Summer is right around the corner and for a lot of people that means time for more celebrations, events, and get-togethers, many of which involve alcohol. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying warmer weather and vacations with an alcoholic beverage, driving after having one to many can put yourself and others at risk. It can also subject you to potential charges for driving under the influence (DUI), which can pose a number of devastating short- and long-term penalties, including considerable fines, court ordered classes, probation, license suspension, and even terms of imprisonment.
Because the summer months and holidays are notorious for alcohol-related accidents on American roads, it becomes critical for everyone to do their part in making safety a priority. If you have plans to get out and enjoy yourself this summer, we urge you to do so responsibly. Below are a few important tips to avoid a DUI this summer.
- Plan ahead – Planning ahead is the single most important thing you can do to avoid a DUI. If you have plans that involve drinking, make sure you know where you will end up after the festivities are over. This may involve staying the night at a friends or with family, or booking a room at a hotel.
- Designate a sober driver – In addition to planning ahead, you might consider designating a sober ride. When you do, remember that a designated driver doesn’t mean the least impaired person. It means a sober driver who doesn’t drink alcohol in order to provide a safe ride.
- Take a taxi – Taxicabs are still one of the best options for a safe ride. If you plan on drinking, make sure you find out if taxis are available in your area, or plan ahead by looking up local taxi companies and saving their numbers.
- Use ride share services – Ride share applications such as Uber and Lyft have become immensely popular, and for good reason. They help reduce alcohol-related accidents by ensuring a safe ride. If you have not done so already, look into these apps and download one to your phone. Many of these services offer discounts for new customers who have been referred by others. Ride share services are very convenient, and can be used in a pinch if you find yourself without a ride or a place to stay.
- Drink responsibly – If you do plan on attending an event with alcohol, consider forgoing alcoholic beverages or drink responsibly. It doesn’t take much to be above the legal limit. Some people may choose to use consumer product breathalyzers to help them gauge their blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but these products are not as accurate as those used by law enforcement. It’s also a lot like playing with fire. Be safe and err on the side of caution. If you think you’ve had one too many, don’t drive.
As an experienced criminal defense law firm that has represented numerous clients charged with DUI throughout Ventura County, Los Angeles County, and the surrounding areas of Southern California, our team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP knows that DUIs happen all the time during the summer months. This is why we make ourselves readily available to help local residents when they need it most. Remember, just because you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with DUI does not mean that you are convicted. It is your right to defend yourself and challenge the government’s case against you – and our award-winning lawyers have the experience and insight to help you do just that.
If you wish to discuss a DUI charge with a member of our legal team, we offer free case evaluations during which you can learn more about your rights, options, and what we can do to protect your rights and future during both criminal proceedings and administrative DMV hearings concerning your driving privileges. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.