5 ways to avoid getting a DUI on Labor Day
Take steps to get home safe if drinking this weekend
By attorney Bill Umansky, Special to THELAW.TV
It is the end of sweet summertime and the fall breeze is approaching. However, one weekend still remains to celebrate the end of a hopefully great summer: Labor Day weekend.
Parties, BBQs, picnics and family time are all the name of the game and alcohol is usually part of the festivities. Don't ruin the final hours of summer and the rest of the year by making a foolish mistake and getting arrested for driving under the influence.
Following are five successful ways you can avoid the nightmare trip down to the jail:
1. Appoint a designated driver and plan before you leave home.
Before leaving for your destination, typically everyone meets before to pre-game. Apart from concocting drinks, this is the time to label the designated driver. Never wait until you already arrived at your destination to appoint the designated driver because this will only end in a bar fight of who refuses to do it. Sometimes there is that friend who will immediately takes the responsibility of being the designated driver. But, we all know that sometimes this friend drinks regardless of their promise to stay sober. Before you leave your home, make sure the designated driver understands that they are taking an oath to keep their life safe and your life safe.
2. Know what is in your mixed drink and how much liquor the bartender is pouring.
Mixed drinks are difficult to keep track of because some bartenders may be more generous than others. There are times when it's night out on the town with your friends and the bartender takes note of this event. Instead of pouring the required amount for the mixed drink, he or she adds some extra alcohol to spice it up. Although this could be seen as a giving act of kindness, when you are the designated driver or expected to drive home this is something to look out for. Don't let this happen to you one an otherwise fun Labor Day.
3. Know your limit and know the time.
Many people can recall an experience of some sort when one margarita turned into four margaritas and soon enough it's difficult to walk. Physicians recommend the consumption rate of alcohol is one drink per hour and the legal limit in most states is 0.08 percent. On the website Blood Alcohol Calculator you can calculate a personal blood alcohol level to see which type of alcohol, and how much of each type, you can consume while still falling under the legal limit. Also be sure to set a limit of what time you plan to stop drinking and what time you plan to leave your destination. Setting these limits are the first step. The second and most important step is committing to stop drinking at a certain time and giving yourself enough time to sober up before you drive. When it's five-o'clock somewhere, there is also someone out there getting arrested for a DUI. Don't let that person be you.
4. Water goes great with alcohol.
Water is unlimited and it's usually free. Physicians recommend that after each alcoholic beverage is consumed, a glass of water follows after. Don't be shy to the fact that by the time you are already intoxicated, water cannot save you. Remember to drink water as you go through each alcoholic beverage.
5. Taxi cabs are here.
When the excuse is "taxis are too expensive," my first thought is "Have you seen the fees for a DUI charge or a lawyer?" Although taxis may not be a favored option, they are easily accessible and safe. I'm sure almost everyone can remember a funny story of a cab ride they once had. A funny cab ride story is definitely better than a DUI story. Go online or on your smart-phone and lookup the app UBER. It's used in more than 40 cities and 15 countries. This app uses on-demand services to find a driver locally and keeps you from getting a DUI.
The author, William Umansky, is a criminal defense attorney in Orlando, Fla. If you follow his advice this Labor Day weekend, you won't need to visit his office after the holiday.
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