Let's make this perfectly clear: There is only one way to absolutely avoid a drunk driving charge this holiday season. Don't drink and drive.
Half of all adults say that drinking always plays a part in their holiday celebrations -- and 16 percent admit to drinking more during the holidays than at other times of the year. More than a fifth of adults say they even feel pressured to drink at holiday parties.
Unfortunately, that means many of those people may not have a plan to get home safely. Buzzed driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving -- and just as open to prosecution. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) doesn't have to be above .08 to get arrested for drunk driving. Many people exhibit impaired driving far below the legal limit.
Here are some alternatives to drunk driving:
- Download the Uber or Lyft app to your phone before you go. Set up your payment arrangements and make sure that you turn on the app's locater so that it picks up your GPS situation. You don't want to try to figure out how to do this after you've been drinking.
- Ask a friend or relative for a ride. If Uber or Lyft are inconvenient for some reason, you can ask a friend or relative for a ride. Ideally, ask the other person to take you to the party and pick you up, so that you won't even be tempted to drive.
- If the party takes place in a hotel, get a room for the night. Most hotels have at least a few rooms available, and you're far better served staying overnight than risking an accident.
- Ask the bartender for a nonalcoholic drink. If you must drive but are worried about fitting in with the crowd, just ask the bartender for a "virgin" drink. You'll look like you're holding something alcoholic and people will be none the wiser.
If you do make a mistake and end up behind the wheel after a holiday party, make sure that you know exactly what your legal rights are if you are charged with a DWI.