How To Stop Drinking and Driving: An Honest, Practical Guide

Nobody wants to be responsible for hurting a stranger, let alone a passenger of theirs or somebody they care about. Not only can it ruin your life from a legal standpoint, it will also destroy you mentally to know that your mistakes have hurt somebody, or even ended their life. Imagine hitting someone with your car after you’ve been drinking. Imagine their family getting the phone call that they’d never see their loved one again.

But these aren’t the types of things that people think about before they drink and drive. They think “I’ve done this 100 times, it’ll be fine.”

Nobody likes to think about the dangerous outcomes of their actions, but if you’re here, wanting to learn techniques to stop drinking and driving, you’re making an important first step.

It’s Not Just Alcoholics Who Drink and Drive

While alcoholics may feel comfortable drinking and driving, many people drink and drive who aren’t alcoholics. Whether it’s going out for dinner and having a few too many drinks and deciding to get home, or driving to the bar where you’re planning to drink a lot, or even getting in the car and taking yourself home after a house party, a BBQ, or some other event with friends…

If you show up in your car, and you plan on drinking, you’re planning to drink and drive and that’s a problem. That’s the core issue here, and so if we can fix that, then it will be easy to avoid drinking and driving.

Plan To NOT Drink and Drive

As we said, when you go somewhere with the intention of drinking and you bring your car and you don’t have plans to find another way home and to keep your car there, and you don’t have plans to spend the night… You ARE planning to drink and drive. You might not be consciously saying or thinking it, but it’s exactly what you’re doing.

So, instead of planning to drink and drive (even if it’s in a passive way), make other plans ahead of time. Figure out a different way home. Plan to stay the night if you’re drinking. Take a cab, and pick up your car the next day.

Or better yet, don’t even bring your car with you if you’re going to be drinking…

Drinking Impairs Your Judgement

You need to remember this. Even if you plan on taking a cab home, if you bring your car with you when you’re drinking, your judgement will be impaired by the time you’re ready to go home. Are you really going to want to wait 30 minutes or an hour to pay for a cab, when you can just get into your car and drive? Obviously, driving is the wrong choice, but when it comes down to it – are you going to make the right choice once you’re already drunk?

Plan Ahead To Stop Drinking and Driving: Here’s How

The best way to make sure that there’s no chance of you drinking and driving home is to not bring your car with you when you’re planning to drink. That’s the first step. If you do that, you’re good.

But sometimes, you want/need to drive yourself to the party or wherever you’re drinking, and this is where things can start to get dangerous. Even if you leave home with every intention of not drinking and driving, again, once you’ve had a few drinks, those plans can go out the window.

Do you have the discipline to bring your car with you, and not drive it home? That’s what it will take, plain and simple.

Minimize Resistance and Obstacles

The way to ensure that you get home safe, and without hurting anyone else, is to minimize the resistance.

Why do people drive drunk?

Because it’s easy.

It’s the easiest way to get home. But it’s also the worst way, and the most dangerous, but the drunk mind isn’t thinking about consequences.

The key is to take control of the things you can control when you’re still sober, and to make it as difficult as possible for your drunk self to try and drive.

Have some cash so you can call a cab, or make sure your phone is charged so you can get an Uber, or plan to stay the night, or whatever you have to do – just don’t leave the planning until you’re ready to head home, that’ll make you much more likely to drink and drive.

But Let’s Be Real…

If the only way to stop yourself from drinking and driving is to making it nearly impossible for yourself to drink and drive, there’s a bigger problem here. You have issues with controlling yourself when you’ve been drinking, and maybe it’s time to think about those drinking habits themselves, attack the root of the issue here, rather than just thinking about the driving thing.

If you always find yourself with the urge to drink and drive, it’s only a matter of time until things go terribly wrong and something very bad happens… the type of thing you can’t un-do or take back.

Think About The Consequences

Alcoholics aren’t bad people, they aren’t evil, they aren’t irredeemable, they aren’t trash…

But, sometimes, they don’t think about the consequences of their actions, and that’s where they can run into trouble. A generally sweet and caring person, who wouldn’t hurt a fly, could get behind the wheel of a car after drinking and ruin someone’s life, end someone’s life, and ruin their own life in the process.

The fines for being caught drinking and driving can be very serious and very costly, including losing your license. You’ll wish you just arranged a different way home instead of losing your license for years, or even forever.

But the real consequences with permanent impacts are things like hurting yourself or hurting someone else. Everyone wants to think it won’t happen to them, but when you get behind the wheel after drinking, you’re increasing the odds so drastically that it’s just never worth it.

  • Public stigma
  • Shame, guilt
  • Expensive fines
  • Losing your license
  • Damaging your car
  • Hurting yourself
  • Hurting your passengers
  • Hurting a streamer
  • The loss of life

Don’t ignore these consequences, don’t wait until it’s too late, don’t wait until you’ve crossed a bridge that you can’t cross back from.

You can stop drinking and driving, whether that means simply being smarter about it and planning ahead, or taking a drinking problem head-on.

Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.