Impaired Driving

Drinking, Drugs and Drowsiness

Nothing good happens when any driver has a few drinks and gets behind the wheel. When it’s an inexperienced driver, the risk is even greater. That’s why, in all 50 states, there are zero tolerance laws for underage drinking and driving.

All drivers, all ages, all genders, all metabolisms, become impaired with very little alcohol intake—and the myth that drinking coffee or taking a cold shower helps is just that —a myth.

Alcohol is by far the biggest drug problem in America. It contributes to more crashes and more highway deaths than cocaine, heroin and every other illegal drug combined.

The video below from the Texas Department of Transportation illustrates some of the monetary and social costs of an arrest for drunk driving. While the financial penalties, court time, or jail time might be higher or lower in your state, this video does a good job of showing you and your teen the consequences of driving while impaired.

The safest strategy for any driver—especially teens—is to avoid any substance that leads to impaired driving, including legal drugs. Whether they’re over the counter or prescribed by a physician, your teen needs to be aware of any risks that can arise from taking medication while operating a vehicle.

Teach them to get in the habit of reading the labels on boxes and bottles of over-the-counter medications and to pay attention for any warnings about drowsiness or impairment while operating a vehicle. For prescription drugs, the best bet is to speak with your physician about any side effects the medication might cause, but you can always consult with your pharmacist, too.


GM Foundation