A conviction for driving under the influence (OUI) in New Bedford can have devastating effects. It can wreck your career, cost you thousands in fines and fees, destroy personal relationships and even land you in jail.

Even a small amount of alcohol consumption can lead to an OUI conviction which means that the best way to avoid an OUI is to simply not drink. However, this not a realistic scenario for many people. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can still have your fun and not find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Here are a few tips to help you avoid an OUI.

Agree on a designated driver

If you are planning to go out with your friends and drinking is on the list of activities, one of the best strategies is to have a designated driver. This person should understand his or her responsibility to stay sober and provide the group with a safe ride home. If you often go out with the same group of people, consider rotating the responsibility.

Opt for public transportation

Public transportation is also a good option when you plan to have a night out on the town. While it may seem expensive, taking a taxi or the bus will cost you a lot less than an OUI conviction. Take some extra cash with you when you go out so that you can get home at the end of the night.

Start early, end early

If you are going out to a day-long event that will include alcohol, plan to start early and end early. The longer you have between your last drink and the time you head home, the better. If you did not drink much, you might be completely sober by the time you begin to think about leaving the event.

However, even if you feel only a slight buzz, consider taking public transportation, getting a safe ride from a friend or even staying in a nearby hotel. Again, the monetary cost and inconvenience will be a lot less than what you would face if a police officer stops you and charges you with an OUI.

While the above tips can help you avoid an OUI, sometimes it is entirely too easy to make a mistake. If you have been charged with an OUI, keep in mind that you have options and rights. You might be able to successfully fight back against the charge and save yourself from a criminal conviction.