Risk management

Defensive driving

Don't drink or take drugs and drive

Drugs and alcohol have no place in defensive driving programs. 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
    • Reaction time
    • Judgment
    • Vision
  • Remember:
    • Only time, not coffee, will sober you up
    • Ride with a designated driver

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. They understand that alcohol and drugs impair your:

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

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 and Vision are also affected when you drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

So remember:

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.

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.



Insurance products and services are offered through Markel Specialty Commercial, a business division of Markel Service Incorporated, policies written by one or more Markel insurance companies. Terms and conditions for coverage may vary by state.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.