Drinking and Riding
Please don't Drink and Ride
Today is Cinco de Mayo so in honor of that I will talk a bit about drinking and riding. This year we can get back to big Cinco de Mayo Celebrations. I want to give you this information so you can make good choices.
Lets start with a scary statistic I found NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Assoication) that says 47% of all fatal Motorcycle crashes the motorcyclist had a Blood Alcohol level above .08.
We are all adults and as such are in charge of our own decisions on drinking but remember alcohol effects our decision-making ability. I choose to not drink when I am on my bike. Some of you can and do have a few drinks. There are factors involved as in how much you drink, what you drinking, what medications you are taking, your size, what you've had to eat and how fast you are drinking. You should know your limits and stick to them. If you are concerned for fellow rider who you think has had too much and should not ride then make sure you speak up. If you are an MC you may have a protocol for this or if not then if there is a road captain there then tell them, or an officer (Chapter or National). They will make sure the bike is safe for the night or will get someone to bring it home and we will get the person home safe as well. If you are not in an MC and are at an event or party tell someone like security. If there is no you can go to then you talk to them. Don't accuse them or confront them, but talk to them. If all else fails make it so they can't ride home. With cars we say take keys and that works for bikes that require keys but for those Harley riders who do not lock their ignitions this will not work. Don't flatten Tires, they will still ride with flat tires if they are too drunk to notice. locking forks is good, sometimes moving the bike so they can find it works. Getting the keys and locking the bike is a good plan. Removing spark plugs, ignition fuses, unhooking the battery. Many clubs have a patch that says "I am my sister's keeper" or “I am my brother’s keeper” that means we care enough to stop them from riding when they have had too much to drink.
To add to this what really opened my eyes to the effects of alcohol was not an accident or training but something I did in college. We had a student education group that taught safe drinking, sex, and other college issues to our peers. One of the thing we did was we had "Drunk" Goggles. They simulated being at the .08 Alcohol level. I put them on and they had me do simple task like walk across the room, tie my shoes, and catch a set of keys tossed at me. I was totally sober but I could not do any of those task. If you have the chance to try this experiment it is quite the eye opener.
Now here is a link to the dial a ride page that has some good charts and statitics for you about this. Please go look at this. http://motorcycledialaride.org/2013/03/bac-levels-and-rider-impairment/
Here are some other good sites: