Celebrating the holidays is a time of joy and festivity. However, it's also a period when the risks of driving under the influence (DUI) escalate. Law enforcement is particularly vigilant during this season, as they are aware of increased alcohol consumption.
5 ways to avoid a drunk driving arrest this holiday season
While an experienced Virginia DUI attorney can assist in contesting charges, the ideal strategy is to avoid DUI arrests altogether. Below, you'll find five effective tips to prevent getting a DUI during the holiday season.
1. Avoid drinking if you plan to drive
The most straightforward advice is to refrain from drinking if you plan to drive. The holiday season often includes indulging in alcoholic beverages, but the consequences of driving afterward can be severe. This includes potential legal repercussions such as:
- Jail time
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device installation
- Criminal charges that stay on your record
Before attending any event, firmly decide that you will not consume alcohol. Reminding yourself of the reasons for this decision, such as ensuring your safety and the safety of others, can strengthen your resolve. Let your friends and family know in advance that you will not be drinking because you'll be driving. This can reduce peer pressure and might even encourage others to make similar responsible choices.
Also, try to carry non-alcoholic drinks with you. This ensures that you have something to drink and prevents misunderstandings where someone might hand you an alcoholic drink.
2. Seek alternative transportation if you do drink
If you find yourself having consumed too much alcohol at a gathering, it's crucial to ask for a ride from a sober individual. This could be a friend, family member, or host who hasn't been drinking. Planning ahead for such situations by arranging a potential ride is also a prudent measure.
If you're close enough and it's safe, consider walking or biking home. Be sure that you are sober enough to safely navigate and remember to follow traffic rules. If a holiday event is being held at a private residence, ask the host if you could stay overnight. This is a good option if you're at a close friend or family member's house.
3. Designate a sober driver
Before attending any event where alcohol will be present, agree with your group on a designated sober driver. The designated driver should be committed to staying sober throughout the event, resisting any temptation to drink.
Have a conversation with your friends or family members who will be attending the same event. It's important to discuss this early on so everyone is clear about the plan. If you frequently attend events with the same group of people, consider setting up a rotation system where a different person serves as the designated driver each time. This ensures that no one person is always burdened with the responsibility.
4. Utilize ridesharing services
Services like Uber or Lyft offer a reliable alternative to driving under the influence. Having these apps installed and set up on your phone can be convenient. While leaving your vehicle behind might seem problematic, it's much better than the consequences of a DUI arrest.
If you don't already have a rideshare app on your phone, download one before the event. Before the festivities begin, familiarize yourself with the event's location and determine a convenient pickup spot.
5. Host your own event
Hosting your own celebration means you won't have to drive afterward. Alternatively, planning a stay at a hotel with friends allows you to enjoy the festivities without worrying about driving. Staying on-site eliminates the risks associated with DUI, as you won't be driving anywhere post-celebration.
Get legal help if you're facing DUI charges
Despite precautions, if you find yourself facing DUI charges, it's critical to seek legal representation. Beyond the immediate legal penalties, a DUI conviction can have long-lasting effects on your career. Welch & Wright, PLLC is dedicated to defending your rights.
Our DUI defense attorneys are known for achieving favorable outcomes in Virginia DUI cases. We'll thoroughly investigate your DUI arrest and work tirelessly to help you build a strong legal defense. Contact us online or call our Norfolk law office to schedule a free case evaluation.