The holiday season is here. With Halloween over and Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, many homes and stores throughout Athens are already decorated for Christmas. It won’t be long now before a lot of us will drive out of town for Thanksgiving and other holiday get-togethers. Besides family meals, there will be parties with co-workers, neighbors and friends to celebrate the season.
The one place nobody wants to spend the holiday season is in jail. But law enforcement will no doubt be out in force looking for drivers to arrest on DUI charges, as they do every year around this time. And with most party hosts, restaurants and bars serving alcohol, you could find yourself accused of drinking and driving. A conviction can cost you your license, thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees, even your freedom.
Three tips for driving during the holidays
Here are three ways to avoid a DUI charge this holiday season:
- The easiest way of avoiding arrest is not to drink and drive. A sober motorist is highly unlikely to get pulled over and arrested for DUI.
- If you do drink at a holiday party, arrange for a sober ride home. Use a designated driver, hail a taxi or use a rideshare app.
- Keep in mind that, in Georgia, you do not have to be driving your car to potentially be guilty of DUI. The law prohibits “actual physical control” of a vehicle while intoxicated. In some cases, just having the keys in your hand or pocket can be evidence of actual physical control, even if the engine was shut off and you were asleep in the back seat. Therefore, napping in your car to “sober up” before driving can be very risky.
Despite your best efforts, you could still end up arrested this holiday season. Before you plead guilty, you need to know your other options. A defense attorney can review your case, answer your questions and suggest next steps.