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Fundamental tips for preventing drunk driving this summer

Drunk driving is fully preventable. With proper planning, the chance of you getting behind the wheel after drinking is slim to none. But it is critical to think about what to do if you are out drinking and transportation is necessary.

The biggest drunk driving risk is the likelihood of being involved in an accident, which could cause serious injuries or death. Another risk is that you will be pulled over and arrested for DUI, OUI or another offense; this could lead to time in jail, fines and a driver's license suspension. The best option is to carefully avoid driving after drinking. Here are some ideas to ensure you never find yourself behind the wheel after you've consumed too much alcohol.

Find a different way home

Instead of driving to a party or wherever you are heading, take public transportation, utilize a ride share program or have a friend be the designated driver. If you don't have your vehicle with you, there isn't a chance that you will be tempted to drive home.

You can also find a safe way home if you do have to drive to a location where drinking occurs. It will be much easier to make plans to pick up your vehicle later than to have to claim your car after it's been towed and impounded -- or worse -- because you were arrested for drunk driving.

Give your keys away

If you do drive somewhere and know that you will consume alcohol, you can give your car keys to a friend who isn't drinking. Make it clear that they can't give the keys back to you unless you are sober and able to safely drive home.

Avoid drinking

If you can't find another way home or don't have anyone who will take your keys, you can simply plan not to drink. While it may not seem as fun, sober safety is a better alternative than risking an accident or being arrested.

If something does happen and you are arrested for drunk driving, take action right away to address the administrative and criminal aspects of the case. These issues are time sensitive and often require the help of a professional.

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