Happy Holidays lead to an increase in get-togethers with co-workers, family, friends, and often include a spirit or two. Law enforcement is aware of this and ramps up the holiday DUI traffic stops and Road Blocks. Most drivers have an idea of what might cause them to get pulled over, weaving in the lanes, sudden braking, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, but it doesn’t take even that to initiate a DUI investigation. A lot of DUI stops begin with speeding, forgetting to turn on the car headlights, a tag light being out, a brake light being out, just simply rolling past the stop bar at an intersection, or even falling asleep in your car with the keys in the ignition and an officer performing a “wellness check” on you. Heck, you don’t even have to be driving a car in order to get cited for DUI, Golf Carts, Electric Scooters, and even Bicycles all count, too!
DUIs are expensive and the conviction stays on your record forever. Last year there were 53,644 DUI Arrests in Florida alone. Here are a few simple ideas that can help you enjoy your holiday and not make a pit stop by the CountyJail:
1) Designate a Driver. It’s a tried and true method, and no, the person who has had the least to drink does not always count. Most people “feel” like they are fine to drive when in fact they are not, OR, they may start out technically okay, but their BAL (Blood Alcohol Limit) reaches .08 or above by the time they reach the breath center. Find someone who is willing to sit this one out or who is willing to pick you up.
2) Hire a Car Service. I mentioned DUIs were expensive, didn’t I? For the cost of a taxi, a towncar, a limo, you will spend less than what you would typically spend on a first time DUI – Bonding out of Jail, Attorney’s Fees, DUI Classes, Court Costs, License Suspension costs, they all add up.
3) Plan B – Cab and a Tow. So, you go out and think you’ll be fine, or something falls through with the DD, and you end up stuck, car parked in a garage and not willing to take on that DUI. Call a cab. Save the number now on your mobile device, and expect to pay $100-200 to the tow company. It’s worth it, and still cheaper than the cost and embarrassment of a DUI.
4) Better Plan B- Call AAA. This time of year AAA offers what is called the Tow-To-Go Program. A tow truck driver will pick you and one other person up and tow your car to your home (within a 10 mi radius). They may be busy, and it could take a while, but again, better to wait for the tow truck driver than to wait in Booking for someone to post your bond. AAA is offering this program December 20th – January 1st.  It’s free and confidential. Load (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 into your phone now (for FL, GA, and TN residents).
5) Worse Case Scenario – Know your limits. Do you know how many times an Officer has heard the driver say they have had only one or two drinks? Countless. Only having “one or two drinks” will not always prevent an arrest and a ride to jail. It may help if your BAC is below .08 come time for trial, but once those flashing lights come on, your odds of “beating the ride” significantly decrease. Remember 1 Shot = 1 5 oz. Glass of Wine = 1 12 oz. Beer. It’s not often what you drink, but how you drink. Don’t drink on an empty stomach and pace yourself. Most people can metabolize about one “drink” per hour. Drinking water helps, and do not drink while taking certain medications.
The most important thing you can do this holiday season is to keep your health and happiness into the New Year. Plan ahead and Drink Responsibly!
If you do find yourself arrested this Holiday Season for a DUI, the smart decision is to act fast and hire an attorney. You will have less than 10 days to request a hearing before the DMV administratively suspends your license and the costs start to kick in! Call The Colbert Law Firm at (407) 412-7234 for experienced DUI Defense!