At this point, everyone is aware that drinking and driving are both very dangerous and very likely to lead to an arrest. So why do rates of drinking and driving continue to be high in all states and with all demographics?
The answer is complicated, but it has a lot to do with the pressure that gets placed on people to go through with drinking and driving even when they know it is a bad idea. Peer pressure is not a phenomenon that is only experienced by teenagers. It is a common and surprisingly powerful force in all people’s lives, especially when alcohol is involved.
Our number one goal is to reduce the number or people who drive under the influence, get arrested for breaking DUI laws, and end up having to contact a Providence DUI attorney in order to help get them out of a scary and uncertain situation. To do that, it is important for all drivers to understand 5 ways that peer pressure influences drinking and driving.
People Want to Join the Party
Very few people set out to drink so much so quickly that they are unable to drive home. But once the fun starts, it is easy to justify having one more drink, staying one more hour, or pushing the limits just a little too far. You may be surprised to learn that a lot of people who have agreed to act as a designated driver end up getting arrested for drinking and driving. That is because they see their friends imbibing and having a great time and feel like they can have one or two drinks and still drive home safely. Peer pressure pulls them into the party, but they are still expected to get everyone home safe at the end of the night.
People Want to Feel Powerful
There are lots of reasons that people disregard DUI laws. But many of them boil down to the feeling that they will not get in trouble, not get caught, and not create any kind of danger. Alcohol has a powerful ability to erase fears and concerns of risk. It can also give people an elevated self-image that leads them to feel indestructible or above the law. Peer pressure can challenge this feeling, leading people to get behind the wheel even when they know it is not a great idea. The simple truth is that a lot of people end up drinking and driving simply because they become convinced that they can.
People Want the Fun to Continue
When you are out and have had too much to drink, the best strategy is to get a ride home or to find a way to stay where you are drinking. But that would mean that the night would come to an end. And if you and your friends are having a great time, no one wants to bring the party to a close. Driving under the influence often happens because people want to hit up one more bar or take the whole gang back to someone’s house. Rather than being branded as a wet blanket, people decide that drinking and driving is an acceptable risk if it keeps the good times and high spirits going for a little bit longer.
People Want to Attract Attention
Romantic motives are often the cause of drinking and driving. People meet while they are out, connect over a few drinks, and want to head back to a more private place even if it means driving under the influence. Another situation is that after a night of drinking people decide to drive to meet a romantic partner at another bar or at their house. The combination of peer pressure, loneliness, and the altered reality of drinking create a powerful incentive for drinking and driving.
People Want to Escape a Situation
Peer pressure is not only about pushing the limits further. It can also lead someone who has been drinking to feel like they are unwelcome and unwanted. And even though they know that are too drunk to get home, they feel like they must escape a situation at any cost, even if it means drinking and driving. Sometimes negative peer pressure is even more powerful than positive peer pressure, so much so that concerns about DUI laws become an afterthought.
We have created this list to illustrate how easy it is to get a DUI first offense without ever intending to put yourself and others on the road at risk. Even though there is a strong stigma against DUI, it is possible for all people from all backgrounds to find themselves in the kinds of high-pressure situations that lead to drinking and driving. If you have made a mistake and require a Providence DUI attorney to help resolve the situation, contact Chad F. Bank Attorney at Law by calling 401-229-5088.