Driving in the United States has its risks. Did you know that, according to the CDC, 10,497 people died in alcohol impaired crashes in 2016 alone? Even if you do not cause a serious or fatal accident, there can be some other consequences of drunk driving that may be rather unpleasant, to say the least. If you are caught you may face serious criminal penalties, loss of driving privileges, higher car insurance costs, and more. 

Refraining from drinking alcohol before you get behind the wheel can be the best way to avoid any repercussions associated with drunk driving.  Proper planning can also help keep you out of trouble. Let us review some tips to avoid drinking and driving. 

  • Use a designated driver. If you are going out in a group, ask someone to be the designated driver. Ideally this would be someone who you know to be a safe and responsible driver and also has a valid driver’s license and car insurance. The designated driver should also be someone who can refrain from drinking alcohol in a social situation as well as someone who can be relied upon to pick everyone up at a specific time or when called. Do not wait until the group has started drinking and choose the person who has had the least to drink or seems the “least drunk” to be the designated driver. If you do, it defeats the purpose of having one, since a designated driver is not supposed to drink alcohol at all. 
  • Take advantage of those ride sharing apps. If you do not have a designated driver, consider using a ridesharing app to find a ride to and from your destination. Apps such as Uber or Lyft even allow you to split the fare with your friends if you want. Unless you are in an extremely rural or isolated community where these services are scarce, this can be a convenient and affordable option.
  • Use public transportation. If you are doing an urban pub-crawl or just hanging out at your favorite bar, public transportation may be another safe alternative to driving. Consider taking the bus, train, or subway to and from your destination.  It might cost a little bit more and it may not be as convenient as driving, but at least it can be a safer option.
  • Take advantage of available safe or sober ride programs. Many communities across the country have safe or sober ride programs. Some of them may only be available on certain holidays. Others may be available year round. 

As you can see, there are plenty of options other than driving if you want to enjoy a few adult beverages with friends. Ideally, everyone would take advantage. Unfortunately, we do not always think before we act and sometimes, good people make bad choices. If you have been charged with DWI, DUI, DWAI or a similar offense, call our law firm to arrange an appointment today.