There is no excuse for drinking and driving. Yet many of us have been in a situation of having a few drinks when we didn’t plan on it, forcing us to decide whether to chance driving under the influence.
The best decision is to never risk drunk driving. Even after just one or two drinks, your judgment is impaired, and the risk of an accident is increased. Driving home when you have been drinking is not worth it.
Instead, it is better to look at alternative ways to get home. Below, explore some options from a Philadelphia car accident attorney — after learning why it is so important to avoid getting behind the wheel of a car if you have been drinking.
The Impact of Drunk Drivers on Pennsylvanians
In February 2019, a Philadelphia area couple became the victims of a drunk driver. David Strowhouer of Willistown had previous pled guilty to five separate driving under the influence (DUI) charges when he struck a vehicle carrying Deanna Eckman and her husband Chris on Market Street in Upper Chichester Township. Deanna was killed, and her husband was seriously injured. Strowhouer was arrested and charged with a number of crimes, including homicide with vehicle while driving under the influence and aggravated assault by vehicle.
This happens all too often in Philadelphia, and across Pennsylvania. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. In Pennsylvania, alcohol remains a top use of all car accidents — including fatal crashes.
In 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported that 9,143 car accidents were attributed to a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. Of these accidents, 160 resulted in a fatality. Despite alcohol being a factor in only 8% of the total crashes in 2017, 26% of all traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania were related to alcohol. 293 people died in 2017 in alcohol-related accidents.
On an average day in Pennsylvania in 2017, 28 alcohol-related traffic crashes occurred. 18 people were injured in an alcohol-related crash, and 0.8 people were fatally injured in alcohol-related accidents. As drivers, we have the power to change this reality, by making better choices when we choose to drink.
Ways to Get Home Instead of Driving Drunk
If you are having a drink in the greater Philadelphia area, there are a number of ways to get home safely — instead of driving under the influence. Here are the top choices for how you can avoid getting behind the wheel of a car when you’ve had too much to drink.
Taxi or Cab
In Philadelphia, taxis are a common sight. If you have been drinking, do yourself a favor, and hail a cab. The money you spend on paying and tipping your driver will be well worth it.
Uber or Lyft
It’s easier than ever to get home safely in 2019, thanks to the prevalence of smart phones and riding sharing services like Uber and Lyft. With just a few taps on your phone, and you can have a car pick you up and deliver you to your home. This service is available both in the city and throughout the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Call a Loved One
While you may not want to call a partner, friend, or family member, their anger at being asked to come pick you up will likely be outweighed by relief that you chose to not drive while under the influence. If you can ask someone to pick you up, it may be the best way to avoid drinking and driving.
Bicycle taxis may seem like they’re for tourists, but you can definitely take advantage of them if you’re drinking downtown and should not be driving. Hop aboard one of Philadelphia’s many pedicabs, and (if you live close enough) have the driver take you home. Of course, this won’t work if you live too far from where you are picked up, but you could be dropped off at a nearby hotel so you can safely stay overnight.
This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you live within a reasonable walking distance from where you have been drinking, consider walking home. You should only do so if you have not been drinking heavily, and if the area where you plan to walk is relatively safe. If you make this choice, you can simply walk back to get your vehicle in the morning.
Philadelphia has a public transit system, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), that consistently ranks among the top 10 as one of the nation’s best. It includes buses, a subway, and commuter rail systems. If you live along one of SEPTA’s many transit lines, consider using it as a way to get home if you have been drinking. You’ll get home safely, and avoid potentially causing a serious accident.
How a Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Far too often, drunk drivers cause accidents that devastate individuals and families. These collisions can cause serious or even fatal injuries. Solnick & Associates is here to help.
Our law firm is dedicated to helping victims of all types of accidents. We work hard so that our clients get the compensation that they deserve, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. Contact us today at 877-415-6495 or anytime via online portal to schedule a free initial consultations with a Philadelphia car accident attorney.