Roadside chat - Been drinking? Toss me the keys, come ride with me

9-3 toss me the keysWhat are friends for? Turns out they can be lifesavers. We’re nearing the end of summer and many of us have a three-day weekend ahead. If that long weekend includes gatherings that involve drinking alcohol, be a friend and make sure those you care about have a safe, sober ride home.

Over the Labor Day weekend in 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted on its website,, that 451 traffic deaths were recorded in the three-day period. Of those, 45 percent involved a driver who had been drinking and 38 percent with a driver who was legally drunk.

Did you catch those statistics? Even some drivers who had been drinking but weren’t legally drunk caused some of the fatalities. In Iowa, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration is .08. But did you know that at .02, you may see a decline in visual functions and the ability to perform two tasks at a time? And at .05, you’ll have reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, and reduce response to emergency driving situations? Even one drink could be dangerous if you get behind the wheel.

A sober ride when you’ve had a few drinks…that’s what friends are for.

So far in 2021, there have been 215 deaths in traffic crashes. That is an increase of seven since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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