As the year is winding down, many of us are taking this time to relax, spend time with family and friends, and maybe even planning our goals for the next year. When we think of goals or resolutions for the new year, few of us have “getting on the wrong side of the law” on our list. Unfortunately, during the holidays, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the number of people charged with DUIs is at its all-time highest.
Because of the increased DUIs at this time of year, law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for suspicious driving.
In an effort to keep you and other roadway users safe and also to help you start 2020 on the right foot, the Springfield DWI lawyers at DWI Springfield have created a quick guide or “tips on how to avoid a DUI this holiday season”. Use this guide to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this year.
If you are currently facing DUI charges, schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our Springfield DWI attorneys immediately. We will provide you with sound legal advice to mitigate or dismiss the charges against you.
Don’t Drink & Drive
Yes, we know you’ve heard it all before, but it bears repeating: don’t drink and drive! Despite countless ads, billboards, commercials, and blog posts, people all across the United States, continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. With the ease in which we can get rides (hello, Uber and Lyft), it’s a wonder that there still DUI arrests. Sadly, many DUI arrests occur when people don’t have the proper plans set in place or believe that they are “fine” to drive. Here’s the bottom line to avoid a DUI this year, if you’ve been drinking (any amount), don’t drive.
If you plan on drinking this holiday, have a plan. Here are a few examples of strategies that will keep you from needing to contact a DWI attorney in Springfield:
- If you’re going to a friend’s party, discuss sleeping arrangements and if they have room for you to stay the night.
- If you are going out with your closest friends to a catered event or the latest club, make sure that there will be a Designated Driver (DD) you can trust or that you have arranged to split an Uber or Lyft.
- If you are planning on taking an Uber or Lyft, download and install the app and then create your account, complete with payment information BEFORE heading out. And don’t forget, you can always ask the bartender to call a cab for you.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
This tip is more to help you avoid a New Year’s Day hangover than a DUI, since, we know that you have already prescribed to both the first and second tips: don’t drink and drive and have a plan. However, we have seen it firsthand that poor decisions are made when alcohol or drugs are involved. So with this in mind, another preventative measure you should take to avoid a messy DUI is to limit your alcohol consumption to two drinks during the night. This amount of alcohol will still allow you to relax and celebrate without worrying about what mistakes you may make.
If You’re Tired, Don’t Drive
While it is uncommon to actually be charged and convicted of a DUI, if you are tired, it’s still unsafe. Not only does drowsy driving put your life and the lives of other roadway users and pedestrians at risk, but if you are so tired that your driving is erratic, you will be pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving. This means that you may be arrested regardless of whether or not you have consumed alcohol so that you may be taken in for additional testing. Either way, if you come out of it without a charge, this isn’t a fun way to spend your New Year’s Eve. So if you’re tired, stay put or make a plan for a friend or a driving service to take you home.
Use An App
Since there will still be some people that plan on driving this holiday, there is one way that you can check your sobriety before you head out. The following apps found in this article from Legal Zoom can help you discover your level of impairment:
- DrinkTracker: This app keeps track of the user’s blood alcohol content based on the number of drinks consumed and a personal Breathalyzer simulator.
- Intoxicheck: Through the use of six challenges, this app measures an individual’s reaction times, memory, judgment, and dexterity. The user first performs the tests while sober and then after having consumed alcohol to see the differences in results.
- BreathalEyes: The eye’s involuntary movement is tracked by this app, mimicking the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test that police officers perform in the field.
There is also the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer, which comes in a portable version with a keychain and a smartphone attachment to measure your BAC through a breathalyzer test. The device also has an app that you can use to keep track of what and where you drank.
What If You Do End Up With A DUI?
If you do find yourself facing DUI charges this holiday season, it’s not the end of the world. You’re not a failure, and you still have the opportunity to make it right. But, it would be best if you acted fast. In the event that you are charged with a DUI, contact our Springfield DWI lawyers as soon as possible. Remember, you have the right to an attorney when you are arrested for a DUI, and you are not required to answer any questions until the legal representation of your choosing is present.
Once you contact our law office, we will be able to talk you through the next steps and schedule a free consultation to help you get out of this situation as best we can. We understand mistakes happen, but they don’t have to ruin your life. Let the professionals help. Call us anytime to discuss your situation.