While the holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends, more people are on the roads, and some will be intoxicated by holiday cheer.
There are sobering statistics. Every 52 minutes, someone loses their life to drunk-driving crashes, according to the NHTSA. To help reduce the risk of alcohol-related crashes, local law enforcement always increases their patrols during the holidays. Last year, police made 28,980 DUI arrests, compared with 33,755 in 2019. As more people are going out thanks to the vaccine, it’s likely more drivers in Florida will be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs than last year.
This is a serious offense. A DUI may cost tens of thousands of dollars in financial penalties, even without harming people or property damage. Just some of the expenses typically associated with a DUI include bail, car towing or impound costs, court costs, legal fees, DUI education programs, higher insurance premiums, probation fees, drug and alcohol assessment and counseling, license reinstatement fees, and loss of work income. And that’s just for starters.
Avoid a DUI this holiday season by following these five tips below. Should you or a loved one be stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, call an experienced attorney who can help guide you.
Avoiding Holiday Season DUIs
As DUI attorneys, we’d prefer you stay safe, call an Uber/Lyft if you’ll be drinking. It’s better than running into the police at a DUI checkpoint and needing to call us. Regardless of hiring a lawyer; the main goal is to not drink and drive. Here’s how to avoid a DUI this holiday season:
Simply put, you can’t get arrested for a DUI if you remain sober. And acting as a designated driver helps keep you accountable. Festive non-alcoholic drinks are a great option, as well as water, soda, and juice.
If you decide to partake in one or two drinks, make sure you stay below the legal limit by consuming drinks slowly and early in the evening, drinking plenty of water, and eating filling foods.
Select a Dependable Designated Driver
If you plan on imbibing at an event, also make a plan on how to get home. Please don’t attempt to sleep it off in your car either. Choose a reliable person that you know who can serve as your designated driver. They can help get you home safely and without the potential of a DUI arrest on your record.
The driver should have a valid driver’s license, have everyone’s addresses, any special driving directions, and emergency contact information on hand.
Get Home Without Drinking & Driving
If you can’t find a dependable DD, then use a ride share or taxi. Ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber are a better option to get you home safely.
But do keep in mind that when rides are in high demand during the holidays, the wait time and surge pricing go up. If you don’t live close to the event, plan to get a ride to a nearby friend’s place or book a room at a nearby hotel.
Host Your Own Holiday Party
Avoid having to leave your home altogether by hosting an event at your place. But make sure to open your home to anyone who needs a place to spend the night – just in case.
Be a responsible host and cut off the alcohol before anyone gets too intoxicated. And never let anyone get behind the wheel of a car who has had too much to drink.
Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk
If a friend is too drunk to drive, call a mutual friend, family member, or a significant other to see if they will pick them up. While some may protest and say they’re fine to drive, but you know they’re not, you may be saving someone a lot of grief. Hiding someone’s keys removes the temptation to drive.
It’s safer for them (and other Tampa Bay residents) if we can keep them off the road if they have been drinking heavily.
DUI Over the Holidays
The holidays aren’t so happy if you have been charged with a DUI in Tampa Bay. A DUI can stay on your record for 75 years in Florida. We’ll work to get your license restored so you can get your life back to normal as soon as possible. There’s only a 10-day window to restore your license after a DUI arrest, please call our Tampa, FL, drunk driving (DUI) lawyers for your free case review.