10 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of DUI
The Fourth of July holiday period is just getting started, and travel rates have skyrocketed. More than 47.7 million Americans are expected to hit the roads this holiday, meaning it is critical to drive safely and defensively. Independence Day celebrations call for barbeques, gatherings, and lots of booze, so as you can imagine, DUI rates tend to increase significantly during the Fourth of July holiday.
From 2015 to 2019, 1,339 drivers were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 38% of the drivers killed were drunk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These alarming statistics demonstrate the risks of driving under the influence. Not only could you face criminal charges, but worse, you could get yourself and others hurt or killed.
To best avoid a DUI this 4th of July, our lawyer explains 10 safety tips for you to follow below:
- Designate a sober driver: Ask a reliable friend or family member to be your designated driver, or “DD,” to ensure you have a safe ride home. Ensure your DD remains sober throughout the celebration, as you never want to get in the car with a buzzed or intoxicated driver.
- Provide non-alcoholic beverages: If you are hosting the party, try to help the DD’s out by providing non-alcoholic beverages.
- Stay overnight or book a hotel: If plans change and your DD ends up drinking or getting high, consider spending the night at the party host’s house or stay at a hotel. Don’t take the risk of driving.
- Drive defensively: Even if you didn’t drink any alcohol, other drivers have. When you are driving home from the party, you may be surrounded by several intoxicated drivers. As such, you should be extremely cautious during the 4th of July because other drivers around you may be under the influence and thus, put you in danger. By driving defensively, you essentially assume and prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
- Don’t drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol: Unfortunately, far too many people believe that drinking one or two alcoholic beverages won’t affect them. The reality is consuming any amount of alcohol, even one beer, and driving afterward could increase your chances of getting a DUI.
- Use rideshare or cab services: Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are there for a reason. If you end up drinking, call an Uber, Lyft, or taxicab home, as these are reliable transportation options.
- Do not mix alcohol with medications: Prescription medications often contain warning labels that advise against mixing such medication with alcohol. If you didn’t read the labels on your prescription, assume that you shouldn’t mix alcohol while taking the medications anyway. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Do not sleep in your car: “Sleeping it off” in your car is still illegal if your BAC is .08 or above. Drivers cannot be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle while intoxicated. “Actual physical control” has many interpretations, the most common being that if a person can put a vehicle in motion, then they are in actual physical control. Thus, if your car keys were in the ignition, on the passenger seat, or in your pocket and your BAC was .08 or above, you could get a DUI charge regardless of your intent to drive afterward.
- Always wear your seat belt: One of the safest choices you can make is to buckle up. Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017, and it could save yours, too.
- It doesn’t matter if you’ve had one drink: One drink is one too many to get behind the wheel. Although one drink may not seem like much, it is enough to land you a DUI charge if you get pulled over and submit to a breathalyzer test. It’s not worth it — get a sober ride home by asking a friend or using a rideshare or taxi service!
Legal Help Is Just a Phone Call Away
If you got arrested for DUI, don’t panic. Our lawyer has helped countless clients in your shoes overcome their charges and move forward with minimal impacts to their freedom and reputation. With this in mind, we welcome you to contact us online or at (510) 907-6600 to get started on your defense today!