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Photo of a police office administering a DUI sobriety test with the text “5 ways to avoid a DUI this St. Patrick’s Day

Drunk Driving and DUIs Are Easily Avoidable

Each year March 17th greets us with plenty of green everywhere thanks to the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. As one of the nation’s most popular holidays, St. Patrick’s Day also doubles as one of the popular drinking holidays of the year.

No matter if it’s green beers, apple martinis, or shots of Jameson, people all over the state celebrate the holiday in a bars and pubs with their best friends.

While St. Patrick’s Day make everyone Irish for the day with plenty of laughs and fun, the night often ends with people wondering how to get home after the celebration. Responsible celebrators always remember one thing: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and that can always lead to DUI/DWIs.

One fact you can count on for St. Patrick’s Day is Law enforcement will be heavily patrolling the streets, as well as have checkpoints to ensure the safety of everyone. With proper planning, you can make sure you won’t need to call our Criminal Defense Attorneys to help you out of an avoidable situation.

5 Simple Ways to Avoid a DUI

1. Ensure you have a DD (designated driver)

The most important factor in selecting a DD is to make sure they are fully committed to remaining sober throughout the night. May we suggest bribing them with a free meal before exploring the town and all its bars? Choose someone that you trust, is reliable, carries a valid driver’s license and of course, someone that knows where you live.

2. Lyft or Uber

If you can’t find a reliable DD for the night, let your “smartphone” make a smart decision for you! Make sure you install the Lyft or the Uber app (ideally before heading out, so you are all ready to go once it’s time to go home). Both of these apps provide great options when it comes to needing to get home safe and sound and at a much lower cost than a DUI!

3. Where are my keys?

You know you best so, do you think at some point during the night you may to try to drive home? Hide your keys! Pass them off to someone you trust won’t give them back to you, no matter how “sober” you say you are.

4. Make the celebration at your house!

The best way to make sure you can drink and not get a DUI, stay at your home to prevent driving at all! Just make sure if you are having people celebrate with you, you have plenty of pillows and blankets for them to sleep on if they are drinking too! Sure, you may have more to clean the next morning but its easier to clean your house than to clean your criminal record!

5. Eat before you drink but make sure you’re drinking water

Drinking on an empty stomach can increase the effects of alcohol on your system. While not a reliable way to avoid a DUI, consuming filing foods before drinking and drinking lots of water can slow the absorption of alcohol as well as the effects it may cause. This may help you stay more clear headed and help you remember your phone’s password to call a sober ride!

The Consequences of a DUI/DWI

So, you think you’re “Good to Drive” or “Just a Little Buzzed?” You probably think you “drive safer and more cautiously” when you have been drinking right? With years of Criminal Defense experience we can say, you’re not the first person to think that and be wrong.

A DUI can have huge impacts on your life, personally, professionally, and financially, and that is if you are lucky enough not to hurt someone else before getting pulled over.

Some of the ways a DUI can affect your life include:

Fines

Once convicted on a DUI offense, there will be fines distributed by the court. These fines can be very extensive, starting at over $1,500 or more!

Jail Time/Probation Sentence

Even drivers under the BAC limit of 0.08 percent can be convicted due to discretion and judgment of law enforcement officers and the court. Those who have committed more than one DUI offense or have a higher BAC are more likely to spend some time in jail.

Loss of Driving Privileges/ Driver’s License Revocation

A DUI conviction can result in your driver’s license being revoked (up to two years for your first conviction). Losing the freedom to drive can affect your daily life, your work, and family.

High Insurance Premiums

After a DUI conviction, your insurance rates will increase significantly, for the simple reason that you will now be considered a “high-risk” driver by insurance companies. This could last for several years, and in some cases, the company may even terminate your coverage. It’s estimated over ten years following a DUI conviction you could pay $10,000 in elevated insurance premiums.

Drunk Driving Education Programs

More and more jurisdictions are requiring that even first-time offenders attend a formal alcohol education program. This program can vary depending on the situation and the state where the program is delivered. Plan on a cost of $550 or more for your first round of DUI education classes.

Criminal Records Appear in Background Checks

Most employers will conduct criminal background checks before they hire job applicants. A DUI conviction will appear in the background check and could affect the possibilities of you getting that job. This can also be true when you disclose the information to college financial aid applications, admissions processes and housing applications.

Installation of Ignition Interlock Devices

As of January 2019, all convicted drivers are required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle before they can receive a restricted driver’s license. This requires the driver to have an alcohol-free breath test result before the vehicle can start. The average cost of an IID for six months is over $400.

The best way to avoid driving drunk and a DUI conviction after drinking is with advanced planning. Designating a driver, using ridesharing services or staying home are all great solutions to get you and your friends home safely.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you are accused of Driving Under the Influence, the first thing you should do is call our experienced criminal defense attorneys. We have successfully protected the rights and freedoms of many clients just like you. Schedule a consultation appointment with our law firm today.

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