How to Avoid a DUI During the Holiday Season

From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, the holiday season is a time of celebration, joy, and togetherness. It's when families and friends gather to share laughter, exchange gifts, and create lasting memories. However, it's also a season when alcohol consumption tends to increase, often leading to a rise in incidents of drunk driving. Driving under the influence (DUI) not only puts your life at risk but also endangers the lives of others on the road.

Plan Ahead

One of the most effective ways to avoid a DUI is to plan your transportation in advance. If you know you'll be attending holiday parties or gatherings where alcohol will be served, plan how you'll get home safely. Consider the following options:

  • Designated Driver: Designate a sober friend or family member as the driver for the evening. This person can ensure that everyone gets home safely.
  • Rideshare Services: Apps like Uber and Lyft provide convenient transportation options. Download these apps and have them ready on your phone before you start drinking.
  • Public Transportation: Check the schedules for buses, trams, or subways in your area. Public transportation can be a safe and affordable way to get home.
  • Taxi Service: Keep the contact information of a local taxi service handy. Calling a cab is a reliable way to get home safely.
  • Arrange Accommodations: If you'll be celebrating away from home, consider booking a nearby hotel or staying with friends to avoid the need to drive.

Use a Breathalyzer

Investing in a personal breathalyzer can be a smart decision, especially during the holiday season. These portable devices provide an estimate of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), helping you gauge whether it's safe to drive. Remember that the legal BAC limit varies by location, but it's typically around 0.08%. If your breathalyzer reading indicates that you're above the legal limit, it's a clear sign that you should not get behind the wheel.

Drink Responsibly

If you choose to drink alcohol during the holidays, do so responsibly. Here are some tips to help you stay in control:

  • Set a Limit: Decide in advance how many drinks you'll have and stick to that limit. Pace yourself and avoid binge drinking.
  • Eat Before Drinking: Consuming a meal before drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.
  • Alternate with Water: Between alcoholic drinks, drink water or non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and reduce alcohol's effects.
  • Know Your Tolerance: Understand your personal tolerance for alcohol and recognize when you're starting to feel intoxicated.

Host Responsibility

If you're hosting a holiday gathering where alcohol is served, it's important to take responsibility for your guests' safety. Here's how you can help prevent DUI incidents:

  • Provide Non-Alcoholic Options: Offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers and guests who choose not to drink.
  • Arrange Transportation: If possible, provide transportation options for your guests, such as arranging for a shuttle service or rideshare discounts.
  • Monitor Alcohol Consumption: Keep an eye on how much your guests are drinking and be prepared to cut off those who appear intoxicated.
  • Encourage Designated Drivers: Encourage your guests to plan for a designated driver or help them arrange alternative transportation if needed.

Recognize the Signs of Impairment

Whether you're attending a party or hosting one, it's essential to be aware of the signs of impairment in yourself and others. Some common signs of intoxication include slurred speech, impaired coordination, bloodshot eyes, and a strong odor of alcohol on the breath. If you notice these signs in yourself or someone else, it's time to take action and find a safe way home.

The holiday season should be a time of joy and celebration, not a time of tragedy due to DUI incidents. By planning ahead, using a breathalyzer, drinking responsibly, and taking host responsibility, you can greatly reduce the risk of getting a DUI during the holidays. Remember that the most important gift you can give your loved ones is your safety, and by following these tips, you can ensure that everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday season. Let's make responsible choices and protect ourselves and others on the road, making this holiday season truly special.

If you or a loved one is arrested during the holidays in Orange County, contact Braden & Tucci today to let us defend you.