With the holiday season upon us, the risk of picking up a charge for driving while intoxicated (DWI) is more significant than ever for two reasons. First, there is an increase in alcohol consumption at this time of year, as people celebrate Christmas and New Year. Second, the police know this and will be extra vigilant to catch drivers who have been drinking.
Can I have a drink and legally drive this Christmas?
The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for a driver remains the same as always: .08%. Knowing how much you can drink before reaching this limit is an inexact science. Even more so at this time of year.
It is harder to keep track of how much alcohol you consume in the festive period
One survey found the average American consumed twice as much alcohol as usual between Thanksgiving and New Year. Most of the year, you will have a fair idea of how much you drank. Yet around Christmas and New Year, people may offer you a drink at any time of day. The neighbors may invite you for a lunchtime toast. You might pour a glass of wine while prepping the Christmas dinner or drop a Baileys into a coffee. All this can soon add up.
When you pop to the store to buy a last-minute ingredient, you may forget you had a drink. Or when you awake after a day of celebration, you might not realize how much alcohol is still present in your blood. If stopped and tested by the police, you might unwittingly be over the legal limit.
A DWI charge would ruin Christmas for you and your family. If accused of being over the limit, seek legal help. Being found guilty could have significant consequences that last far longer than the festive season.