Don't drink or take drugs and drive

Designated driver

Drugs and alcohol have no place in defensive driving programs. Every year people are injured or killed on the road because another driver was driving under the influence. Defensive drivers never drink or take drugs and drive. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only dangerous, but often illegal. Defensive driving programs should always stress the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol.


Here are some tips and defensive driving information for you to use as you consider the dangers of driving while impaired.


  • Alcohol and drugs impair many actions:

    • Ability to determine distances
      • This can result in various types of collisions including the most dangerous which is the head-on collision.

    • Reaction time
      • Reaction time is always dulled when you are impaired. It may feel as if it is not, but that is fiction. When you are impaired it takes longer to apply pressure to the brake pedal, longer to determine distance, and judging speed becomes impaired as well.

    • Judgment
    • Vision

  • Remember:

    • Only time, not coffee, will sober you up
      • Coffee won't sober you up. Only time can do that. You have to wait at least an hour for each drink you’ve consumed—including beer and wine—before it's safe to drive.

    • Ride with a designated driver
      • If you've been drinking, ride with someone who hasn't. You can also call for a taxi. It is imperative that you do not drive if you are impaired by either drugs or alcohol. Driving under the influence is also illegal and causes you to go to jail and lose your license.

Designated driver
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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