Summer is a great time to get together with friends and family to celebrate the sunshine and nice weather. With the days being longer, people have more time for holidays, barbecues, and a little bit of partying. However, many times you may be faced with the decision whether to drive home after a long day of burgers and beers. To keep your summer safe and enjoyable, be sure to be responsible and understand the facts.
The cost of driving drunk
You probably remember presentations about the dangers of driving drunk back in school, with the D.A.R.E. program, an assembly, or a unit in health class. Back then it was just a warning that didn’t really apply to you, but now that you may be faced with the prospect of driving ourselves home after an evening of socializing, the warnings against driving drunk are much more relevant.
Every year, there is a huge spike in DUI arrests and alcohol-related accidents and arrests surrounding summer events, holidays, and festivals. Along with the monetary fine that comes with a DUI, there are other consequences to keep in mind.
First of all, the emotional effects: your friends and family will worry in the future about the incident happening again. You could lose their trust. Not only that, but your employment could be affected, as well as your driving privileges.
How to avoid a DUI
When you’re sober it’s easy to tell yourself that you would never get behind the wheel, or get in a car with someone who’s been drinking. However, after a night of imbibing, your judgment is impaired and it’s harder to make the smart decision. Making a plan to get home before you go out drinking will help ensure that you’ll know what to do when it’s time to head home. Here are three ways to get home safely rather than run the risk of getting a DUI:
- Have a designated driver. This is an obvious one, but it works. Plan rides home beforehand and watch the designated driver to make sure he or she doesn’t drink.
- Get a taxi or free ride. Some taxi companies offer a “free ride back” program to help keep drunk drivers off the road, and many towing companies will give a drunk driver a ride to their house and tow their car as well if they get stuck somewhere. Even if you have to pay for a ride, a $30 cab ride is a lot cheaper than the cost of a DUI. Some areas also have designated driver services where using an app or a phone call you can get a ride from a volunteer.
- Stay the night: If you’re over at a friend’s house, it’s better to crash on the couch rather than try to make it home if you’ve been drinking. Arrange that beforehand, or ask once you know you shouldn’t be driving home and you can’t find a ride.
How to resolve a DUI
If you’re pulled over when you’re intoxicated and a DUI is the only consequence – as opposed to a crashed car and injuries to yourself or others – you got off very lucky. That being said, if you ever do find yourself in that situation, you should consult a lawyer before you make any decisions. That way you know your rights and how to prepare for the possible consequences, both in your personal life and in the court system in your state.