What does “don’t drink and drive” signify to you?

Another thread about ambiguity and language.

What does the term “drink and drive” signify to you, as used in the following sentences? Let’s imagine the context here is just friends going out to a restaurant for dinner and then driving home - not professional truck drivers or anything like that.

“You shouldn’t drink and drive.”
“I would never drink and drive.”
“Drinking and driving is risky and irresponsible.”
“If you drink and drive you are putting others at risk.”

  • Driving after consuming any amount of alcohol.
  • Driving while you still feel the effects of alcohol (“buzz”, etc.).
  • Driving while you’re above the legal BAC limit in your jurisdiction or some proxy for it (X drinks in Y hours, etc.)
  • Something else - describe in comments.

0 voters

I don’t like the quiz format - there’s no “submit” button. The first option you touch is the one that’s submitted.

Is that how the quizzes used to be in vBulletin?

ETA: It seems I can change my vote, though? Huh.

To me it means don’t drive after any alcohol.

Although I once rode in a car with a drunk driver. He also said he would be a designated driver, only to turn out his definition of that was “I can drink as much alcohol as anyone else but I’ll be the driver since I handle motor skills better than other drunks.”

I am perfectly willing to drive even if I still feel the effects of alcohol, as long as I’m confident I’m not over the legal limit. At least in my social circles, if you drink at all, driving home after having 2-3 drinks in a 2-hour dinner is universally practiced - no one is going to call an Uber in that situation, even though you probably still feel a bit fuzzy. Despite the fact that the plain language says otherwise, I don’t consider this “drinking and driving”.

Yet when I see people, ad campaigns, etc. talking about the hazards of drinking and driving, I always wonder if they’re talking about me.

I put “Don’t drive after any alcohol”, I’m pretty much a non-drinker so I would be dangerously impaired well before I reached the legal limit

It basically means to me that DUIs are the new speed traps and a huge moneymaker for the state and the new quota for police officers.

I picked don’t drive above the legal BAC.

It seems a little unfair to tell the designated driver he can’t have a beer with his dinner. So I would say more than 0 drinks but less than buzzing.

I live in Bucharest, Romania. We don’t use the “drink and drive” expression. Instead, there is common phrase whose English equivalent is DUI. For me drink and drive means DUI.

I picked the third option, but I’m increasingly thinking about moving to the second or first in how I approach this. I think it’s one of those things that will move that way over the generations.

I picked the first. X drinks in Y hours is an approximation, and if you have a buzz it is already too late. Plus, the ability to act in emergencies goes down as alcohol level goes up.
I don’t drink at all if I’m driving.

I responded that it’s driving after consuming any amount of alcohol. To me that’s rather reasonable. Alcohol’s effects are not absent with just a little bit of booze, they’re just lessened. Driving is a serious responsibility and should be done in a responsible manner. Driving after drinking is not responsible, IMHO.

I would have said “Driving while your ability to drive safely is impaired.” That doesn’t exactly match any of the choices, but #2 was closest so that’s what I voted for.

If I’m you’re designated driver I won’t be taking even a sip of alcohol, and I won’t feel it’s a bit unfair. I enjoy alcohol but I don’t require it and have no problem skipping it. I’m not a teetotaler, but I don’t have a problem abstaining, either. I’m often a designated driver.

I answered “no alcohol at all” because I’m one of those people alcohol affects unpredictably. Sometimes I can have several drinks and function pretty well (although I still wouldn’t drive) and other times half a glass of beer can have me stumbling or falling asleep. I have no idea which it’s going to be until after I start drinking. Given that, for me personally, if I’m driving at all I won’t be drinking at all or vice versa.

I am well aware that this does not apply to others, many if not most of whom have more predictable reactions to alcohol.

I’m close to the first but in reality, you’ll fully process one drink over even a relatively modestly long night, and two over a long night out.

But better stick to one relatively small drink in case anything comes up, and none if you don’t think you or the people around you will be able to resist trying to convince you you can handle one more.

I’m between the first two options. I will drive after one drink, but not after two. But I’m not feeling any effects after one drink.

As someone who doesn’t drink or tend to hang around people who do, I don’t tend to think about this all that much, but here are my thoughts upon reading the question:

No alcohol at all seems a bit severe, and ill defined–what counts as “before”? Obviously that drink you have in 1999 doesn’t count now. And surely you can consume at least very small quantities, like in wine tasting or eating food that still has some leftover alcohol in it.

But going by feeling seems obviously bad to me, for two reasons. First, how drunk you currently are is less important than how drunk you are at the end. So it has to be anticipatory, not based on current anything. But the bigger issue is that people seem to be bad at judging exactly how inebriated they are.

I could almost go with the third option, since it’s more concrete. But I feel like going up to the legal limit is too far. You want to be well below something like that, below the point where it would affect your driving at all. I’m sure the law tries to be conservative with its limits, to cover lower tolerances to alcohol, but, still, going right up to the line seems fraught with potential issues to me.

To me, it’s just “are you in any way inebriated”? But that has to be judged accurately, erring on the side of caution.

BTW, when I was a kid, I actually imagined it meant drinking alcohol in the car, or just before getting in. To my kid brain, “and” implied “at the same time.” So, to this day, that is my initial interpretation in the split second before the rest of my brain kicks in.

Like Doreen above, I limit myself to one if I’m driving afterward. That way I can enjoy a beverage with my meal, or wine if toasting/celebrating something, but still get safely and legally home.

Note: I’m not against alcohol and quite enjoy when it I don’t need to drive, but age, declining night vision, and increasing enforcement puts my limit to just the single drink.

If I am a designated driver, I will use the program that many bars have - you get all the nonalcohol beverages free [not sure if places still do that, it used to be the thing back in the 80s and 90s] but if I am out aloneish, I will have a single alcoholic beverage and stop. If I am babysitting the godsprogs, no alcohol at all, with kids around one needs to be able to address emergencies that may need a ride to an urgent care.

This is what I mean, too. I haven’t voted, yet, as I’m waffling between options (1) and (2). I don’t think it’s “any alcohol at all”. You had a dessert with some vanilla extract in it? Perfectly fine to drive. But it’s less alcohol than “still feel buzzed”. At least for me, my driving is impaired before I feel buzzed.

I am. :woman_shrugging:

Huh? That’s the point of a designated driver. And you take turns being that person. (Although my husband is a teetotaler, so if I want to drink, he’s always my designated driver.)

I, also, have varying effects. But I’ve diagnosed what causes it. If I haven’t had any booze in a long time, then half a drink can be enough to make me sleepy. If I’ve been drinking in the past two weeks or so, I can have about two drinks before I get the same effect. I actually plan for this – if I am traveling to Germany and expect to drink beer with my lunch, I will have a drink before bed twice before I go, once about a week out and again a few days out. That “exercises my liver” enough that I won’t feel sleepy and dopey all afternoon.

I still don’t drive in Germany if I’ve been drinking. (And I understand the legal limit there is “we can detect it”). But at home, if I am going to a party without my husband, and if I’ve been drinking recently, I might have one drink early in the evening and drive myself home later.