With the holidays in full swing, you probably have an endless list of events to attend. From office parties to family dinners and gatherings with friends, you will most likely spend a significant amount of time over the next several weeks eating, drinking and making merry around town. Unfortunately, these events usually contribute to a spike in drunk driving accidents and charges of driving under the influence (DUI) or operating under the influence (OUI).
During this holiday season, make an effort to keep the roads safe and avoid a serious charge that could jeopardize your ability to drive and leave you with a criminal record. Here are some tips to help you with that mission.
Choose a designated driver
If you know that you will be drinking at a holiday party, set up a designated driver or a safe ride home. Your designated driver should not be drinking any alcohol at the event so that he or she can drive you home without any problems. Having a designated driver can keep you safe and out of jail.
Choose an early cut-off hour
If you do drink at an event and you do not have a safe ride home, be sure to limit how much you drink, and stop early. Give yourself two to three hours of not imbibing alcohol before you go home. This will reduce the amount of alcohol in your system. However, if you feel like you are still unable to drive, avoid getting behind the wheel.
Bring money for a taxi
Always have a "Plan B" for how you intend to get home. For instance, what if your designated driver decides to drink at the party and neither one of you are in a state to drive by the time you need to head home? Your back up plan should be to have money for a taxi or rideshare service so that you can still get home safely. Paying a little extra for a ride home is much better than spending the night in jail and dealing with an OUI or DUI charge or, even worse, being involved in a drunk driving accident.
Opt for non-alcoholic drinks
There is no holiday rule that says you have to drink alcohol at a party. You can abstain from alcohol completely or mix in one to two non-alcoholic drinks per every drink that is alcoholic.
Stay the night
Another option to avoid getting on the road after drinking is to simply stay the night. For instance, if you are close to the person hosting the party, plan to spend the night instead of going home. This way, you do not have to worry about becoming involved in an accident or being arrested.
While these tips can help you avoid driving drunk, you might still misjudge your level of intoxication and make a mistake and drive while over the legal limit. If this happens, remember that you still have rights and options. You might be able to successfully fight back against a DUI charge.