any sort of urgency is manufactured.

The stakes of receiving a DUI or risking a severe traffic collision are not worth the perceived convenience of driving. Consider the pros and cons. When you think you have weighed your options thoroughly, think about it some more.

Without using a breathalyzer or having the means to measure substance intake, there is no way to accurately gauge one’s capacity to operate a vehicle. By contemplating your decision, fellow drivers will make it home safe, and the people in your life will understand.


Communicate With Someone

If you are even slightly concerned about driving, even while sober, always consult someone. Now, this is not a guarantee they will be equipped to help, but at the very least hearing yourself voice concern will likely go a long way towards influencing your own decision-making.

The simple act of verbalizing our thoughts brings them into existence. Ideally, though, the person you tell may be able to provide a means of transportation. If possible, after telling one person, also communicate your plans with another.

This ensures safety and by casting a wide enough net, you expand the likelihood of securing either a ride or safe method of getting where you need to go.


Designate a Driver

Although this can be a double-edged sword for people in recovery, still, it never hurts to designate a driver when knowingly entering an environment with alcohol present. This may lead to potential justifications for indulging in alcohol and/or substances, making it less than ideal.

Rather than flat-out asking someone to drive, you can always confide in someone you trust: maybe a sponsor or confidante who has graduated from a recovery program. This communication may help to prevent the temptations of use from arising in the first place. 


Ridesharing Apps

It is easier these days than ever to schedule a ride. Numerous applications allow users to schedule rides with minimal effort, and more traditional public transportation is available in many locations.

For anyone who is anxious about driving, these are convenient and easy to access alternatives. Do your best to ensure you have your phone charged in order to schedule a ride. 



Walking is a great way to get around as long as you feel safe enough to get where you are headed. In certain situations, walking helps to gain some perspective on a situation that may feel uncomfortable, or detrimental to mental health.

Remember, walking is also a good way to begin heading in the right direction, and it is sometimes best to remove oneself from a location where something has triggered alcohol and/or substance use. This might also be a helpful time to communicate with a sponsor or an individual trained to assist with addiction recovery. From there, reevaluate the other options you may have at your disposal to secure your safety and the safety of those around you.


Do not beat yourself up if you have drank and/or used substances. It happens, and it does not mean you have failed your path to recovery. Don’t turn one mistake into two. Driving under the influence can lead to wide-ranging, life-altering scenarios.

Using substances and/or drinking alcohol can suppress feelings of empathy and interfere with critical thinking. There is no need to feel as if you are alone or helpless.

You are capable of empowering yourself and sticking to your morals. If there is even a remote intuition urging you to reconsider driving home, the least you can do is reconsider. It will be best for everyone that way.


Drug and/or alcohol use negatively impacts us, leaving a lasting, if not a permanent mark on ourselves and the lives of others. For people who are ready to receive treatment, the number one priority must be getting and staying clean and sober. First Responder Wellness is different from other drug rehab centers.

Our methods have proven effective for individuals seeking treatment for the first time and for those who may have relapsed and require additional care. If you or your loved ones are ready to begin living substance and/or alcohol-free lives, please call our admissions staff 24/7 at 888-743-0490.