As summer in Minnesota offers warm relief, it might be tempting to savor and celebrate the season with plenty of alcoholic beverages. Although, summer and ice-cold beers might mix well, drinking and operating any kind of motor vehicle do not pair well together.

There are legal consequences and safety risks that can result if you pick up your car keys before fully sobering up. Instead of taking your chances and putting lives at risk, consider the following before driving while impaired:

  • Alcohol and driving: Even before you reach the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08%, alcohol can impact your ability to drive. At as low as 0.02% BAC, your visual functions may decrease, you can’t multitask well, you begin to lose judgement and your mood can shift. Having clouded vision behind the wheel or misjudging whether you have enough time to make a lane change can happen after just a couple of drinks and lead to a car crash.
  • Motorcycle fatality rate: Cruising over to your favorite bar in your motorcycle in the summertime is a luxury that many Minnesotan’s don’t take for granted, given the short riding season. But many riders across the country don’t allot enough time to sober up before going home. In fact, 27% of all drunk-driving fatalities in 2017 involved motorcyclists. Cycling over to a friend’s house for drinks and spending the night instead, can be the difference between life and death.
  • DWI penalties: The results of a single DWI offense can impact both your summer plans and your life long-term. A DWI charge leave you with costly fines, without license and stuck in jail. These immediate impacts can be inconvenient, but might not be as pesky as the effects of having a misdemeanor or felony offense on your record. Criminal charges can severely throw off both career and college goals.

Thankfully, these days, if you don’t have a friend that wants to be a designated driver, you can always use a rideshare app. But, ultimately, how you choose to spend your summer is up to you, until you put others in danger with your reckless actions.