The Florida Drug and Alcohol Course is a 4 hour course and test you must take in the state of Florida before you can get your first driver’s license. So if you are a teenager getting your Learners Permit you need it. If you are an adult 18 years old or older you need it if it is your first driver’s license.
The course itself isn’t difficult or tricky. It is a bunch of facts and education about how drugs and alcohol affect your driving and decision making. The state of Florida is trying to use education as a deterrent to driving impaired. The problem is there there are still over 5,000 alcohol confirmed crashes each year. With over 400 people dying in those crashes. Just in the state of Florida alone!
Think of all the people that are affected. More than 400 people die each year because of alcohol related crashes. Think of all the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters that have lost a loved one. Fathers that won’t come home ever again because someone else made the dumb decision to get behind the wheel and drive while drunk. Mothers that have to live with the loss of a child because someone had to get drunk and drive.
So the state of Florida is trying to prevent some of this by providing mandatory education about alcohol use. But with over 5,000 tickets a year and over 400 people dying how successful is that program?
It all comes down to a simple factor, choice. You can choose to be a responsible driver and person by not drinking and driving or not. After having gone through this course there really isn’t any excuse for drinking and driving. You know it is wrong. You know it is against the law. You will know the different levels of impairment and if you choose to drive impaired, probably know you are too drunk to drive. You will even know the costs both financial and related in things like loss of jobs and the demise of personal relationships. Yet a fair number of us ignore all that and get behind the wheel and drive drunk anyway.
Part of the problem is that when you are drunk your decision making is impaired so you are already is a losing position before you even start. The course teaches you about how our inhibitions drop as alcohol consumption increases. So if you know you are going to drink then make a plan for your transportation BEFORE you start drinking while you are still thinking clearly.
The course gives you the benefit of knowing that it is pretty much standard that if you are going to drink more than one drink an hour you’re going to be too impaired to drive. Problem is that if you are tired and achy from work you drink that drink and you feel better. So why shouldn’t you drive if you feel better? Because you’re DRUNK!
This is the kind of thing the course teaches. How many drinks you can have before driving impaired. But how about this? If you’re going to drink at all DON’T DRIVE AT ALL. There are lots of ways to avoid drinking and driving now. Most ride services like Lyft and Uber offer free rides back to your car if you leave it at a bar. There are all kinds of programs to not drink and drive. Tow trucks to take you and your car home. But we don’t want to be inconvenienced. We want to do what we want to do when we want to do it and not be dictated by someone else how we are going to do something. Especially when drunk.
At the end of the Florida drug and alcohol course you will know exactly how impaired you will be after a couple of drinks. You will know that you shouldn’t be driving. You will know that you can go to jail and ruin your life if caught driving drunk but how many of us will still do it anyway.
Don’t be one of them. Take that minute to plan intelligently. It isn’t that much of a hassle or problem. Be smart. You may save a life. You might save your own life or the life of an innocent child. It just isn’t worth it and it is a shame that as much effort as the state of FLorida puts into the drug and alcohol course that those 5,000 people that get DUIs don’t pay more attention to it.
So why have the course at all? Because we have to do something. We can not allow our loved ones to die a 100% preventable death and do nothing. The bottom line, it is a choice. Your choice. A choice that can affect a lot of people if things go bad. It just isn’t worth it and that is what the course tries to teach you. But it is up to you to make a good choice.