During the winter months there are a large number of holidays to celebrate. Celebrating often means indulging in a few festive drinks. When your Aunt Annie passes the spiked eggnog or co-worker Jim convinces you to have another glass of champagne, you need to be prepared for how you will get home from your party safely. It is easy to believe you would never be the person charged with a DUI, but during the holiday season it can happen to anyone. Not only are you at an increased risk for drinking and driving due to all the parties you will likely attend, but cops are also out in extra force, cracking down on drunk driving. We are here to provide you with a few tips on how to prevent yourself from facing a DUI charge over the holidays, but keep in mind that if you do find yourself facing these charges, the very best course of action is to contact your local Fort Collins DUI Attorney here at Roselle & Breitigam, P.C.
Recognize the Risk
Not sure you really need a plan? Think you can just hop behind the wheel and make it those couple miles home with no problem? Think again. Colorado has launched a campaign named The Heat Is On. This campaign is conducted year round throughout the state of Colorado with increased enforcement during holiday periods. The campaign aims to crack down on any driving while impaired and focuses on educating the public about how quickly they will blow over the legal limit. Did you know that even after just a couple drinks you could be at risk for blowing over the legal limit?
One way you can track what you Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level has reached is by downloading Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) app. They created an app called R-U-Buzzed which can be downloaded for free from either the App Store or Google Play Store. CDOT’s app works as a resource and calculator that helps you track your drinking and gauge your BAC level based on your height and weight and the time passing while you are drinking. We recommend using an app like this to keep yourself aware of your possible BAC level. Another option is to purchase a personal breathalyzer. Although there is no guarantee that a breathalyzer you buy is as accurate as a law enforcement breathalyzer, it can help you at least become aware of when you are nearing or crossing the legal line.
Make a Plan
One of the number one reasons people find themselves behind a wheel while impaired is due to a lack in planning ahead. You may think “I’m only going to have one drink at the company party” when you leave home, but by the time 10pm rolls around you realize you have hit the free bar up a few more times than planned. The reality is, even when you go into something with the best of intentions, you simply do not know what will happen as the night progresses. The best course of action is to plan ahead no matter what. It won’t hurt to have a plan in place, even if you do wind up showing constraint and truly stick to your one drink rule. Remember, “ I’ll only have a few drinks” is not a plan. The reality is, those few drinks could put you over the limit.
What should your plan include? Consider all of the following options for getting home safely:
- Designate a Driver: One game plan is to go the old fashioned route of designating one responsible soul to be in charge of getting you home safely. If you know someone who truly never drinks and is extremely responsible, this can be an excellent plan. However, if your friend Bob who loves to kick back the craft brews offers to be DD, you might want to come up with an alternative plan.
- Cab, Uber, or Lyft: An excellent way to never face a DUI charge is to never get behind the wheel of your car. Take a cab, Uber, or Lyft to the party and take it back home. With the advent of easy to use apps like Uber and Lyft, it really is simple to get to and from a party without ever touching your keys. Keep in mind though that some of these services will surge during peak times. The cost of a ride, however, is undoubtedly cheaper than a DUI.
- Moderation: If you really feel like you are capable of doing it, moderation can be a good way to get home safely from a party. Tell yourself ahead of time the exact number of drinks you can have over the course of time you are there in order to be safe. When you order a drink, enjoy it slowly and pair it with plenty of water and food. Again, keep in mind that what you think is safe might not be. Check into the science of your belief that you can have a few cocktails and be ok.
- Spend the Night: If you are going to a party at your family’s house or a good friend, consider the option of simply staying where you are for the night. Although the thoughts of your own warm bed may sound better than sleeping in the guest room, crashing where you are is a sure way to keep yourself safe. Not only can staying with your family or friend keep you from drinking and driving, it can also keep you off the snowy or icy roads Colorado often faces at this time of year.
Know What to Do
If you are prepared for the holiday season ahead, you can likely avoid facing a DUI charge. However, even with the best laid plans, it is still possible to wind up making a poor choice that lands you behind the wheel while impaired. If you do get pulled over and you know you are over the legal limit, try to remain calm. Before you head out to your holiday parties, write down our phone number and name on a card to carry with you at all times. Even though you may have a cell phone where you can search for our team, you might find yourself so stressed in the moment you can’t think straight. By having our number handy this holiday season, you can feel confident you have a team ready to assist you, night or day. Hopefully you won’t need to give us a call, but if you do and you have our card on hand, you will be prepared for the road ahead.
Here is our info to put on a card for yourself:
ROSELLE & BREITIGAM, P.C.
125 South Howes Street, 8th Floor
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Contact us if you need a DUI attorney in Fort Collins to fight for your case.