Everybody loves to take it easy on the weekends, and this holiday weekend will be no different. If anything, there will be more barbecues, picnics, shindigs and pool parties than you know what to do with. And what goes along with parties? Drinking.
Now, you may be one of those people who can just have a few beers or cocktails over several hours. And maybe you can't help having a few more. Either way, we all know that drinking and driving is not a good idea.
So, how should you try to avoid getting a DUI this Fourth of July weekend? We have a few tips for you:
- Don't do it. If you're reading this post, that's probably not going to happen. So if you are going to drink, make sure you have an Uber app, a taxi contact in your phone, or a designated driver.
- Drink less. And make sure you're under the legal limit. How can you tell? First of all, calculate your blood alcohol content (BAC) based on your weight so you can see how many (or few) drinks you should be having each hour. Make sure you eat, as the food will help your body digest the alcohol. It's also a good idea to stop drinking an hour or so before you will be driving to give your body time to absorb some of the alcohol. But beware: DUI laws vary from state to state, and you can be arrested for drinking while under the influence even if you are under the BAC limit. This is extremely likely if you've caused an accident, and the prosecution would have to prove that alcohol was what was impairing your driving ability.
- Go slow. This is not the time to rev the engine at a stoplight, burn through that yellow light or go over the speed limit. If you're feeling you might be over the BAC limit, follow the rules of the road to a T. And that includes using your cellphone and not paying attention to the road.
- Legal knowledge. Can you "sleep off" your buzz on the side of the road? In some states, this is still illegal, as you're technically still in control of the vehicle. Do know that in California, drivers under the age of 21 can't have a BAC of .01% or higher; carry unsealed beer, wine or liquor in their vehicle while driving alone; nor can they consume prescription drugs or alcohol in any form, including cough syrup. Any driver over 21 needs a BAC level under .08%, and repeat offenders should not be driving with a BAC over .01%. For more information, visit the DMV website.
- Be nice. If you are buzzed, you might think it's funny to sass the officer who pulls you over. It's not. And in fact, it could get you into even more trouble. Make sure you remember that in California, refusing to take the "chemical test" will mean your license will be suspended for at least a year.
- Use an app. But really, if you are going to go through all the trouble to use one of the apps on the market, or even a portable breathalyzer like the BACtrack, why not just take a cab? With Uber, there's no reason to worry about cost or having an accident.
Think this isn't a big deal? Think again. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 35 percent more roadway deaths occur on July 4th than any other day of the year. What with the combination of a long holiday weekend, cheap gas prices and the 4th falling on a Saturday, it's a deadly combination. Why not have a party at your house, and make sure you have places for your friends to crash at your place, or have cab numbers at the ready.
Have a safe and fun holiday weekend! And remember our number in case you forget our advice and get a DUI: 866-416-2161