We are all busier during the holidays, which are filled with parties, family gatherings and other social events. Many of these events involve alcohol and you may find yourself having a few drinks more often than usual.
Police officers know this, which is why there are often more cops on the roads during the holiday season who are keeping an eye out for drunk drivers. A DUI conviction in Pennsylvania comes with serious penalties, including fines, loss of your driver’s license and potential jail time.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to reduce your chance of a holiday DUI charge.
Always have a plan
Plan ahead. Arrange to have someone drive you or plan to take a ride share if you are going to attend an event where there will be alcohol. Do this even if you do not plan on drinking or if you plan to only have one or two drinks. Plans can change and it is best to have a safe way to get home scheduled ahead of time.
Do not assume you can “sleep it off” in your car if you have more than you intended. Police officers could still charge you with a DUI if they have probable cause to believe you were drinking and driving.
For example, if a police officer comes up to your vehicle and it is still warm or your keys are in the ignition and you show signs of intoxication, this could be enough for them to place you under arrest for DUI.
Be aware of your tolerance level
The best way to avoid a DUI charge is to simply not drink if you plan to drive. Everyone has a different level of alcohol tolerance and the extra stress and business of the holidays could lower your tolerance level. Putting any amount of alcohol in your system increases your chance of a DUI charge.
If you do find yourself facing a DUI charge, you have legal rights. It is important to act quickly and learn about the options available to you.