Driving while under the influence is not a charge anyone wants on their record. It increases your insurance costs, may impact your employability, and could potentially make it difficult to obtain credit or housing. You absolutely must protect yourself from getting a DUI conviction on your record.
1. If you choose to drink, don’t drive.
This seems like such a simple concept, and it is right now because you are sober. The time to decide about driving is before you even drink. Find a friend who can drive for the group, having a designated driver prior to your event makes sense. Take turns being the designated driver for the groups so that everyone has a chance to help. Also, think about adding another designated driver if you have a large group.
Walk to the event. If at all possible, consider walking. Bear in mind, though, that when you are returning home, it will most likely be very late in the evening. Make sure the route is safe and that you would not be walking alone. Do not ride a bike. It is also against the law to ride a bicycle while intoxicated.
Don’t forget about taxis and public transportation. These are great options, as well. The money you spend on the ride will definitely be an investment. It’s much cheaper to pay for a taxi than it is to pay court fees and lawyer’s bills to fight a DUI charge.
2. Know your blood alcohol level.
Blood alcohol test devices are available for purchase right now. These machines test the alcohol content in a person’s breath in a variety of ways. Price ranges from $30 up, and varies depending on the sensitivity of the device. Most important to note, in order to be accurate, the device must calibrated. This usually has to be done on a yearly basis. If the unit isn’t calibrated correctly, your reading will not be accurate.
The other issue these devices face is that they aren’t incredibly sensitive. The units used by police are much more reliable and far more accurate. Just know that these devices can give you an estimate, not a true legal defense. And, remember, impaired driving starts way before you reach the official legal blood alcohol limit.
3. Hire a good attorney.
If you have been arrested on DUI charges, you need to find an attorney that specializes in those kind of cases. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation to see if you are compatible and also to see if they are able to take your case. A good attorney doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive, either. You should find out the lawyer’s billing practices prior to meeting with him or her, just to make sure you totally understand how they want to be paid.