Plan Ahead to Get Home Safe
78% of us in Washington don’t drive after drinking.
More than 80% take action to stop others from driving impaired.
Pretty much everyone in Washington agrees that driving while drunk or high is a bad idea. Still, too many impaired drivers – from alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both – get behind the wheel.
We can step in to change that.
we step in
Stopping impaired driving takes all of us working together. And the best place to start is planning ahead for how you will get home before any alcohol or drugs are consumed. Options:
- Ask a sober friend or family member to pick you up
- Call a taxi or rideshare service
- Use public transportation
- Plan to stay over where you are
- Leave your car at home or park it where you won’t need to move it.
Of course, things don’t always go as planned
If you’re in a situation where someone who’s drunk or high is trying to drive, please step in:
- Arrange or provide a ride
- Offer your couch for the night
- Arrange for them to stay where they are
- Engage someone else to help, including calling 911
Impaired driving isn’t just about alcohol
While we all know that driving impaired is dangerous, we may not all think about impairment in quite the same way. Driving while impaired isn’t always alcohol related and can even be caused by some substances you might not expect – like cannabis products, prescription drugs and even over-the-counter medications.
Some people also have the misconception that cannabis can counteract the effects of alcohol, but this is simply not the case. It’s important to remember, if you use cannabis before or after drinking alcohol, you triple your risk of a crash.
Common questions about impaired driving
If alcohol and cannabis are legal in Washington State, how can I get a DUI after consuming?
Although alcohol, cannabis, and over-the-counter or prescription drugs are legal to consume in Washington, it’s ILLEGAL and DANGEROUS to drive after consuming alcohol or impairing drugs.
Can I be charged with a crime if I am impaired by drugs and alcohol and sitting in my car but not driving?
Yes. This charge is called being in Actual Physical Control of a Motor Vehicle. This law is to reduce the risk of a person who is under the influence deciding to “sleep it off” in their car, only to wake up and think they are “safe” to drive while still impaired. Learn more here.
Can I be charged with DUI if I am under the "legal limit" for THC or alcohol?
Yes. The “legal limit” means that it is the level at which you are too impaired to drive. You can be well below the “legal limit” and still be too impaired by drugs or alcohol to drive safely. In Washington State, those “per se” levels are 0.08 for alcohol and five ng/mL of THC as measured by blood. However, the actual legal limit in the State of Washington is when driver is noticeably affected by alcohol (or drugs or combined influence).
Is it legal to get alcoholic beverages to go from restaurants and bars along with my takeout food?
Yes. Washington State House Bill 1480 allows the sales and service of alcohol to go for anyone 21 years of age and older. However, the alcohol must be sealed appropriately at the point of purchase and cannot be consumed inside a motor vehicle.