It’s the most wonderful time of the year – so long as you aren’t getting slammed with a drunk driving charge! DUI arrests tend to peak during the holiday season. In fact, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the United States sees the number of DUI-related fatalities increase by an incredible 34 percent. As such, Arizona police officers are out in force throughout the season in order to catch impaired drivers in the act. Don’t let your holiday celebrations become marred by a DUI arrest. Here are a few smart tips for avoiding a holiday DUI.
Tip #1: Don’t Drink and Drive
Let’s start with the obvious. The simplest and most effective way to avoid being arrested for driving under the influence is to NOT drive under the influence. The state of Arizona is extremely strict with its DUI policies, and even “buzzed” driving can get you into trouble. In fact, you don’t even need to be over the legal limit to be arrested for a DUI. If you have consumed any alcohol and an officer believes that you have demonstrated behavior that shows any level of impairment, you could find yourself in trouble. Schill Law Group has worked with numerous individuals throughout the years who have ended up with DUIs in situations like these.
Tip #2: Celebrate at Home
If you like to eat, drink, and be merry during the holidays, you might consider playing host to your next big holiday shindig. Having the party in your own home means that you can drink without worrying about getting behind the wheel. As an added bonus, this means that you can also be mindful of others who might have a tendency to act irresponsibly while celebrating.
Tip #3: Choose a Reliable Designated Driver
Most responsible adults understand the importance of asking someone to act as a “designated driver” during an evening of drinking. If you’ve decided that a designated driver is the right move for you, make sure that your driver is completely reliable and will not have even a sip of alcohol during the evening’s festivities. If you feel guilty about a friend staying sober, pitch in together and give him or her a thank you gift for their efforts.
Tip #4: Call a Cab – Even If You Live Close
Living close to a party doesn’t increase your chances of getting home safely – nor does it decrease your chances of getting nailed with a DUI charge. Walking home might not be such a great call, either. If you’ve consumed enough alcohol, you could end up getting in trouble for public intoxication. The fee for a cab or an Uber is a whole lot less than the fines you would face for a DUI or public intoxication charge.
Tip #5: Book a Hotel or Crash with a Friend
If you’re planning on drinking at a holiday celebration away from home and are unable to secure a designated driver, it’s in your best interest to book accommodations at a hotel, or to find a local friend who will let you stay at his or her place. Be sure to make your plans in advance so that you know exactly where you’re going and can get there safely after a night of drinking with friends.
Tip #6: Know Where DUI Checkpoints Are
Before heading out for a weekend of celebrating, it’s smart to do your homework and find out where the local DUI checkpoints will be set up. Many media sources will report this type of information. DUI checkpoints can be very tricky to navigate – even when you’re sober or are far under the legal limit – so it’s generally in your best interest to avoid these areas whenever possible.
Tip #7: Behave Yourself
In the event that you do get pulled over by the police, be as polite and cooperative as possible – without incriminating yourself. Be sure to check out our previous blog on how to handle field sobriety test requests in order to protect yourself and your rights.