DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE. DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED.
They’re probably the charges you hear about the most, and punishments for them have tightened in the past few decades. For example, in California, you could have your license suspended, face thousand-dollar fines, serve jail time, endure community service or be made to attend DUI school or drug/alcohol counseling classes — all depending on the nature of the arrest and conviction. So why do millions of Americans still get charged with DUI and DWI every year? California alone accounted for 214,828 DUI arrests in 2015, and Texas wasn’t far behind with a little over 90,000.
The problem has always been the alcohol itself, which inhibits your judgment and allows you to make decisions you otherwise likely wouldn’t have made if you were completely sober. When you’ve had a couple drinks, you’re not thinking about how much hiring a DUI defense lawyer is going to cost. You’re not mentally totaling the amount of fines you might have to face. No, you’re likely not thinking of anything except having a good time.
But when that good time ends, it’s important to have a plan to fall back on for getting home safely. Don’t worry — it only takes 10 minutes to set up, and it’s a whole lot easier to do than you think. For example:
1. Prearrange a designated driver for the evening.
Since its inception in 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has undertaken a number of initiatives to help curb the instances of DUI arrests and drunk driving-related auto accidents throughout the country. One of its biggest wins was implementing the idea of designated drivers into the common national parlance. Choosing someone who won’t have a drop of booze all night is paramount to avoiding disastrous outcomes like DUI arrests or worse.
2. Keep the phone number for a cab service saved in your cell phone.
Is it shocking that nearly a third of all Americans will be in a drunk-driving related accident at some point on their lives? It should be, especially considering just under half of all people who die in auto accident fatalities are involved in drunk driving crashes. Taxi drivers, however, are always sober, and it only takes a few minutes to call one. A quick cab ride is a heck of a lot cheaper than a criminal defense attorney.
3. Download a Rideshare app to your phone.
Today, there are many easy alternatives to getting a sober ride home such as UBER or Lyft. Uber is an American international transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. When a rider requests a pickup, the system determines his location, locates an available driver, and dispatches the car. After delivery, Uber charges the rider’s account for the trip.
As of June 2016, the service is available in 75 countries and 459 cities worldwide.
Research the consequences of drunk driving ahead of time.
It might not be the most pleasant reading to do on a Sunday morning, but it’s certainly useful. Find more statistics from across the country. Look up DUI defense lawyers and how much it costs to have them handle your case. Research the fines that can often result from DUI convictions in a local court. The more you understand the consequences, the more likely you’ll be to make responsible, not reckless, decisions regarding drunk driving.
Of course, accidents will happen from time to time. And when they do, it’s important to never hesitate to contact a DUI defense lawyer as soon as you can. Look up the local firms in order to get a fuller awareness of the services provided in your area.
The Law Office of George Gedulin offers live answering service 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week (858) 281-4605.