Weekends are meant to unwind, to relax, to have some much needed rest from a hectic week. Some choose to sleep the weekend away, lay at the beach or just stay home. While others prefer to make full use of it – partying and drinking the night away.
With the holiday season here, we’ve got two 3-day weekends approaching. So that means, more parties, more drinking and for some, more rest!
If your plans revolve around some (or a lot) of alcohol, remember not to drink and drive. Drink-driving is the most irresponsible thing you could possibly do in your lifetime. You’re not only endangering your life but the lives of others too.
Drink-Driving in Singapore
Globally, drink-driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents and death. So it comes to no surprise that Singapore’s government have been trying their hardest to combat the issue.
With harsh regulations, laws and penalties in place, the government hopes that these would be adequate to deter potential drink-drivers.
A recent report released by the Traffic Police illustrates a decline in drink-driving related arrests. It’s suggested that the drop in arrests is attributed to an increased awareness about the hazards of drink-driving.
The number of arrests have dropped about 0.7%, to 1,535 arrests from 1,546. While drink-driving related accidents showed a decline of about 37%, from 111 accidents to 70.
This definitely paints a positive picture of the drink-driving situation in Singapore.
However, 71 people have already been arrested for driving under the influence since the beginning of December.
So why do Singaporeans still flout the rules, endanger their own lives and the lives of others on the road?
Why Break the Law?
Maybe it’s natural for people to feel like they want to break the rules. Or maybe it’s an innate sense of security and confidence of your abilities that make you feel immune to danger.
We’ll never know.
Some reasons why people still drive under the influence include denial and overconfidence of their state of mind or abilities, self-pride and just a blatant disregard for the rules.
‘I’m not drunk. I still can drive’ ‘I’m not weak okay, I can drink a lot, I can hold my liquor’ ‘Aiya, won’t get caught one, I still can drive home’
Sounds familiar? On a normal night out, you’ve probably heard these phrases buzzing about. Whether it be from your friends, people around you or maybe you’ve been guilty of saying it yourself.
Crime and Punishment
But what is considered as drink-driving? Drinking alcohol and driving a vehicle, right? Essentially, that’s what it is. However, there’s more than meets the eye.
There are two ways to be guilty of drink-driving.
- Incapable of having proper control of your vehicle
- Blood or breath alcohol levels are above the prescribed limit
Even though the crime seems straightforward, the punishments are quite complex. With different variables that impact sentencing.
In normal cases, where there’s no damage to property or people, punishment will depend on the level of alcohol in excess of the legal limit of 35 microgrammes (ug) per 100 millilitres of breath. The penalties range from a $1,000 fine and a driving ban of 12 months all the way to $5,000 fine and a driving ban of more than 4 years.
For cases where drink drivers cause injury or property damage, the sentencing is much harsher. In most cases, the offender will be jailed unless it’s an extraordinary circumstance.
*Penalties are for first time offenders. Repeat offenders will receive harsher punishment.
The penalties are already pretty harsh and it should deter people from breaking the law.
But what else can be done?
Even though there has been an increased awareness of the dangers in drink-driving. More can, and should be done.
Efforts to deter drivers from breaking the rules are pretty meek when you compare them to the anti-smoking cause.
Apart from creating more impactful campaigns for awareness on the issue, education on the impacts of drink-driving and understand that there are alternative travel options could help alleviate the issue.
To help you, here’s a guide of all the alternative traveling options you can take after a night of drinking.
Appoint a Designated Driver
“You’re the designated driver for tonight.” Sounds like a nightmare, right? Maybe not. As the designated driver, you hold a lot of power over your friends. But most of the time, you don’t realise it. You can find out more here.
Calling a taxi or any other ride-hailing services has to be the most obvious alternative. But just remember to have some cash on you before getting on!
Party all out and go home in style. Even though it’ll be pricey, it’s definitely worth it. You’re guaranteed a safe ride home and you don’t have to waste your time waiting for a ride home.
Call a Loved One
You’re certainly going to get a earful, a long lecture and probably a scolding. But is it worth it? Of course! Who doesn’t like a free ride home?
Pull an All-nighter
Want to find out the best way to get home after a night of drinking? Go out all night till public transport is available again. After all, it’s the holiday season!
Whatever your choice may be, just remember to drink moderately and don’t drive under the influence!
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