Avoiding a Holiday DUI

The “most wonderful time of the year” is quickly approaching. The holiday season is one of the best times to enjoy the company of family and friends, which often involves long hours of eating and drinking. In fact, 25 percent of people admit to drinking more when the holidays roll around. Which, unfortunately, increases the amount of driving under the influence (DUI) charges.

A drunk individual can have a slowed reaction time, memory issues, decreased coordination, and difficulty perceiving distance… a recipe for disaster when getting behind the wheel. DUI fines can range between $500 to $5,000, along with mandatory DUI classes. Penalties for particularly serious offenses can include an installed vehicle breathalyzer, probation, community service, or imprisonment. There is no safe way to drink and drive. Here’s how to avoid getting a DUI this holiday season:

Don’t drink and drive. In the US, the period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s sees an estimated 25,000 injuries from alcohol-related crashes. There is only one way to avoid getting a DUI, and that is not operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. If you have a holiday event coming up, make sure you have plans for getting home safely.

Use a designated driver. Having a designated driver is a great alternative to getting behind the wheel if you plan to do some drinking. When choosing a driver, they should be 100 percent committed to staying sober. If they go back on their word, calling a rideshare service is the safest option for you both. Remember, driving intoxicated not only puts you at risk but also endangers everyone else who happens to be out and about at that time.

Know your state laws. DUI laws vary among states. In Florida, driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances, proved by the impairment of normal operation or a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) of .08 or above qualifies as DUI. Although, in many states, you can also be arrested even if your BAC is under the legal limit. It’s best to avoid drinking and driving at all.

Driving under the influence is a risk you do not want to take any time of the year. The greatest holiday gift you can give someone is taking their keys if they are impaired. Don’t risk getting hurt or harming others, and certainly avoid the legal troubles associated with driving under the influence. Contact the Law Office of Joseph Cerino at 239-561-2820 to walk you through the legal implications of a Florida DUI.

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The law office of Joseph Cerino handles all matters of litigation, concentrating in family law including divorce, custody, child support, paternity, alimony, property division and domestic violence, as well as, criminal defense and appeals in Southwest Florida.

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