In case you couldn’t tell from all the Christmas paraphernalia in the stores, the holidays are coming on quickly. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day many will be driving to share the holidays with friends and family. Some will make the choice to drive after drinking a little, or a lot, of the ubiquitous holiday cheer available at various venues throughout the season.
Drunk driving or even driving with a buzz is never a good choice any time of year. But for these next few weeks, there will be more opportunities to drink and there will be more people who don’t usually drink who will indulge. At the least, an embarrassing arrest for DWI may be the result.
Please read and follow these tips to help you avoid drunk driving due to drinking during the holidays.
If you plan to indulge in the festivities, plan ahead. Have a designated driver who pledges not to drink alcohol and is able and willing to take you and anyone else in your party home after drinking. Give this person your keys and a phone number to call in an emergency so you aren’t tempted by your soon-to-be impaired judgment to just drive yourself home.
An increasingly popular service is that of hiring a designated driver to drive you and your car home.
No designated driver available? Call a cab. Many areas set up free or reduced cost cab rides to those who should not get behind a wheel. Even if this service isn’t available plan ahead and make sure to carry enough cash to call a cab to take you safely home.
Worried about leaving your vehicle behind? Some cities have created a “tipsy tow” service to get both you and your car home without incident.
If you don’t like the idea of a ride or you will be partying near a hotel, bring enough money to take a room for the night. You can go home after you are sober. If you are at a friend’s house, ask if you can ask to crash for a few hours before getting back on the road. At the very least, see if there is a way you can stick around long enough for the alcohol to wear off before going anywhere near your car. Remember, you can get arrested for drunk driving as long as you are in a motor vehicle, running or not.
Maybe you are not a party animal but still enjoy toasting the New Year. Staying at home to drink solves the problem of trying to return from elsewhere while impaired.
As a favor to your friends and family, offer to be the designated driver for the evening. Pledge to avoid alcohol in favor of soft drinks and be the keeper of the keys. Or simply go as a group with you as the driver. The knowledge that you are responsible for others’ safety can be a great way to avoid temptation.
Everyone makes mistakes or has lapses in judgment. When alcohol is involved, judgment is the first thing to weaken. If you find yourself or someone you love in need of legal assistance due to a citation for drunk driving, please contact us.
Have a safe and happy holiday season from the Doug Wilder Firm.